In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 40



Live Production from Grass Valley
With viewers now routinely time-shifting everyday television programmes, live events stand out as something special. Audiences expect the highest in production values, and this adds to the pressure of covering something that cannot be repeated. For a while, live production was almost entirely sports, but more recently entertainment events have been created to capture the excitement of live television. Programmes like The X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing depend upon the audience’s immediate reaction and voting, so have to be broadcast live. There are also the major occasions of state. Britain’s recent Royal Wedding was a massive outside broadcast undertaking, involving approximately 15 trucks and a vast number of cameras. Attracting the largest television audience ever, everyone involved in the coverage was acutely aware of the pressure of getting it right. Whether it is an outside broadcast or a studio show; a football final, Britain’s Got Talent or a Royal Wedding; the requirements tend to be the same. Top of the list is very high production values, which means many cameras, timely and informative graphics, replays and analysis, and switching with effects which contribute to the rhythm of the event. This means that, although the final output may be very different, the fundamental structure of the production infrastructure is largely the same: a large number of camera channels, including live slow-motion channels; servers providing instant access – including variable speed playback – to content just recorded and pre-loaded archive material; and a switcher capable of bringing all these sources, including graphics and stings, together in a form which is intuitive for the operator. video system cameras available. With one of the best known imaging design teams in the world, Grass Valley LDK cameras and accessories continue to break ground with innovation and creative ideas and they have captured some of the world’s highest profile, most prestigious events all over the world. One Grass Valley development has transformed the coverage of sports: the “live” slow-motion replay. This uses a special camera which shoots at three times the normal frame rate – 150 fields per second in Europe – feeding a specially modified server which captures this high frame rate. Shooting at three times normal speed means that the replay can be slowed up to three times while retaining a smooth and seamless quality. Just as the Grass Valley LDK 8000 Elite is the most popular HD camera for outside broadcasts and live production, the Grass Valley LDK 8300 Live Super SloMo Camera is the world standard. Applications for super slow-motion are now being extended from sport to entertainment. The LDK 8000 Elite and LDK 8300 share a common imaging system, so the cameras are of a uniformly high quality. Getting this quality back to the switcher is a critical part of any engineering planning, particularly as interest in 1080p50 grows, calling for 3 Gb/s digital links. 3 Gb/s links are also needed for stereoscopic 3D television, with two HD cameras routed down a single cable to ensure perfect synchronisation. Perceived wisdom was that 3 Gb/s digital signals required fibre optic transmission, but many sports venues are pre-cabled with triax, and most outside broadcast contractors have vast quantities of triax cables and other equipment which they are reluctant to replace. The engineers at Grass Valley’s Cameras Centre of Excellence in Breda, The Netherlands, tackled this issue. At NAB this year, the company launched 3G Transmission, a new system which provides exactly the same functionality – including two reverse video feeds, talkback and two-way data as well as 3Gb/s camera signals – on either fibre or triax. Fibre, of course, gives longer distances, but the new digital triax system actually extends the range of triax up to around 1,500 metres.
LDK Camera Base Station 3G TRIAX

Even though the production may be live, there will almost certainly be a huge requirement to record content. Viewers expect to see the key action from multiple angles, in real time and in slow-motion. As soon as an event is finished, they expect to see the highlights and the talking points. And the production team will also be required to produce summary programmes for later broadcast. To get an idea of how complex this requirement can be, look at the network that Dorna has put together for MotoGP. During the race it makes ISO recordings of 18 cameras around the track for instant replay at any time, together with a number of super slo-mo cameras. On-bike cameras are recorded, and the switched outputs from each of the two trucks are also recorded. In total, the server network is recording close to 20 cameras, some at triple speed, and live replays are happening all the time from any of those feeds. This content is of limited use just sitting on the server: it has to be identified and tagged so that it can be found quickly and replayed when required. Instant replays of critical action can be provided by quickwitted operators, but to make the best

Controllers use a touch screen for speed, and the Production Assistant runs on Windows computers to allow large amounts of metadata to be added. A single operator in the timekeeping office monitors and controls all the flows. On the tagging workstations, onscreen buttons are provided for each rider and for the common incident types, like pass, crash or wobble. With just a couple of touches on the screen an operator can identify a clip and add metadata on what happened, who was involved and a rating of the pictures. The time of day is automatically stamped into the metadata too. On a typical race day Dorna creates between 1,500 and 2,000 such clips. According to David Villavivencio, replay co-ordinator, “the best thing for me is the touch-screen monitor. When we are working live, we need to work very, very fast. We have trained 22 operators and they are very happy with Dyno. It is very easy to enter the metadata. You do not have to think where are the clips because you see the clips, you see the thumbnails. My little brother could use it!” The K2 media server network is based on open standards, so at Dorna’s request, Grass Valley developed a direct interface between it and the Apple XSan network which Dorna also carries to each event. This 64 terabyte store, running Apple Final

The recent UK Royal Wedding used more than 20 cameras inside Westminster Abbey alone. The 2010 FIFA World Cup had 30 cameras at each game for the match coverage, plus additional unilateral cameras for national presentation. Grass Valley offers one of the widest selections of high-definition digital

3G Fibre

use of this mass of exciting visual contact requires good metadata. The solution uses the Grass Valley K2 production server network, using K2 Dyno™ Replay Controllers for instant replays and K2 Dyno Production Assistant for tagging. Dyno

Cut Server, supports a network of 25 Final Cut Pro workstations which create all the different highlights packages. A rules-based engine determines which content to transfer from the K2


In Broadcast - May/June 2011

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of In Broadcast - May/June 2011

In Broadcast - May/June 2011
NAB Emerging From Behind the Cloud
Communicating With Your Market
Autoscript’s Rapid Reaction Force
Bringing It and Broadcast Together
Broadcast Batteries Today and Tomorrow
New Developments in Broadcast Subtitling and Captioning
New Developments in Fibre
Multi-Format Encoding
Live Production
Gekko Leds in Film and Broadcast
The Fibre Alternative
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - NAB Emerging From Behind the Cloud
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - Cover2
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - Contents
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 4
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 5
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 6
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 7
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 8
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 9
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 10
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 11
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 12
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - Communicating With Your Market
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - Autoscript’s Rapid Reaction Force
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 15
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - Bringing It and Broadcast Together
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 17
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 18
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 19
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 20
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 21
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - Broadcast Batteries Today and Tomorrow
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 23
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 24
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 25
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 26
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 27
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 28
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 29
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - New Developments in Broadcast Subtitling and Captioning
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 31
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 32
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 33
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - New Developments in Fibre
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 35
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 36
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 37
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - Multi-Format Encoding
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 39
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - Live Production
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 41
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - Gekko Leds in Film and Broadcast
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 43
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - Marketplace
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 45
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - The Fibre Alternative
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 47
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 48
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - Cover3
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - Cover4