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Software Lets Users Catch Sports Highlights

The package, which applies an algorithm to try to "catch" goals and other highlights in sporting matches from recorded TV events, could prove helpful for people who can't watch sports scheduled in the wee hours, but want to catch up before dashing off to work in the morning.
TAIPEI, Taiwan — Just in time for the World Cup, multimedia software developer Cyberlink Corp. is releasing an analysis tool to identify sports highlights on recorded TV. Although not as important as the chips and beer, Cyberlink’s MagicSports could prove helpful for those in other time zones who can’t catch those Cup matches scheduled in the wee hours, and want to watch highlights before dashing off to work in the morning.

The software will also be handy for football diehards looking to make personalized highlights reels to pass along to friends, or for those who simply want to watch their favorite players score over and over and over. Most will.

MagicSports is based on object identification algorithms similar to those used in surveillance camera systems. It allows the software to isolate potential highlights scenes, such as goals, brawls, guys running around with their shorts off in celebration, and set them aside for consideration.

Earlier this week, Cyberlink released a beta version of MagicSports that was limited to playback only. Today’s full version lets users select highlights and mix them in a separate file that can be burned to CD or shipped to friends. Users will also be able to identify their own highlights, too, or reject those selected by the program.

In the coming months, Cyberlink will update the program to identify basketball, baseball, American football and even sumo wrestling highlights.

The program works as a plug-in to Cyberlink’s PowerCinema digital home platform, which ships with a number of desktop and notebook systems from Acer, Dell, HP and others. Most media-centric PCs should be able to crunch through an hour’s worth of video and identify the highlights in about 15 minutes.