VEX Worlds Tournament Displays

Does anyone know if the HUD from Worlds will be used at local or state tournaments this season? IMO the displays looked amazing compared to what we are used to seeing at tournaments.

All of the new screen designs on the audience, pit, and field displays that were used at Worlds will be in the next release of Tournament Manager, so all events this year will have the updated graphics.

That’s great news! They did look really good.

There is also a brand new scoring app this year that includes a timer for skills and for matches along with the sounds.

That’s also great news on the scoring app. Our teams were hoping StarStruck would allow for the Score Keepers to use a tablet to determine the score at the end of each match and show the teams before they leave the field.

It’s really great to immediately know what they’re going to get for a score.

We used tablets for scoring for Nothing but Net at a number of events in the state of Wisconsin including the High School State Championship. The apps for doing so (on Android) were available for all of this past season. Our scorekeepers would share the score with the teams and there was a place for them to check that they had seen it and agreed. It was great, but took a little training time. Early in the season we did both the paper and app scoring, just to be sure.

It is nice that StarStruck will only have 32 objects to count, making it significantly easier to get the scores quickly entered on a tablet and keep the tournament moving along.

Anyone know if there will be integrated video overlay in the new version?

Note there are 2 different apps that I think are being talked about here - the referee scoring app which was available throughout the NBN season (VEX TM Mobile) and the new VRC Hub app, which replaces the previous VEX Nothing But Net Android/iOS apps and contains the game manual and scoring calculator. VRC Hub is where the match timer functionality was added and is meant for practice etc.

The referee app has been available for over a year now. Whether or not referees allow teams to see their scores before they are sent to TM is an event decision as far as I know. Larger events and events with faster match cycles may not have time for teams to review each score.

I’m not sure that kind of functionality belongs in Tournament Manager. It’s not anything that is planned at this point.

I haven’t used it myself but I’ve heard good things about OpenBroadcaster. We’ve used vMix (http://www.vmix.com/) at our events with success, and it has a chromakey function that works well with the TM displays.

I think that the lack of this feature in tournament manager is really crippling the ability for teams to host tournaments, not to mention tournament quality. When hosting a tournament the audience wants to see the action up close which leads to overcrowding the field areas if there is not bleacher seating available. The overlay that is used at worlds is really nice because you can see what is actually happening and I think that the lack of this at a majority of competitions is due to the fact than not a lot of people know how to get it working and not a lot of event partners have the time to learn. A lot of events we go to they don’t even show the scores or rankings from the match because the tournament manager software is not the most user friendly. There is a horribly outdated pdf doc but it doesn’t work and there is also pre made overlay displays within tournament manager, Im just kind of confused as to why they didn’t go all the way and include that functionality in the first place.

We use Open Broadcaster because its one of the only free options I know of. I made a google doc on how to use it with tournament manager here https://docs.google.com/document/d/1XI9yh4iQ0c3v4PBbMjfdyUqPnjNZh9ql2MVwH0ZMG1I/edit

I know back in 2009 you posted about maybe having it be in tournament manager.

I’m very curious as to what you found! Do you think that this could be a possibility in the future?

I’m arguably the one who tries to get the most features included in TM (wireless scoring, live scoring, running matches), and even I agree with Dave. I would argue that such a feature should not be included in TM. Including or replicating the features of other software (such as OBS) just “because it’s easier” is not a good idea, in addition to actually implementing such a feature there’s maintenance issues, support, and you end up with a much more bloated program.

OBS is fairly simple and your guide easily explains to anyone what to do if someone doesn’t know.

I don’t really think it’s that bad that people don’t even know how to show rankings on a pit display. That kind of thing is clearly mentioned in the (admittedly outdated, like you said) pdf which as far as I know is still mostly valid?

There’s a big step up between generating an overlay with a chroma key background and actually doing real time video overlay with live USB camera feeds, so I’m not confused at all why they didn’t. Then do you add streaming? What formats do you support natively? What about when people want to run presentations from powerpoint or alike, do you include window capture?

Generating a chroma keyed overlay is a trivial task, including software to handle that is not. It makes sense that something like this shouldn’t be in Tournament Manager

While I certainly won’t dispute that having video graphics overlays is very nice to have at an event, don’t you think this is overstating it just a little? Not having built-in ability for TM to do handle live video is crippling the ability for teams to host tournaments? Really?

Yes, I was looking into that a bit back then. 2009 was a long time ago and lots of things have changed. First and foremost, VEX has grown significantly. The typical TM user is very different now. We have to be cautious about what features we add as each feature brings new complexity and potentially makes the software harder to use for the average TM user who just wants to run a basic, no-frills tournament. Other things have changed too, like the proliferation of HD video. If we added an overlay function, it would probably be single-source only. Almost immediately people would be asking for 2 or more inputs (because a lot of events use 2 fields). Pretty soon TM is becoming a full-blown video switcher. Another thing that has changed is the availability of OBS and vMix and others that can do the job. TM is also expanding to more platforms, which would further complicate a video overlay function as that would almost certainly need to be platform-specific.

Ouch. Well, if you have specific feedback on what you think isn’t user friendly please provide it to us (you can email feedback like that to us at support@dwabtech.com). Most of the feedback we get is very positive, but if there’s areas that need improvement we’d like to know about it so we can look into it.

I do need to point out though that adding additional features (like video overlay) is often at odds with making user-friendly software - and you asked for both. We do try hard with TM to find a balance that lets small events run easily and ignore the advanced features while still keeping the advanced users like Nathan happy (and being able to run the enormous event that VEX Worlds has become), but it’s difficult to do that. Every new feature we add is a potential point of confusion, new source of potential bugs, and additional support burden. These days with 1000s of events out there we have to be very careful about that. Also, keep in mind we’re not even just talking about VRC. VEX IQ is growing rapidly. There was another thread just yesterday about using TM for SkillsUSA. TM is used for TSA events too. TM has a very large user base and we have to think about that whole user base, not just the more technically-capable subset.

Hello,
I do webcasting for the sate of MN and we also use VMix for our production. It works really well with our USB Cameras. We usually put one camera on each field then use the audience overlay on top of that to send to our projector for the audience. This really helps in making sure everyone can see what is happening on the field. More often than not teams are actually looking at the audience projector than the on-field timers. I just love how we have the option to have the overlay instead of the full screen!

Can i get a link to where i can buy the USB Cameras .

USB Cameras can be found on just about any online retailer, personally, I got all mine from Amazon. It may be more efficient to use SDI/HD-SDI cameras due to the fact that USB cables can only be ran a maximum of 60ft before signal quality drops and signal starts dropping from the cameras. It’s not a perfect long term setup but it’s cheap and effective.
As far as I know there are 2 recommended USB cameras:
Microsoft LifeCam Studio
Logitech C920

Another disadvantage is that without additional hardware, there can only be 3 USB cameras in use at a time.

I’m still doing research but that’s what I used in the 2015-2016 season.

I’m hosting an FLL comp next week and we went with three C920’s.

Do you run USB Cables to each field back to the computer doing the video mixing?

Not sure if this was addressed to me, we plan on having a dedicated computer for video (my MacBook Pro), and yes the Cameras are going to be run over active USB cables with a powered hub.

It was indeed, which hub are you going to be using and how far are your cables going to be run(maximum)? I am trying to see if I can get more than 60ft of usb extension cable.