Broadcasters staying on the ball with VIDI signal distribution solutions

The current European soccer championship in France features an enormous media presence. Sports reporters are reporting remotely from the stadiums, team headquarters, temporary TV studies, and many other locations around France at all times of day and to all parts of the world.

This benefits all live reporting even if this is not apparent to audiences at home. Large rights-holding TV stations from several European countries are relying on the expertise and international experience of VIDI engineers for the coordination and technology involved in the unilateral signal distribution of their live reports.

The VIDI teams were on the road across Europe well ahead of the tournament to work with the various partners to set up the required technology. Locations include Evian-les-Bains on Lake Geneva, where the team headquarters for the German national men’s soccer team are situated. Additional technology was provided in Paris, Vienna, Mallemort, London, and Mainz. All connections were established on-schedule and were available to the broadcasters on time in order for them to commence their on-site reporting. The experienced VIDI technology team working under Jürgen Schwinge, Rainer Bernius and, for the first time, Tilman Oldelehr were responsible once again for all technical planning, engineering, and commissioning of all connections.

The overall project management, including contract negotiations with rights holders and sub-suppliers of VIDI, was handled by Robert Oszvald.

Signal paths for German rightsholders ARD and ZDF are: provision of 2 x 10 GB/s between the International Broadcasting Center (IBC) in Paris and Mainz; provision of 2 x 1 GB/s between the team headquarters of the German men’s national soccer team in Evian-les-Bains on Lake Geneva and the IBC in Paris.

For Austrian broadcaster ORF, the following signal paths are planned and technically implemented in cooperation with VIDI partner ORS; connection with 2 x 1 GB/s between the IBC in Paris and the ORF headquarters in Vienna. (For the European Championship 2016 in France, VIDI provides ORF with the set-up for transporting all match signals from IBC in Paris to the ORF master control room (MCR) in Vienna. Individual match signals are likewise routed for broadcast on ATV via a direct connection on the existing network in Austria over the MD8000 nodes to ATV in Vienna); connection with 2 x 1 GB/s between the TV studio of ORF in Paris, Champs de Mars and the Paris IBC; connection with 2 x 1 GB/s between Mallemort, the team headquarters of the Austrian men’s national team in the south of France, and the IBC in Paris.

The configuration and hardware set-up for video and audio data adaption was performed at all signal terminals.

Modular media links MD8000 frames were used for the transmission of HD H.264 compressed video, STM-1 data lines for commentator audio, and GbE data lines for data exchange, file transfer, and intercom.

The VIDI proprietary network management system VIDI NMS was used to manage the entire network. The system takes care of the complete monitoring and switching of all signals, and is permanently available to ORF and VIDI in the corresponding control rooms.

In addition, on behalf of large British broadcasters, VIDI has provided hardware for video and audio data adaption and set-up of equipment at locations of the Paris TV studio Champs de Mars, Paris IBS, and in London, working together with a national partner.

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