FormatFusion to the fore for Mediapro 4K production of El Clásico match

Mediapro Group has produced the first 4K version of El Clásico, the high profile football match between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona, using core SAM technology. The game was produced simultaneously in HD and 4K, the latter supported by a new mobile production vehicle equipped specifically for 4K.

SAM supplied its Kahuna 9600 enterprise level production switcher, along with the Maverik modular control panel. Kahuna’s FormatFusion3 technology enables multi-format operations, supporting any combination of SD, HD, 1080p (level A & B) and 4K. Mediapro had confidence that it could handle any formats without the need for external conversion. This meant not only cost savings but also faster set up times.

Sitting at the heart of the dedicated 4K mobile production unit, the Kahuna handled 4K signals from 10 Panasonic AK-UC3000 cameras, which supplied 4K and HD signals simultaneously. It integrated with five EVS XT3 servers, an XFile 3 system for file transcoding, a Sony PWS-4400 AV storage unit and a For-A FT-ONE for Super Slow Motion as well as graphics systems from Vizrt, which was controlled by SportStat CG application from WTVision.

Francisco José De la Fuente, CEO of Mediapro Portugal and responsible for the entire fleet of Group OB vans, said, “The Kahuna switcher combined with the Maverik panel is one of the most comprehensive solutions available on the market and it really came in to its own during this project. It was able to handle any and all formats that we needed so we had complete confidence during the live production process.”

Neil Maycock, EVP Marketing at SAM, said, “Sports is where we’re likely to see the strongest initial traction for live 4K production – recent activity in the US market echoes that — and Kahuna provides exactly the level of reliability that our customers need in this type of high pressure environment. There are challenges with 4K but our technology and experience is here to help our customers make a smooth transition.”

The 4K feed was made available worldwide via the Hispasat 1D satellite using MPEG-4 AVC (H.264) encoding. Movistar+ was among those providing 4K match coverage, delivered to its fibre pay-TV customers using the new HEVC (H.265) compression standard. The HD signal was distributed to 170 countries and an estimated audience of 600 million viewers.

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