Hype Train Football Club has just completed its first pre-season schedule and we're a matter of days before the start of our first season in grassroots football. Part of our journey as a football team, and equally as content creators, was to find a camera that would serve the needs of our team without distracting our pursuits on the field. VEO is one tool that has offered us a solution to film our matches without a cameraman, and we're happy to provide a review that focuses on the user experience of a powerful tool that has if given the right exposure, could elevate local football to new heights across the world. All aboard.
How will we be reviewing VEO?
We are a start up grassroots team based in Reading, England, with a small management team and 30 players on our books for a maiden season in the East Berkshire Football League. Our review is purely from the perspective of an amateur football team that is looking to create top quality, professional content that enhances the content on The Hype Train's website, which prides itself on its high quality graphics and analytical football reporting.
This review is also not in anyway sponsored and is our true reflection of our experience using VEO for the past few months during pre-season.
The full VEO experience:
The team here have had VEO on its mind for more than six months due to its ability to have its dual-camera and smart technology record football games and to follow the ball. There is a bit of foresight needed with buying the product. If like us you're a grassroots football team that doesn't have a few thousand pound spare, you'll need to save and work at making the product your own, whether through sponsorship or savings, with the camera and subscription package costing us just shy of £2,000 once VAT was included in the total.
Once ordered in time for our first pre-season game, delivery took less than 1-2 working days via DHL and came with a sturdy black travel case and a tripod stand is is deceptively large and heavy - please make sure that if you're travelling to away days with VEO that you plan the logistics of your journey. If you've a small or normal sized car, the back seats will need to come down due to the length of the standard size tripod.
The tripod (we opted for the 3.8m one, rather than the larger 7.3m version), like the camera, is suited in all weather conditions and incredibly steady - if a ball is kicked against the base of it, the tripod stand won't budge an inch. We also had reservations about theft due to the cost of the product, but in reality the size and weight of the product once erected means that nobody can move the stand once planted.
VEO on match days:
- Pack up VEO and your football gear (back seats down to accommodate the tripod)
- Turn on the camera and attach it to the tripod (1 minute)
- Set up the camera a few feat away from the middle of the pitch (1 minute)
- Connect your phone to the inbuilt WiFi (20 seconds)
- go to the website (cam.veo.co) and align the cameras (20 seconds)
- Press record (you can then go off the web page and back on to other available WIFI or your data)
- When the game is finished, press the red stop button and save the file.
- Turn off the camera and pack away (2 minutes)
VEO's post production:
- Once home from the match, plug in the camera with the provided ethernet directly in to the modem or the source of your internet. The match then automatically upload. This process takes a few hours depending on your internet connection, so if you're powering your connection with crocodile clips in the countryside, this process might take a while.
- The match is uploaded to VEO via the cloud and their 'robots' go through the video and tracks the ball. After 24 hours (sometimes less) the match is made available on the VEO app (and website).
- Once uploaded, the internal storage of the camera goes back down automatically.
- Make sure to fully charge the camera after use.
- By this stage, VEO's friendly team will have set your team up with a user account for your team and you can then watch the match full in its entirety. Depending on what subscription package you purchased, you can download the full match, or infinite clips.
- You can then mark individual highlights from a game, from shots that are well wide, to fouls, good pieces of interplay, or anything your heart desires.
View our VEO gallery below:
How do we rate VEO as a product?:
As a big investment for our team, we used VEO for all seven of our pre-season games this year and the camera has lived up to its lofty expectations on every occasion. We haven't encountered any technical issues other than a slight purple hue in the right lens, an imminent fix, and the quality of the matches that are presented by VEO provide a professional feel to all recording, done in part by the elevated camera and the smart technology and zooms in and out from play automatically.
VEO doesn't lie or deceive about the quality of its products either. The actual green camera is small, lightweight (900 grams) and can be easily stored in its stylish black travel case. The quality of recordings has been nothing short of exemplary, whilst the set up of the camera takes just minutes and is a straight forward process - you'll be a pro after your first recording.
Regarding the camera, there is also 64GB of storage. Each match we've recorded runs for just over two hours, which is typically 15GB of storage with 4 hours of battery life when fully charged. You can easily store 3-4 matches at once on VEO before uploading the data. Matches are made available within 24 hours too, so the processing time is quick and efficient.
As a club, VEO has allowed us to record our matches whilst focusing on the game. Once the recording button is pressed, it is an afterthought and takes away the stress and demands of running a team that provides extended match highlights across various social media channels and YouTube.
