Livesat invests for SD-HD transition; continues to boost sports coverage capabilities

Italian company Livesat is managed by its founder and sole owner, Dario Colombini, and has consistently invested in new technology in line with the changing requirements of the market. For example, notes Colombini, “early productions involved standard definition equipment, but now all clients want the work to be done in HD and this has led to continued investment.”

Today, three customers are at the top of the list, namely RAI, Sky and Mediaset. Livesat is very well regarded amongst the suppliers and makers of TV services in Italy and abroad, especially in sports and news.

Typical applications range from satellite transmission services for sports and news that involve a single camera, to a four-camera production, often combined with radio-camera link systems. These are often used in sports and coverage of the socio-political events where the cameras are to move within a large amount of public space.

Located in Livesat’s technical park are four medium sized OB vans, which are central to the realisation of much Livesat programming.

The smaller vehicle is a one-camera setup on a Mercedes Vito which is often used in the historical centres of large cities where space is always very limited. Here news and sports stories have to settle for very minimal areas for parking and operation.

The other vehicles are as follows: a two-camera facility built on a Mercedes Sprinter, and 6.50m in size; a three-camera OB van of 7.50m; and a four-camera OB van of 9.40m.

All vehicles are fully equipped with everything required for filming, audio and video mixing, and recording by EVS and BLT, including slow-motion.

These mobile units are often used to undertake external shooting based on 2-3 cameras and often on board is a journalist, sent directly by Sky, RAI or Mediaset, who is in charge of the event and the link. For the various mobile vehicles several cameras of different brands are used, namely by Sony, Panasonic and Grass Valley, all in HD.

Devoted almost entirely to sports broadcasting and journalistic stories, several vehicles often move together to different locations,. For example, a recent match day saw one vehicle in coverage of Santanchè (LA7 TV channel), another one engaged in a link with a senior coach, and a third one on the field with three cameras involved in customising the entire Turin vs Milan match for Sky.

Very often on Saturdays and Sundays these mobile control rooms are shooting football matches of Serie A and B and during the week the commitment continues and covers the games of the UEFA League or Champions League on international fields. These are all examples of TV programme customisations that are carried out by Livesat.

All mobile vehicles by Livesat are registered for the 35q and this allows absolute mobility on Sundays where the 45q vehicles are blocked by traffic rules and cannot move. This also allows unrestricted freedom of movement abroad.

Contrary to what happens for most of the companies involved in TV filming where mobile media are manufactured by specialised companies. In the case of Livesat all vehicles weremanufactured internally, including construction and engineering. This was made possible thanks to a close cooperation with two other sister companies capable of official certification under 4690 and 3712 law, including the ability to install antennas, TV equipment, electrical panels, and more general high-level integration duties.

“Customers [continually] tell us that in any situation we are committed and can always manage to solve the problem,” says Dario Colombini. “It’s not by chance that we have nearly two decades of technical expertise [to our credit].”

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