Mario Sconcerti goes live for Sky Italy’s Football Show – from the comfort of his own home
Mario Sconcerti is a well-known Italian writer and journalist, contributing to the sports pages of the daily newspaper Corriere della Sera, and participating as the main commentator for Sky Italy’s Third Time – On the Air With Us.
In the past few years he has taken part in the programme Sky Football Show, which is broadcast on a Sunday. To allow him to go on air from his own home, a special service was developed based around the Eutelsat NewSpotter solution. The innovative system was assembled by M3Satcom, an Italian company whose solutions are structured around Eutelsat for satellite distribution, Interute for distribution via fiber optics, and Thomson for device integration.
NewSpotter is the service made possible by the integration of three lines of business: the teleport, the system integration and the outside broadcast. In fact, M3Satcom has invested over the years in technical structures with two teleports, one in Milan and one in Rome, interconnected via two-way fiber through Interoute (the two teleports are manageable as if they were a single location). The teleport is responsible for the services of DTH on 28° East, and particularly in the 9th slot at 13°, Hotbird, with a transponder operated by Milan with automatic redundancy from Rome, so as to negate almost all possible issues. In addition, all TV signals – radio, comms, business TV and in-store radio – are also managed on the 13° slot.
Contribution and DTT important tasks are handled through the 9° with multiplex by Elemedia and 12° West, used also by Europa7 (the channel which also transmits the Italian soccer Serie B in T2) and DAB. There are also occasional bandwidth services with a 24-hour web booking for bandwidth reservation.
The service section is based on 7 Outside broadcast mobile media in HD, while the business unit of system integration mainly relies on Thomson for the headend, and complete solutions for the design and supply of turnkey systems.
NewSpotter by Eutelsat is utilises a mobile vehicle that allows information packets to be delivered via optical fiber, setting up a connection between the most important broadcasters in order to convey the events from the original venue directly to the broadcaster’s studio.
Sky Italy had requested of M3Satcom a transmission system that would help to convey all contributions Sconcerti makes from his living room to Sky Sports programmes (for example, Champions League coverage). This service has been realised based on NewSpotter and the development of a flightcase that facilitates the internal management of all the transmission signals and return information. Meanwhile, a motorised camera allows the journalist to go live in an almost entirely automatic way – without any intervention from the main control room in the sports broadcaster HQ.
In practice, thanks to a simple sequence of switches, Sconcerti can turn on the lights of his ‘home set’, open up the microphone when he needs it, turn the encoder for transmission, and engage the Ka-sat modem. The result is a very practical, high quality solution that allows Sconcerti to contribute as and when desired, without the need for time-consuming travel commitments.