John de Mol relies on Infostrada and EVS to achieve content Utopia
Dutch video services provider Infostrada Creative Technology has selected solutions from EVS for a new Dutch reality TV format, Utopia. Integration between EVS’ XS Media Server and Infostrada Creative Technology’s online content management platform Centralparq enable continuous processing and delivery of audio and video content for the show.
Utopia is a new year-long social experiment reality series developed by Big Brother creator John de Mol and developed by Dutch media group Talpa. The show follows 15 inhabitants who leave their lives behind to move into an empty structure, along with limited amenities, with the task of creating an ideal community. The project requires more than 100 robotic cameras and 60 microphones for 24 hours a day in order to capture all the action from this evolving society.
Cameras follow the 15 inhabitants 24/7, allowing viewers to watch the ‘Utopian’ society develop both online and on television. EVS’ XS server is central to this process as it can record non-stop live HD-SDI signals for the entirety of the project. The XS server, supporting native XDCAM HD encoding, runs in constant loop record, encoding the incoming feeds to the internal server storage. Using EVS Xsquare, content recorded on the server is made instantly available on nearline storage for browsing, clip creation and delivery to third-party post production systems. Finished edits are used for the daily televised recap show and as exclusive content for Utopia passport holders via the show’s website.
Infostrada’s Centralparq system instructs Xsqaure’s API to automatically create and transfer 15-minute blocks of material to nearline storage, without any intervention from operators. Xsquare enables tight integration between EVS’ XS media server and the central storage, as well as with the automation system. The result is a fully automated and centrally managed production workflow.
“By incorporating EVS’ ingest solution, we were able to create a highly automated and extremely reliable workflow” explained Peter Bruggink, CTO at Infostrada Creative Technology. “We are certain not to miss a thing over the course of the year, and this is due to the EVS server which has unique loop recording so that content is captured continuously. The content can then be enriched for the television audience or the Utopia passport holders via the web.“
Since its debut in January, viewers can watch the Utopian society develop both on television (Dutch television channel SBS6) and online. The show has been successful with audiences to date and the rights to produce an American and a German version of Utopia have already been acquired respectively by FOX and ProSiebenSat.1.