In Broadcast - July 2012 - 25
ISSUE 10 - JULY 2012 | WWW.INBROADCAST.COM
London Games Broadcast Infrastructure Cont.
IBC in either analogue or AES/EBU format. Everyone else gets 5.1 audio in MADI. OBS’ strictures can be demanding. One of the main issues that Wimbledon faces, for example, in its transmutation from host of the Championships to Olympic venue 16 days later is having to build new commentary positions, as none of its existing 120 meet the spec.
While plans for London 2012’s 3D coverage hardly live up to the now forgotten hype of it being the ﬁrst 3D Olympics (the ﬁrst Digital Olympics seems to be the sobriquet that has stuck as we get closer to the event), nevertheless its plans for 230 hours of 3D comfortably break the existing event record held by Roland Garros. 33 cameras, a mix of rigs and integrated units, will feed a 3D channel with English commentary that starts at 09.00 and runs for 16 hours a day for the duration. Up to 11 units will be deployed at any one venue, most of which will be sensibly within the Olympic Park, while three dedicated trucks are being ear-marked for the coverage as are six ENG crews (presumably this is where Panasonic’s integrated AG-3DP1 camcorder will really come into its own). The 3D operation will have its own production centre located within the IBC, while coverage is planned to include the opening and closing ceremonies, athletics, gymnastics and synchronised diving, with canoeing and more aquatic events mooted. An even more limited programme is understandably being planned for the major industry advance of the 2012 Games, namely broadcasts in
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A dozen EVS XT3 servers will supply storage
via the Avid Interplay Production Asset Management system, which will be the largest such installation Avid has delivered to date. The media server itself is composed of 12x EVS XT3 servers dedicated to live feed recording, and is coupled to a live-centric nearline storage server based on EVS XStoreSAN technology which offers a capacity somewhere north of 360TB and enables the browse and exchange of those 5,600 hours of HD content. Also deployed in anger for the ﬁrst time will be EVS’ new web-browsing interface, IP Webbrowser, which allows production teams to review and select media hosted on the central server – based on auto-generated proxy ﬁles – via the web. Given the growing interest in remote production of such events, it’s a development we could see a lot more of by the time Rio 2016 rolls around. File transfer and access between EVS and Avid should hopefully be seamless. Additionally, based on the EVS servers’ hybrid networking operation system, all live recorded content will be fully controlled using around 50 seats of IPDirector for highlight editing, initial logging, and fast turnaround media exchange with the IBC-based production teams.
the UK-based SIS Live, that’s what you’ll ﬁnd onboard. Camera positions, especially for the non-stadia events such as the eventing and road cycling, have been decided after multiple surveys, which commenced soon after London won the 2012 bid and were actually locked down after 2011’s test events. They include both positions for the multilateral feed, plus unilaterals available ‘for hire’ to RHBs. One area of significant development since Beijing has been in the ﬁeld of Ultra Slo-Mo (or High Super Slow Motion cameras as OBC likes to refer to them). Somewhere between 40 and 50 of these units will be deployed, supplied by a mixture of NAC, LMC and DVS, which OBS will drive at anywhere between 600 to 1000fps depending on the sport and lighting conditions. OBS also plans to utilise a number of what it refers to as ‘innovative camera systems’ as part of its overall production plan, though the details of what exactly those units are are being kept ﬁrmly under wraps.
It is though planning a lot of aerial work. According to documents released to the UK aviation community, cable cameras will be installed at Eton Dornay for the rowing, Hadleigh Farm for the mountain biking, Hyde Park for the triathlon swimming, Greenwich Park for the equestrian, and Lee Park for the slalom canoe. Tethered balloons will also be deployed at Greenwich, Hadleigh and The Mall (cycling and athletics).
For the main Olympic coverage, 5.1 surround is being deployed again throughout, with the digital workﬂow put in place for the Beijing Games this time extended out to remote sites and OB trucks. Partly this has been made possible by the proliferation of digital routers installed in the current state-of-theart trucks, which are closely tied to the new generation of digital consoles. This has also meant that less audio control rooms have had to be built at the IBC this time round. International Sound for Radio (ISRA) will be produced as stereo only, and will be available to the RHBs in the
Panasonic is, of course, an ofﬁcial sponsor of the Games, but production realities mean that the headline ﬁgure of 1000 HD cameras being used will be spread right across the manufacturer base, with the usual suspects – namely the Sony 1500 and the Grass Valley LDK 8000 – heavily represented amongst the workhorse units. Certainly if you examine the rosters of the main OB companies involved with the Games, such as Belgium’s Alfacam – the single largest OB provider – and
ENG in 3D with the Panasonic AG-3DP1