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blahness
01-25-2012, 01:32 AM
Just wanted to get everyone's ideas about improving how Table Tennis is presented on TV and media.

I liked the ITTF slow-mos now. What happened to the reaction-time meter that I once seen last year? Bring that back!!!

I would really like a Spin Cam as well as Speed Cam(similar to how tennis has speed measurements of various shots, if it's even possible. I heard that they are using radar technology to do speed measurements in tennis. One possible way is to embed a small non-visible tracer on 2 small parts of the ball surface, i'm sure with current technology(high speed cameras and advanced software) somebody would be able to do something.

Dynamic commentators who truly understand the sport (intricacies in shotmaking, spin, tactics, etc) would really help too! I'm thinking about employing the former greats, or even employing players who have already lost to comment. Imagine Waldner, Persson or Timo Boll commentating the recent finals between Joo Se Hyuk and Ma Long! When Wang Liqin improves his English, he'll be able to commentate matches too!

I think dynamic audiences help a lot too! Cheering loudly, stomping foot, loud horns, face paint, this would really transform atmosphere. To those who are going to watch the 2012 London Olympics this is your job! :cool:

For media, I hope that the ITTF would collaborate with the fantastic Youtubers who make absolutely cool tribute videos. Some investment into attractive Table Tennis TV advertisements would be even cooler, with possible support from TT equipment manufacturers like Butterfly, Stiga, Adidas (they will be the ones that benefit the most from increased participation!).

What ideas do you guys have?

dici
01-25-2012, 03:17 AM
China has a lots of great commentators, I always enjoying watch and listen to the CCTV5 TT match that upload by janus. However, it is very sad that most of them do not have a decent level of english speaking. :(

YosuaYosan
01-25-2012, 11:48 AM
Ewh.. Got a thought after having my Tabata training..
How about making the pros play in a court which has been covered with huge 'magnifying' glass?

Just a crazy thought tho..

The other thing is making a 3d auto model after a point to replay in the screen which is kinda awesome.

Oh and Heart Rate detector like the one in this vid is gotta be cool :D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MS1HhIf3lFI

WiWa
01-25-2012, 12:13 PM
Some great ideas there. I don't think you can attach high-tech stuff to the ball though, since it is so light that anything attached to it will hugely affect its trajectory. If it is possible to make a 3d replay without adding stuff on the ball, that would be awesome since you can use it to analyze stuff as well.

Something that lacks in a lot of livestreams is the placement of the camera. In many tournaments or matches the majority of the audience is gathered in one place on the tribune. This is often the place where the camera is also placed, so viewers get to see the empty part of the tribune, while they do hear some noise that the audience makes. Of course it all looks more spectacular with spectators in the background than with empty seats.
As far as the audience activity goes, I think French audience is the best (most excited) audience in Europe.

I believe players like Korbel have been involved in the commentary sometimes, but not all players are suited for this. You need a bit of 'talking talent' as well :p. Richard Prause is maybe a good example of a co-commentator with very good knowledge of the sport. Often people with knowledge have a very clear accent when speaking English, which could also take a bit off the entertainment value maybe. It is not easy to find the right commentators I think :p

Matt Hetherington
01-25-2012, 12:15 PM
Well thinking about things I really like what the Pongcast is doing, that kind of 'news' based media is really good presentation wise and is fantastic for giving people summaries and highlights over a time period.

Dan
01-25-2012, 12:32 PM
Ewh.. Got a thought after having my Tabata training..
How about making the pros play in a court which has been covered with huge 'magnifying' glass?

Just a crazy thought tho..

The other thing is making a 3d auto model after a point to replay in the screen which is kinda awesome.

Oh and Heart Rate detector like the one in this vid is gotta be cool :D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MS1HhIf3lFI

Wow is that their real heart beats? I did this before with my gym instructor. My heart beat was very high at deuce sets hehe :)

Dan
01-25-2012, 12:32 PM
Well thinking about things I really like what the Pongcast is doing, that kind of 'news' based media is really good presentation wise and is fantastic for giving people summaries and highlights over a time period.

Yeah I totally agree Matt. Incredible presentations, I can't see why those couldn't make the TV :D

Dan
01-25-2012, 12:35 PM
Just wanted to get everyone's ideas about improving how Table Tennis is presented on TV and media.

I liked the ITTF slow-mos now. What happened to the reaction-time meter that I once seen last year? Bring that back!!!

I would really like a Spin Cam as well as Speed Cam(similar to how tennis has speed measurements of various shots, if it's even possible. I heard that they are using radar technology to do speed measurements in tennis. One possible way is to embed a small non-visible tracer on 2 small parts of the ball surface, i'm sure with current technology(high speed cameras and advanced software) somebody would be able to do something.

