L-S-B VSM system specified for Fox Sports’ Hilversum playout facility
Fox Sports’ new playout facility has gone live at a new location in Media Park Hilversum, featuring VSM control technology from L-S-B. From the start of operations, Fox is operating and managing six channels of HD playout and nine online channels, with the capacity for future expansion.
Fox Sports is the largest premium TV channel in Holland with live sports coverage of Eredivisie & Jupiler League, Barclays Premier League, ATP tennis tournaments and Wimbledon, NFL, MLB and Formula E.
LDM Audiovisual Systems BVBA (L-S-B’s exclusive local partner for the BeNeLux) and UK systems integrator Broadcast Networks worked closely with Fox Sports to propose VSM as it offered freedom of control to manage resources and allowed complete dynamic assignment of operational positions. Fox used VSM’s ‘Boxing’ functionality, allowing any operational position within the playout centre to be assigned to any operational task. For example, an operational position could be set up for any workflow task through selecting a playout channel to be controlled, QC operations, monitoring, editing or ingest.
The user interface was designed to give a graphical representation of the facility so the operators could easily select their seat and assign the workflow, offering ultimate flexibility of space and resource.
The following devices are connected and controlled by the VSM system: X2 Imagine Communications Platinum IP3 Router (LRC Protocol over IP); Axon – Modular Glue (Axon Synapse Protocol over IP); Guntermann & Drunck – DVI Control Centre Digital (Guntermann & Drunck over IP); Imagine Communications SxPro 320 pictures (TSL5.0 over IP); and Pebble Beach Automation (Pro-bel SWP-08 Protocol over IP).
VSM played an integral role in operations by offering a fully automated interface to Pebble Beach Systems. Pebble Beach sent scheduled commands to VSM, which would trigger any number of events to any third party device connected to VSM. VSM also provided user interfaces to prepare channels offline and then move these into transmission when required.
A key task of VSM is providing a tactile and simplified user interface for full router control and representation of the router status. VSM also controls the audio shuffling on the modular equipment. Emergency override functionality is available on both LBP hardware panels and software panels, with a visual representation of the transmission chain showing the status of inputs and live signal path.
By controlling both the Imagine Communications Platinum IP3 Router in parallel with parameter control on the modular glue, VSM allows Fox to control their Logo inserters. L Bars graphics can also be inserted with both routing and parameter control. Fox has the option of recalling graphical presets, all of which can be driven from Pebble Beach automation.
Multiviewer layouts are graphically represented on the user GUI and default setups can be selected. Tally is used, for example, to show when a Harmonics Channel port is in record mode. Label transfer has been used and operators can use the induce label function to edit the name of label for a particular event. Ericsson, which is based in a different facility, also has the ability to label signals that will display on the multiviewer at Fox Sports.