Hit the Roof on target for archery coverage with Blackmagic Design

The Winter and Summer Olympics are not only a chance for world records to be broken, but also offer a global platform for sports that otherwise rarely make the ‘mainstream’ headlines. All of these sports have active, established sporting calendars including World Championships and international tours. If promoted correctly, these events can convert spectators into longterm, active fans. The challenge is how to maximise event broadcasts, while working within tight budget constraints.

Hit The Roof is a Swiss video production consultancy, which specialises in exactly this. “Not every sport has a huge budget so we build reliable flyaway kits for live production, that stand up to gruelling touring schedules and produce high quality, engaging footage ready for national and pan region sports broadcasters,” explains Cédric Roger, director, Hit the Roof.

While each flyaway kit is tailored for the particular sport, Blackmagic Design’s routers, monitoring and capture solutions play a central role in the production workflow. This includes the Blackmagic Design Smart Videohub router, HyperDeck Studio Pro for capture and Blackmagic SmartView for high quality monitoring in the field.

“As well as being very compact and affordable, the amount of features and ease of use of products such as the Blackmagic SmartView and Videohub has meant that we can reduce the manpower required to support these tours, whilst maintaining a very credible and solid broadcast quality product for our clients.”

Broadcasting the World Archery Federation

A notable success is the World Archery Tour, which includes World Cup events in Shanghai, Turkey, Columbia, Paris and Poland, junior competitions and the World Championships, held in Turkey in September 2013.

Hit the Roof has worked alongside the World Archery Federation for six years. From the outset, the aim was to produce content that would make a great TV event.

“The flight case had to be able to support live HD broadcasting of qualifying and final rounds, as well as provide footage for 26 minute highlight programs. The content went to national and pan regional broadcasters such as Eurosport, Setanta Asia and Fox Sports, as well as being live streamed on the Federation’s website,” explains Cédric. “We had an eight HD camera set up, with a Blackmagic HyperDeck Studio Pro, recording in ProRes to capture the volume of footage we needed. The HyperDeck really functions as the backbone of the kit, as the dual SSD slots mean we can record continuously, which is critical for a sport such as archery, where there are lots of competitors shooting in quick succession.”

The Hit the Roof crew is responsible for producing ready for broadcast footage, including added value content such as graphics, openers and downstream commentary. More than 2500m of cabling was used for the archery tour, together with a large number of Blackmagic Design’s Mini Converters HD-SDI, to support broadcasters’ set-ups.

“Budget is always a key factor when devising the kits, but Blackmagic products ensure that the quality of footage stands up against coverage being broadcast from other sports,” concluded Cédric. “A great recent example was on Eurosport, where in between F1 qualifying rounds, it showed an hour of the Archery finals from Paris. The production budgets will have been worlds apart, but viewers wouldn’t have noticed the difference. That is testament to what can be done with choosing the right products to showcase your sport.”

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