Dynamic commentators who truly understand the sport (intricacies in shotmaking, spin, tactics, etc) would really help too! I'm thinking about employing the former greats, or even employing players who have already lost to comment. Imagine Waldner, Persson or Timo Boll commentating the recent finals between Joo Se Hyuk and Ma Long! When Wang Liqin improves his English, he'll be able to commentate matches too!

I think dynamic audiences help a lot too! Cheering loudly, stomping foot, loud horns, face paint, this would really transform atmosphere. To those who are going to watch the 2012 London Olympics this is your job! :cool:

For media, I hope that the ITTF would collaborate with the fantastic Youtubers who make absolutely cool tribute videos. Some investment into attractive Table Tennis TV advertisements would be even cooler, with possible support from TT equipment manufacturers like Butterfly, Stiga, Adidas (they will be the ones that benefit the most from increased participation!).

What ideas do you guys have?

I really like your ideas Blahness. Some I dont think would be possible, in terms of money and the dynamics of the game. Perhaps a camera at the table which faces the player would be cool. To get a 3D camera would require loads of cameras in one room. This would be to costly. I like your ideas of bringing the youtubers together ect.

On a positive note, over recent years the ITTF have improved tremendously in terms of the social media and promoting the sport. The ITTF are working on bringing in commentators. I think the best commentators would be ex professionals like Werner Schalger :)

Matt Hetherington
01-25-2012, 12:35 PM
Well I mean realistically they could it's just a matter of creating the right connections and doing the hard yard. People need to be interested in table tennis and giving it to them bit by bit is the best way currently

Dan
01-25-2012, 12:39 PM
Well I mean realistically they could it's just a matter of creating the right connections and doing the hard yard. People need to be interested in table tennis and giving it to them bit by bit is the best way currently

Yeah true, lets hope this recent sponsorship by the ITTF may progress some things. Perhaps more sponsors will come along with the Olympics on the way. The more money we have in the sport the better. I think tho, the ITTF and many other bodies need to focus more to home also, money invested into training centres which will give many players around the World incentives.

JustAlt
01-25-2012, 12:40 PM
Speaking of commentators, I rather listen to a Chinese one without understanding nothing but a few words than the one commentating the Killerspin events. He is just so annoying.
The best commentator speaking English is "the drunk commentator". Lol I don't even know his name.

blahness
01-25-2012, 12:42 PM
Some great ideas there. I don't think you can attach high-tech stuff to the ball though, since it is so light that anything attached to it will hugely affect its trajectory. If it is possible to make a 3d replay without adding stuff on the ball, that would be awesome since you can use it to analyze stuff as well.

Thinking about it, the markings on the ball could be used as a kinda of tracer, using a high speed camera, one can count the number of times the surface color of the ball turns from white to the marking colour and back again, and use that to calculate the spin.

Matt Hetherington
01-25-2012, 12:42 PM
I loath the ITTF commentators, there was one from Yorkshire I couldn't stand, reminded me of my mum. Then the over-enthusiastic english fellow and now an Irish gimp. sorry but it does my head in how they have to say some long winded rubbish for EVERY point lol i don't rant very often but there it is :P

Dan
01-25-2012, 12:46 PM
Thinking about it, the markings on the ball could be used as a kinda of tracer, using a high speed camera, one can count the number of times the surface color of the ball turns from white to the marking colour and back again, and use that to calculate the spin.

If this is possible! It would be a genius feature to the sport!

There could be a marker in the corner of the video which says the number of spin one put on the ball for a particular epic shot for example. However, i'm sure this would be hard to measure.

WiWa
01-25-2012, 01:10 PM
I loath the ITTF commentators, there was one from Yorkshire I couldn't stand, reminded me of my mum. Then the over-enthusiastic english fellow and now an Irish gimp. sorry but it does my head in how they have to say some long winded rubbish for EVERY point lol i don't rant very often but there it is :P

Well I don't recognize local accents, but I agree that both the 'drunk' commentator and the guy that likes whisper mode are funny, but not really the best in terms of expertise it seems. :p

azlan
01-25-2012, 01:53 PM
I would like to see statistics of each set and the summary of the entire game. I watched a lot of tennis, and they have stats like percentage of 1st serves and 2nd serves, winners, forced and unforced errors, serve velocity (in TT maybe the smashes), and at the end of the game, they will have the summary of the game.

