French Open: evolution not revolution as EVS assists FTV logging, low-res transitions
The broadcast workflows implemented for the 2014 French Open evince a considerable consistency with those seen at the 2013 event. But guiding SVG Europe around a distinctly rainy broadcast compound on the second Wednesday of this year’s tournament, EVS sales manager France Eric Karcher does highlight one notable change in the content logging procedures of host broadcaster France Télévisions.
EVS has been a key technical supplier at the event for well over a decade, and Karcher recalls that the company suggested that FTV implement EVS IPDirector nearly ten years ago. “At that time they were not ready to go down that route and IPDirector was not entirely adapted to their requirements, so they used their own system and XML transfer to the database,” he says. “As of this year, they are still using their own system, but are crossing all metadata to our IPDirector database. Using the new Version 6, the FTV team starts the tournament recording and logging eight courts – that is gradually reduced to two then one as the tournament draws to a close.”
Low-res files are no longer being created with multiple EVS XT servers – instead, the low-res is now being produced entirely using a powerful PC and EVS XTAccess gateway software, which was developed specifically to facilitate flexible transcoding and wrapping. “Every high-res file is streamed to storage, and at the same the XTAccess software creates the low-res; FTV is working at H.264 and 3 Mbit/s for this,” says Karcher. “All workflow for browsing uses the low res only, and as soon as the editor requires the high-res this can be generated automatically in IPDirector.”
Advantages of this approach include reduced rack space, but Karcher observes that “due to the durability and proven reliability of our servers, many of our partners, including France Télévisions, are still working with XT servers, as well as with the latest XT model, which was used for the 4K production. This latest model is available in two versions, a 6-rack unit with up to 8 HD/SD channels and 4-rack unit with up to 7 HD/SD channels.”
The latest amendments to the workflow might not be earth-shaking, but they do attest to the strength of the long-term collaboration between EVS and FTV. “It’s a great cooperation that has been running for well over a decade now,” affirms Karcher.