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Undergraduate Students Develop UNC SportSync

Have you ever wished you could listen to radio announcers instead of the television commentators while watching a game? Many fans agree that radio play-by-play announcers provide more interesting and knowledgeable commentary for both pro and college sports events. The problem that prevents many fans from doing this is that the radio commentary and the images from the TV do not match, because radio signals almost always run 10-to-30 seconds ahead of TV broadcasts (which must pass through cable, satellite, or HDTV systems).

Three UNC computer science students have solved this problem and created a free way to sync your television and radio commentary. Michael Barlock, Patrick Waivers and Kartik Sethuraman created UNC SportSync in a software engineering class. In the class, people present ideas for projects and the student groups choose which projects they want to help develop.

“I was naturally drawn to a project involving UNC basketball! I was very excited about creating an application that would benefit lots of people - Tar Heel radio enthusiasts in particular,” said Sethuraman, one of the students who developed the project.

“I enjoy listening to radio commentators more because they are more knowledgeable about our team,” Sethuraman said. “They cover every single UNC game all season, so naturally they know more about the team than a television commentator who only covers a couple of Tar Heel games a year would.”

Brian White, the information technology director of the computer science department, pitched the original idea for UNC Sportsync. He said that he has used it to listen to every basketball game this season and is very pleased with the final product.

Barlock, Waivers and Sethuraman created a free user-friendly program that could be downloaded through the internet. There are similar products you can buy online, but they cost $60 or more. So far, UNC Sportsync has been downloaded 700+ times.

The latest version can be downloaded for free on the group’s Google Code page. http://code.google.com/p/sportsync/downloads/list.