I know Americans love these sort of stats. They have it in basketball, baseball and football. And I guess as long as the sport (TT) doesn't really take off in a big way in the US, we are not going to see TT stats any time soon :)

WiWa
01-25-2012, 02:48 PM
I would like to see statistics of each set and the summary of the entire game. I watched a lot of tennis, and they have stats like percentage of 1st serves and 2nd serves, winners, forced and unforced errors, serve velocity (in TT maybe the smashes), and at the end of the game, they will have the summary of the game.

I know Americans love these sort of stats. They have it in basketball, baseball and football. And I guess as long as the sport (TT) doesn't really take off in a big way in the US, we are not going to see TT stats any time soon :)

Yep, to have those stats would be cool. You could see what percentage of services lead to a point for a certain player, or how his points are distributed between own service rallies and opponents' service rallies.

Matt Hetherington
01-25-2012, 10:39 PM
lol it's not like you have 1st and 2nd service in table tennis (even though you have 2 serves each before anyone slams me on that one :P) would be cool to pick some stats up though or chart when points were won in the set that's always cool

Mr. RicharD
01-25-2012, 11:37 PM
I'm sorry, but the style of shooting this can be done, but what you're asking blahness would require way too much. To use the Fusion 3D rigs would cost a lot and even if you could get your hands on one for cheap say 100 USD / hour you would need people that were qualified to use them. And to do that you'd need steadicam operators which cost several 1000 USD / hour. It would not be cost effective at all to try to go for a 3D look. As far as the technology there isn't anything currently in production that is able to calculate accurately the trajectories of shots in TT. There's just too much spin and no real formulas to properly predict the proper trajectory based on the science currently available. To recalculate a shot using tracking systems would take hours on end for a on minute shot. It's just not practical.

I agree that what Killerspin did there is a great evolution to what we follow these days there are just too many things involved in making the film work in TT better. The best solution to this is to change angles and find the best ones and to go from there. It's so costly to run events and with all the different techniques and equipment needed it's really hard to get by. So far the best ideas are currently out there, but not popular. I'm hoping to also create new styles with Joola's video work, but it's incredibly hard to prioritize shots. It will take another 5-10 years before we can come close to anything near what you'd like.

Matt Hetherington
01-26-2012, 01:55 AM
3D tt coverage, when they can finally get around to making that possible I will be a happy individual. You could perfectly analyse players techniques in 3 dimensional! how awesome would that be. But a wee way off I think.

I think just making highlights of each tournament on the World Tour is a good step forward. I'm hoping to do that myself! :) I had done one for Hungarian Open, Slovenian Open is so close to it but I hope I can do it again :)

azlan
01-26-2012, 06:48 AM
You're right Matt, a step at a time. I enjoyed your hungarian open video, and I will certainly look forward to your Slovenian Open video...:) I would do it, but what I know about video editing, is as much as a Neanderthal Man knows about table tennis. (which explains why the video of me playing is not out yet - don't even know where to start!! hahaha)

Another thing that I would like to add is the use of high speed camera. I am watching live telecast of Nadal vs Federer, and the super slow motion shots are just astonishing!! Every spin of the ball, facial expressions, every racket vibration after a miss hit...eye candy!! You really can see the effort these players put in their game.

More of this in TT, would be magical.

DingO
01-26-2012, 05:14 PM
agree about the comentators... That english old dude that they hv is sooo useless, calling every shot a smash and clueless about tactics, ive hear him say that one of tyhe players tactics was to let the ball pop up a little higher than usual to confuse him... How do they hire these ppl? i guess he won a hardbat tournament 55 years ago lol

WiWa
01-26-2012, 06:03 PM
agree about the comentators... That english old dude that they hv is sooo useless, calling every shot a smash and clueless about tactics, ive hear him say that one of tyhe players tactics was to let the ball pop up a little higher than usual to confuse him... How do they hire these ppl? i guess he won a hardbat tournament 55 years ago lol

At least he makes it easy for YouTubers to make a tournament compilation. You just align all points where he says 'probably the shot of the tournament' and you have a 10minute video with tournament highlights ;)

I still prefer him over 'the whisperer' btw.

WiWa
01-26-2012, 06:04 PM
agree about the comentators... That english old dude that they hv is sooo useless, calling every shot a smash and clueless about tactics, ive hear him say that one of tyhe players tactics was to let the ball pop up a little higher than usual to confuse him... How do they hire these ppl? i guess he won a hardbat tournament 55 years ago lol

At least he makes it easy for YouTubers to make a tournament compilation. You just align all points where he says 'probably the shot of the tournament' and you have a 10minute video with tournament highlights ;)

I still prefer him over 'the whisperer' btw.

