Inside the game: 24 Heures du Mans
France: Later today, the Sarthe race course will mark the start of the most prestigious sports car endurance race of them all: the 24 Hours of Le Mans. As French Correspondent, Fabrice Marinoni reports, in France, the race will be broadcast by the France Télévisions group (on France3), and by Eurosport International. Facilities provider Visual TV will produce the live HD transmission for this event.
In previous years, several OB trucks were used to provide coverage for the international signal and to film the pits, however this year Visual TV has pulled out all the stops by assembling all the production in its flagship OB truck, The Enterprise.
The 14km-long circuit is captured by 34 Sony HDC-1500 cameras. The vision mixer for the international signal is a Kayak 450 and a 250 will be used to follow the action in the pits.
HD cameras will be used for the first time. A total of 9 cameras will be embedded in the cars. They can all be remotely controlled, whether for colour balancing or for settings.
Relay antennas placed around the circuit capture the video signals of the on-board cameras, which are then sent via fibre to the OB truck, as has been done for the past four years.
Other Visual TV trucks will fill specific equipment needs such as a mobile unit with a studio, 5 cameras and a design facility for the sole use of Eurosport. France Télévisions will also have an OB unit for its own use.
“With the development of digital technology we are now able to provide new broadcast solutions alongside those already offered to television broadcasters,” says Fabrice Miannay, Visual TV Sales Manager for the 24 Hour Le Mans, and referring to the complete package solution ordered by Peugeot. In fact, the car manufacturer will use several video recording sources to transmit online as well as on-site at its headquarters. As a consequence, AMPI, a subsidiary of Visual TV, will handle the streaming of 8 video feeds for the Peugeot Sport website. The feeds will consist of, among other things, images from the cameras on board the team cars, the international production and the pits.
Not to be outdone, Audi with its three on-board cameras will provide continuous coverage at 12 reception points on the circuit.
“On the subject of 3D we will carry out some tests as we did last year. For example we use a 3D camera in one of the cars, but it’s true that, for the moment anyway, the length of the circuit and the complexity of camera positioning would make filming in 3D very complicated. The cost itself would also be very high. We’ll see what the future holds,” added Miannay.