Ekstraklasa Live Park plans ahead for HDR production of the Polish premier league

Polish broadcast provider Ekstraklasa Live Park plans to produce live broadcasts of the Polish Football Premier League in HDR Ultra HD for the 2019 season.

To meet this ambitious production goal, Ekstraklasa tapped German integrator Broadcast Solutions to build out a new OB van to accommodate both HDR and SDR workflows. Several products from AJA Video Systems, including ten FS-HDR Frame Sync and HDR/WCG Converters, a Ki Pro Ultra Plus recorder/player, and Hi5-4K-Plus and 12GM Mini-Converters will drive and streamline the setup.

“When we started work on the new OB van, we initially wanted to introduce 4K technology to the Polish market. Since first seeing HDR images for the first time a couple of years ago, I felt that higher dynamic range and a wider colour gamut would have a bigger impact on viewers than just seeing more pixels on their screens,” explained Ekstraklasa Live Park CTO, Szymon Wramba.

Ten FS-HDRs installed throughout the truck will be used to handle HDR conversions and frame sync

Broadcast Solutions set out to build an HDR-equipped OB van for Ekstraklasa Live Park, which will be on display at IBC 2018 (Outdoor, O.E02). Ten FS-HDRs installed throughout the truck will be used to handle HDR conversions and frame sync up to ten simultaneous channels of UltraHD HDR, and Ki Pro Ultra Plus will support signal recording and playback. For simultaneous processing of multiple camera feeds and monitoring of HDR and SDR signals, the truck is also outfitted with AJA Hi5-4K-Plus and 12GM Mini-Converters.

The OB van will also be fitted with four new EVS  XT-VIA live production servers. To support the servers’ operation, the OB facility will also feature an IPDirector live PAM system, an LSM Connect and XFile3. The elements of the EVS workflow will be provided by EVS’ Polish partner, twenty4seven.

“Even though we’re producing in HDR, there’s still a demand for SDR production workflows. We need to be able to simultaneously produce 4K HDR and SDR signals, which means we have to be able to achieve conversions in various places across the signal chain.

“We tested many available solutions and in the end AJA FS-HDR seemed the obvious choice. Almost perfect conversion from HDR to SDR ‘out of the box,’ thanks to its Colorfront Engine, low latency and add-ons like frame synchronisation. The low cost of a single FS-HDR unit will enable us to design full HDR 4K support for each step along the production path where conversion is required. And if we ever need to deliver an HD signal, we can use the FS-HDRs for four-channel conversion out of each of our ten units,” concluded Wramba.

Rainer Kampe, CTO at Broadcast Solutions, adds, “In May 2018 we organised a workshop on HDR in Live Production Environments to show our customers the HDR solutions currently available on the market. One task was to give them an overview and to show them how the systems perform in a live environment. The AJA products came out as the solution with a plug-and-play approach, enabling fast and seamless HDR productions.”

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