Mr. RicharD
01-26-2012, 06:11 PM
Actually the english guy knows quite a lot about table tennis. He is the oldest commentator that exists. Having done it for over 20 years. You have to understand that he doesn't use any terminology because frankly when he started there wasn't much of a terminology out yet. You hear him saying topspin and underspin and what not because in his day that was the closest thing to terminology and dead spin wasn't even coined yet. Take all of that into count as well as the fact that he is required to dumb it down a bit to help new viewers transition into the culture.

@ azlan - those cameras are so costly as well. Phantom, Red One, and even the more expensive ones are each $50,000 USD plus. To rent one would be cheaper, but still quite costly as well as hiring those that are proficient enough at using the equipment.

The best and easiest ways to slow mo is using software to take a 60-120 fps video and slow it down to 480-960 fps. After Effects can do this in post, but as far as I know there are very few programs out there capable of doing this on a minute by minute basis.

Personally I think that the best and fastest way to gain growth is to stop the live broadcast and work on post production broadcasts. Essentially recaps. You'll gain more interest from the non TT viewers as they'll be able to follow it better with better comments and proper slow motion. The live broadcasts could rest easy with either the top back view or the top right views. It'd be harder to get them to transition to it because the ITTF is always searching for that best way to shoot it live. They don't want to take a step backwards to take two steps forward. They'd much rather take one step forward and then one step backwards.

WiWa
01-26-2012, 06:18 PM
Actually the english guy knows quite a lot about table tennis. He is the oldest commentator that exists. Having done it for over 20 years. You have to understand that he doesn't use any terminology because frankly when he started there wasn't much of a terminology out yet. You hear him saying topspin and underspin and what not because in his day that was the closest thing to terminology and dead spin wasn't even coined yet. Take all of that into count as well as the fact that he is required to dumb it down a bit to help new viewers transition into the culture.

@ azlan - those cameras are so costly as well. Phantom, Red One, and even the more expensive ones are each $50,000 USD plus. To rent one would be cheaper, but still quite costly as well as hiring those that are proficient enough at using the equipment.

The best and easiest ways to slow mo is using software to take a 60-120 fps video and slow it down to 480-960 fps. After Effects can do this in post, but as far as I know there are very few programs out there capable of doing this on a minute by minute basis.

Good to have some practical information to keep us down to earth :) But still I think that commentator shouldn't avoid terminology, since ITTV is a source where only people searching for table tennis will come. Those people often are familiar with most of the terminology. Also it is his responsibility to keep up with the latest developments in TT in terms of the materials/spin that is used. It doesn't help much if he only knows much about table tennis 20 years ago.

azlan
01-26-2012, 07:38 PM
@ azlan - those cameras are so costly as well. Phantom, Red One, and even the more expensive ones are each $50,000 USD plus. To rent one would be cheaper, but still quite costly as well as hiring those that are proficient enough at using the equipment.

Yeah I bet they're expensive Richard, but you gotta spend money to make money. It's a global federation this ITTF thing. Get sponsors, get the TT equipment manufacturers to spend. They've been raking millions around the world. It's time ITTF to think as a business entity, not just a federation. Do something. I am tired of seeing minuscule improvement for the last 30 years I've been playing TT.

Just look at tennis, when the pros come to town for a tourney, they play tennis on the street, roof top, visit children's hospital, signing autograph, have press conference after a match..and they do coverage and it's on the news. ATP, USTA, LTA...they're the ones who organize these events. They're bringing in money with the popularity of tennis. When they have money, they buy expensive equipment and technology to make tennis more interesting and watch able, which will increase the popularity even more, more companies wants to sponsor a tourney because they will get more air time, which results more prize money, and more kids wants to grow up to be a pro tennis player, and the cycle continues...more popularity, more money.

What did ITTF do? ITTV? Wow....we are really impress. Live TT on the telly? If you're lucky....

GabrielK
01-26-2012, 11:52 PM
Perhaps ITTF could consider having high definition camera so that at least the ball can be seen clearly. And at the start of each match, they can show the stats like the head to head record of the two players playing and their date of birth or something similar.

blahness
01-27-2012, 01:14 AM
How about making a player profile for each player?

