NEP and Wimbledon Broadcast Services deliver extensive HDR coverage for The Championships 2024

NEP UK and Ireland is delivering comprehensive technical support for The Championships, Wimbledon 2024. Through its continued partnership with Wimbledon Broadcast Services (WBS), this year marks a significant milestone as NEP is supporting WBS with the provision of HDR content to more broadcasters than ever before, offering an enhanced viewing experience for tennis fans across the globe.

NEP UK is deploying outside broadcast trucks, including Ceres, Venus and Pacific, utilising IP technology equipped to handle the increasing demand for high-definition and high dynamic range (HDR) content. Notably, more broadcasters are utilising 50p HDR technology to provide an unmatched viewing experience.

NEP UK & Ireland’s continued partnership with WBS and end-to-end support of The Championships 2024 is made possible by the collaboration between the NEP and WBS technical teams, and the utilisation of NEP Group’s global production ecosystem. From OB trucks, to specialty camera solutions, to connectivity, to media asset management, live display and other broadcast services, the solutions combine to provide a seamless operation and broadcast delivery.

“Each year, our collaboration with WBS reaches new heights, and The Championships 2024 is another chapter in our long-time partnership, one where we’re delivering an in demand HDR viewing experience to audiences around the world,” said Sam Broadfoot, technical project manager at NEP UK.

“The relationship we have built with WBS is truly exceptional, and it drives us to push the boundaries of broadcast technology and innovation. This year, we’ve installed over 90km of cable, 150 talkback panels, 93 Sony cameras and 50 EVS machines. We’re extremely proud to have over 500 dedicated crew members onsite, all working tirelessly behind-the-scenes supporting WBS to bring The Championships to screens and platforms everywhere.”

Georgina Green, senior broadcast & production manager, The All England Lawn Tennis Club, said: “Our partnership with NEP continues to bring unparalleled technical excellence. Their dedication to quality and innovation ensures Wimbledon Broadcast Services is world leading in host broadcast production. Their broad portfolio of systems and products means they are always challenging us with new and improved solutions.”

Fletcher, a specialty capture division of NEP, is reintroducing its AI-powered automatic camera system, named TR-ACE, to capture the action on seven out of the 18 courts in 1080p SDR. The TR-ACE system, or Totally Realtime Automated Camera Engine, utilises image recognition and LIDAR technologies to autonomously track players on the court, allowing a single operator to handle and oversee the entire camera system.

Mediabank, NEP’s media asset management tool, is being utilised to elevate content management and distribution by providing remote access to match highlights, press conferences and other video clips for ingest, management and distribution to rights holders. A 10G link to Mediabank in Oslo is supplied from IMG via NEP Connect.

OBStv, a division of NEP Ireland, supported the qualifying matches with two dedicated OB trucks, providing essential edit and ingest facilities for the host coverage at Wimbledon. NEP Edit & Ingest is providing over 130 EVS products for The Championships and 1PB of central storage. This includes media asset management for over 10 onsite and remote rights holding broadcasters.

Creative Technology, an NEP Group Live Events company and longtime provider to The All England Lawn Tennis Club and WBS, further enhances the visual experience of The Championships and Qualifying Competition. CT is managing 106 LED displays across both events, including screens for Aorangi Terrace (Henman Hill) and the new Southern Village screen. In addition, CT London is overseeing the in-house IPTV system for 2,000 televisions around the venue and has recently installed an immersive projection experience in the players’ tunnel.

For the Qualifying Competition, CT collaborated with SMT to stream all 18 courts using UHD cameras and court microphones, providing feeds with scoring graphics for local broadcast and distribution to the main Wimbledon estate. CT is also collaborating with NEP to provide radio talkback and microphone facilities, ensuring smooth communication and audio capture for hosts, rightsholders and key personnel.

As part of its commitment to developing new industry talent, NEP has also launched an official technical operator training programme onsite. The 15-day programme includes training across various departments including cameras, audio and vision, with the goal of utilising one of the world’s most prestigious sporting events to engage and advance the next generation of broadcast professionals.

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