AMPVISUAL TV capturing X-Games Tignes

“We handle three signal distribution services (feeds): the international signal as well as those for Canal+ and ESPN,” remarks David Fresquet, AMPVISUAL TV, production manager of the ski and snowboarding event currently taking place in France’s Northern Alps.

The Slopestyle and Superpipe events take place, respectively, in the morning and afternoon. A total of 34 cameras (of which some circulate and switch from one configuration to another) are used to capture the action; most are Sony PDW-HD1500 cameras, with Sony HDCP1 compact camera systems constituting the remainder.

A crew of 70 people works on the technical production of the broadcasting. Although the competition only lasts three days, the AMPVISUAL TV teams are present for about ten days for the set-up, competition and post-event dismantling.

Producer Stéphane Bouclier is at the helm for the international signal. Canal+ handles its own feeds, while ESPN employs remote production and switches cameras directly from the States.

“In order to [achieve this] we use Riedel VoIP 16-way fiber optic cards which are very efficient for transmitting the signals from the sources as well as the collective orders,” says Fresquet.

The X- Games are treated with rigorous attention by their co-producers, Canal+ and ESPN. By way of illustration, ESPN uses Follow Cams controlled by cameramen on skis to follow the athletes closely and capture footage of their aerial acrobatics.

AMPVISUAL TV – which is the service provider for ESPN for the third year running – deploys the OB unit VAN 11 and the City 1 van in Tignes. The units are complementary but City 1 is mainly used for fiber optic transmission of the signals for the ESPN production as well as for camera calibration. The I-Movix system is used for the ultra slow motion shots.

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