NEP’s remote solution for Aurora, North One and Extreme E survives Saudi Arabian desert
NEP Group has worked with Extreme E and host broadcaster Aurora Media Worldwide and North One, to create a sustainable broadcast solution that earlier this month brought the first Extreme E race held in AlUla, Saudi Arabia, into homes in 180 countries around the globe.
Designed to mirror Extreme E’s goals of marrying the latest technology with sustainability and building solutions to meet the rigours of the world’s harshest conditions, NEP’s broadcast services will be used by Aurora and North One at races in Senegal, Greenland, Brazil and Patagonia as the series continues.
Its complete end-to-end broadcast package includes a custom IP flypack, remote production solutions, crewing, satellite and fibre connectivity, edit, ingest, augmented reality (AR), graphics and specialty cameras.
Lawrence Duffy, managing director, Aurora Media Worldwide, said: “It was so rewarding to see all of the team’s hard work, dedication and ingenuity come to life. It was such a tremendous partnership between all of us – Extreme E, Aurora, North One and NEP – and it has really paid off. This is exactly what we wanted to achieve: a great marriage of sustainability and cutting-edge technology all coming together to create a really exciting production. We can’t wait for the next race.”
Considering the sustainability goals, COVID restrictions and challenging remote race locations, reducing the number of staff travelling to site was critical in NEP’s system design. Utilising a specialty IP flypack, NEP, Aurora and North One were able to connect each race location directly to their new UHD-ready centralised production facility in London, via satellite.
“Extreme E is a truly world-class event that is highlighting one of the most important challenges facing our planet and bringing it to a new audience in a really innovative way. It has been a thrill to see the solution that NEP, Aurora, North One and Extreme E have created come to life,” said Brian Clark, director of sales for NEP Major Events. “What we have created is not only at the very cutting-edge of technology, but it also delivers from some of the world’s harshest environments, all during COVID. There were certainly a lot of challenges to overcome, but the result is just fantastic.”
With over 30 different sources available in London, most of the production team is able to handle record, replay, edit, audio mixing, vision mixing and playout without having to travel to location. Additionally, specialty AR and graphics are handled in real time by NEP’s AR and GFX team at its production hub in Hilversum, again reducing the need for travel.
NEP’s team in The Netherlands developed several AR and graphics solutions for the broadcast production provided by Aurora and North One. Combining advanced drone and AR technologies, NEP worked with Extreme E, Aurora and North One to develop a solution for live mapping and overlays of the course that link back to Hilversum and then are made available to the production team in London, providing viewers with a unique experience.
It also used these AR and drone technologies in tandem with cutting-edge RF solutions to limit cable runs while still providing maximum and reliable coverage from the cars. This helps avoid use of fixed-wing or helicopter solutions, which have a far higher environmental impact.