For example: Zhang Jike:
Specialty: BH over-the-table loop, FH reverse serve
Strengths: power from both wings, good blocking and consistency in rallies.
Weaknesses: slightly slower in shot transitioning

Ma Long:
Specialty: FH 3rd ball attack, FH/BH deceptive flicks
Strengths: Fastest transitioning between shots, precise placement.
Weaknesses: BH power away from the table

Timo Boll:
Specialty: FH heavy spin loop, spin variation on shots, close-to-table counterloop
Strengths: Heavy spin rallies
Weaknesses: BH power

Xu Xin:
Specialty: big FH loop, short game, exceptional ball feeling
Strengths: Fast footwork, good tactics.
Weaknesses: Close-to-table rallying, shot transition speed, BH instability.

Matt Hetherington
01-27-2012, 02:54 AM
Why would you stop the live broadcasts to focus on post match production, there's no reason why they shouldn't be able to do both, the ITTF isn't small.

Azlan I don't actually know that much about editing videos my first one I just dived in the deep end and saw how it turned out haha

azlan
01-27-2012, 07:02 AM
Why would you stop the live broadcasts to focus on post match production, there's no reason why they shouldn't be able to do both, the ITTF isn't small.

Azlan I don't actually know that much about editing videos my first one I just dived in the deep end and saw how it turned out haha

Exactly Matt, it is the 21st century and we have satellites around the globe, or they don't know that yet...:)
I am working on my video from time to time, but the software that I downloaded is a load of rubbish. Still working on it though. :0
Thanx mate...

Dan
01-27-2012, 03:51 PM
3D tt coverage, when they can finally get around to making that possible I will be a happy individual. You could perfectly analyse players techniques in 3 dimensional! how awesome would that be. But a wee way off I think.

I think just making highlights of each tournament on the World Tour is a good step forward. I'm hoping to do that myself! :) I had done one for Hungarian Open, Slovenian Open is so close to it but I hope I can do it again :)

Haha that would be so awesome! Technology will peak at some point in our life time I think, so we may see it soon if production can be be made cheap. If one camera alone can produce 3D coverage, then its all possible! :)

Dan
01-27-2012, 03:59 PM
Incredible points! Love reading all the posts! Amazing concepts!

I think, the ITTF need to start building slowly. For example, jumping into a HD camera right away may not be possible, as their servers cannot handle the streaming if the visual pixel is to much to load for millions of users to watch at any given one time.

Perhaps, add more cameras to the streaming. So rather then 2 tables being aired... we have 5 tables being aired. This would bring in more views to ITTV as players from all over the World would tune in to watch their favourite players. Once ITTV is streaming 5 tables simultaneously running on air at one time. They can see how it all handles.

I think then bring in HD to the scene. This will really be beneficial for all users around the World. Could have a HD section and a low quality camera section for the users with low bandwidth. Perhaps they don't use HD because many users don't have access to Broadband?

But yeah, I like what you say Azlan, ITTF need to follow how the Tennis system works. They have mastered it!

Matt Hetherington
01-27-2012, 10:53 PM
5 ITTV tables...would....be......awesome :P

TT Guru
01-28-2012, 12:32 AM
5 tables streaming? That means I'll need 5 monitors! ;)

Matt Hetherington
01-28-2012, 01:59 AM
5 tables streaming? That means I'll need 5 monitors! ;)

and 5 eyes too? :P

azlan
01-28-2012, 05:29 AM
Oh yes, 5 tables would be exceptional. It was frustrating last night because the top players were not playing on the 2 show courts :) This also means I need faster internet connections.

As learning from tennis, I think it's the way to go. ITTF have to start, it does takes time, but they really have to start now.

Matt Hetherington
01-28-2012, 06:06 AM
Well everything will change with the ball anyway, maybe people won't want to watch anymore lol might be like watching the World Championships of Ping Pong where they use sandpaper bats

azlan
01-28-2012, 06:47 AM
ITTF have the knack to kill the joy of TT...They have lots of practice over the years :)

*Note to everyone, never invite them to your party...

Dan
01-28-2012, 04:38 PM
5 ITTV tables...would....be......awesome :P

For sure, so many games are missed as Azlan has mentioned. Even when the Quarter finals are on in better quality, they could run 3 of the usual cameras in normal quality so we can watch the other matches to. And especially other matches going on like the under 21's.


5 tables streaming? That means I'll need 5 monitors! ;)

Hehe or 5 browsers to destroy your Ram :P


Oh yes, 5 tables would be exceptional. It was frustrating last night because the top players were not playing on the 2 show courts :) This also means I need faster internet connections.

As learning from tennis, I think it's the way to go. ITTF have to start, it does takes time, but they really have to start now.

Yeah following tennis strategies and implementing their own is the way to go for sure :)

Table Tennis Reborn
09-03-2018, 04:53 PM
I have come across this topic and realised it was from 2012? I think things have improved, still no sign of some of the ideas though..