Our favourite part of VEO is not only the compliments and excitement we get on game days about the camera from rival opposition and referees, it is the VEO app where our club's matches are stored. Going through match footage and marking highlights is easy, even for first time users. Downloading clips for external use is even easier. Switching views from the interactive and panoramic views)add to the depth of analysis you can gain from a match.
Providing individual and group player analysis is what has set us apart from any other team as grassroots level in the Berkshire region. There is no hiding place for our team as every second is captured on camera. In turn, this has created a positive atmosphere with players who want to learn and develop their skills and can accept both their flaws and skills on the field. We can provide players with detailed analysis and statistics about their own performance and areas for improvement or applause. It's this level of detail that we hope will give us the edge over the course of our first season that will help with every tactical area both on and off the field - none of this would be possible without VEO, which makes it worth every single penny.
A unique selling point of the VEO product is that is can be used as an incentive for player recruitment, be it for retaining players, or sourcing new players for your club. Every single member of our club is overly-enthusiastic about their matches being filmed, and is a great tool for great bonding as players regularly talk about clips and highlights from the last week.
There is also the matter of the team at the Danish company. All areas of the sale process, customer service and after sales has matched the quality of the product. Every query is quickly responded to and the team share your enthusiasm for the product and your club. This level of service is necessary when dealing with a service that requires an annual subscription charge.
Things to be aware of with VEO for new customers:
- Don't be put off by the instructions. All you need to know is that the camera needs to be plugged in to the modem to upload. There's only one other cable, which is the charge lead. You can't hook the cables in to a computer or laptop.
- From experience, the trade off with good video capture and the technology that VEO uses, is that the sound quality is very quiet and it takes a lot of editing to move away these limitations, if like us you're a content creator that wants to bring the audio to life. The team here at Hype Train HQ are adept at Adobe packages that can increase the audio gain and channel levels of the footage, though this might not be something you have available to you.
- Additionally, in windy conditions the camera can pick up a lot of the wind which can distort or distract from the game when listened to at full volume.
- When left in hot conditions outside, or charging, the green camera box can get slightly warm/hot. This is normal.
- If there are multiple balls in play, VEO can get distracted. We had an instance in one game where we had a corner kick, but in the far distance a young boy and his father were kicking a ball. The VEO camera will gravitate towards the father/son moment. It's best that if you film with VEO that you tell people to only play with other balls behind the camera, or at some point it will be fighting for the camera's attention.
- With one camera pointing to the left of the field, and the other the right, ther is a blind-spot in the bottom that merges. This creates the slightest of blurs, but it doesn't stop players transitioning from one camera to the next.
- We'll repeat this again as it is necessary. The tripod takes up a lot of room in a car. Seats will need to come down. Room will need to be made.
- Get your team involved. You can sign people up to your VEO account if you know their email addresses so they can mark their own highlights against your videos.
VEO: A Summation
We all live in an age of creating accessible and innovative content, and as a website that is aiming to to just that, VEO aids our pursuit of creating a professional footballing product at an affordable price. From making to editing with VEO, you're essentially a Director on set without much responsibility.
We mainly use VEO to record our matches so we can create highlight packages for our YouTube channel and for our site, with reception from ourselves, our football team and rival opposition all positive about the camera, its easy set up and the quality of the footage. It is the product that we've been waiting for and central to our team's long-term development and match-day experience.
If you're an aspiring team like ourselves, or an established grassroots club that are interested in what VEO has to offer, I'd highly suggest going to their website (veo.co) and speaking to one of the team. All aboard.
Want to know more about The Hype Train?
The Hype Train is an entertainment website founded in 2015, specialising in Fantasy sports reporting, starting with Fantasy Premier League (FPL), before expanding to MLS Fantasy coverage in 2018.
We pride ourselves in providing beautiful graphics, statistics, in-depth analytical reporting and free weekly insight for hopeful players attempting to climb rankings tables. We are also occasional media reviewers, with a keen interest to review games, live sport, and professional wrestling.
In 2019, Hype Train Football Club was formed, becoming the first Fantasy Football website to take to the field. HTFC is a socially active team across social and web channels, providing regular match highlights, match reports, comprehensive player statistics and unique player profiles.
The Hype Train were nominated and shortlisted for the 'Best Football Blog' in 2016 by the Football Bloggers Association at their annual Football Blogging Awards (The FBA's), and were again shortlisted as a finalist in 2019 in the 'Best Fantasy Football Blog' category.
You can follow us on Twitter, Like us on Facebook, follow Hype Train FC on Instagram, subscribe to our YouTube channel for exclusive content, or visit our website here at www.thehypetrain.co.uk