Live from the World Cup: Sony’s Grinyer Discusses Key Role in HD Production

SVG had a chance to catch up with Mark Grinyer, Sony’s Grinyer who is Sony Professional Solutions Europe programme manager for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. During the tournament he is calling Hall 3 at the International Broadcast Center in Barra home as he overseas the massive technical support effort to make sure that Sony’s role as general contractor for the technical bits and pieces at the 12 venues goes off without a hitch.

Mark Grinyer of Sony says the World Cup is going well for the broadcast equipment supplier.

Mark Grinyer of Sony says the World Cup is going well for the broadcast equipment supplier.

“It’s been an interesting adventure for our crews as in certain areas they were fighting the environment like massive rains and thunderstorms,” he adds. The USA vs. Germany match in Recife on June 25, he says, stands out among the weather challenges.

Weather aside, it has been relatively smooth sailing at the venues with respect to the match production equipment that Sony provided and integrated.

“The feedback has been good, certainly from the directors and the MRLs who are very positive about the quality of support they are getting,” he explains.

As for the technical side of things Grinyer says they are going very smoothly as there is so much equipment on the ground that even in the event of an item needing to be replaced it can be done relatively quickly.

“The equipment has stood up pretty well as it is flown from a location that is hot and humid to one that is cold and dry,” he explains. “And it continues to do that loop.”

And beyond the equipment is the performance of the team.

“The Sony team has done very well and the guys in support have shown their worth and the engineering team has shown their strength, whether its the guys from the Eastern block or the Brazilians,” explains Grinyer. “We had lots of calls a day early in the tournament and now we are getting just one or two.”

Helping make everything work better was the decision to have much of the pre-cabling of equipment done in Munich earlier this year.

“The build in Munich was done with our team and that went quite well,” he explains. “And then it was on to Wales where the cameras were pre-checked to make sure they were working and there were no dead pixels. We only had seven days to make sure that 300 cameras but it went well as some of them had already been in the marketplace working on Premier League or Bundesliga matches.”

Grinyer is also quick to credit other sub-contractors, like Presteigne Charter, Studio Berlin, Outside Broadcast, and CTV Outside Broadcast as well for their roles providing equipment and support.

“We picked the best OB operators in Europe and that was a wise decision,” he adds. “And then there is the back-up support from our factory [in Japan] which is offset time wise by 12 hours but has given us everything they can.”

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