FIRST Robotics Competition Blog

More Consistent Webcasting and a Few Event 'Carefuls'

Feb 27, 2017 Written by Frank Merrick.


More Consistent Webcasting

Working with our friends and FIRST alumni at Twitch, this season FIRST is piloting a program to bring a more standardized webcast set up to some official events. We aim to produce and broadcast a high quality, consistent video experience across multiple locations, and if this pilot is successful, we would like to expand the coverage next season. 

The broadcasts will be accessible through FIRST Channels on These channels will include,,,, and The primary channel,, will likely rotate through events when multiple events are being broadcast at the same time.

This year, the events that will be covered under this pilot are:

  • Lake Superior Regional (Week 1, Channel 1 and 2)
  • Central Valley Regional (Week 2, Channel 3 and 4)
  • Arkansas Rock Regional (Week 2, Channel 1 and 2)
  • San Francisco Regional (Week 3, Channel 3 and 4)
  • Greater Pittsburgh Regional (Week 3, Channel 1 and 2)
  • Sacramento Regional (Week 4, Channel 3 and 4)
  • Iowa Regional (Week 4, Channel 1 and 2)
  • Silicon Valley Regional (Week 5, Channel 3 and 4)
  • Buckeye Regional (Week 5, Channel 1 and 2)
  • Las Vegas Regional (Week 6, Channel 3 and 4)
  • MN 10,000 Lakes Regional (Week 6, Channel 1 and 2)

Depending on internet availability at each venue, we will attempt to have a multi camera view in addition to the “program” view. The program view is generally what is shown on the audience screen at the event, while the multi-camera view would show each camera in a quadrant on their own. You will note that the events list two channels for their broadcasts. If network capacity is sufficient, the program view will be on the lower numbered channel, and the multi-camera view will be on the higher numbered channel. If network capacity is insufficient, both channels will show the same program view, but the chat in the higher numbered channel will include more snark.*


Event ‘Carefuls’

From what we’re hearing, a number of teams and individuals are planning to really embrace our steampunk theme this year, which is great! A couple of ‘carefuls’, though. 

First, remember our requirements for safety glasses in the manual, rule S01. As the rule says, “All event attendees must wear ANSI-approved, UL Listed, CE EN166 rated, AS/NZS, or CSA rated non-shaded safety glasses while in the ARENA. Lightly tinted lenses are permitted provided eyes are clearly visible to others, but reflective lenses are prohibited.” Steampunk goggles may be a fun costume item, but unless they meet these requirements, you can’t wear them in place of your safety glasses. Welding goggles also do not meet the requirements, unless you can find ‘lightly tinted’ welding goggles, which I don’t think so.

Also, some of you may be tempted to bring fanciful weapons as part of your costume to events. Please rethink this, even if the weaponry is obviously non-functional. With over 140 events this season, many of which are in schools, you may be at a venue in which weapons of any kind (even obviously fake ones) are not allowed. Also, this is the kind of thing that can make people uncomfortable. We don’t currently have a rule against this, I’m just asking you to reconsider it. No one will get into trouble for not bringing a weapon, I can tell you that for sure.

Hope everyone is getting excited for our first official events this week!




*I’m joking about this.

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Will both live streams be automatically saved for the future?

In almost all cases, yes, the video will be immediately available for playback through Twitch's DVR interface.

Hello, is there any place in the Career's tab to apply/ look into this position? I currently attend college for Radio/TV/Film, and am wanting to go into a Broadcast career.  Thank you!


Hi Nicholas!

All our job openings will be posted here:

Good luck!

For the program view, can you stay with the wide angle camera next to the field and not use the other camera at the back of the arena? The camera next to the field has a much better view and it's sharper. Maybe tilt it down a bit to better see the near corners. Thanks.

Hi Michael.

Thanks for the feedback. This will be passed on for future events.


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