Sport Production Summit: BT Sport and partners to discuss Ultra HD channel launch

BT Sport has dramatically raised the bar this summer with the launch of Europe’s first Ultra HD channel, and taking over as the new UK home of UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League football from the start of the 2015/16 season. The sports broadcaster has been busy preparing studios and infrastructure for both, and SVG Europe’s Sport Production Summit September 10 provides the first platform for BT Sport with key partners to present innovations behind this giant step up to Ultra HD broadcast production and distribution.

Joining SVG Europe Moderator Will Strauss on stage for ‘BT Sport Ultra HD: Europe’s First 4K Channel’ at the NH Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky will be BT Sport Chief Operating Officer Jamie Hindhaugh along with key partners Eamonn Curtin, Telegenic Commercial Manager; Duncan Foot, MOOV Managing Director; Mike Fredriksen, RT Software Commercial Director; Dan McDonnell, Timeline TV CEO; and Steve Plunkett, Ericsson Broadcast and Media Services CTO.

Ericsson recently signed a multi-year broadcast and media services deal with BT Sport to help launch three new television channels and an interactive red button service in the UK. Ericsson will be responsible for designing, building and running BT Sport Europe, free-to-air service BT Sport Showcase, and BT Sport UHD. BT Sport UHD will be the first ultra-high-definition channel to launch in the UK and will feature live football and other premium content.

Ericsson will also help to deliver BT Sport’s new BT Sport Extra red button service, which will enable viewers to choose between eight UEFA games broadcast live simultaneously – including UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League games. As part of the deal, BT Sport has also extended Ericsson’s existing six-year contract for BT Sport 1 and 2 by an additional three years. This contract includes playout and media management services and access services for both channels.

Graphics and augmented reality

With four studios and seven production galleries BT Sport is able to offer a huge amount of daily output, all supported by MOOV’s on-site graphics team. The services provided by MOOV for BT Sport are extensive, centered around its own SportPlayer graphics interface. This system handles various incoming data feeds, including live football and rugby stats from Opta, to help manage the sporting databases and provide a broad range of live on-air graphics.

Additional functionality has been added to handle various social media streams including Twitter and online polls from service provider Mass Relevance.

The whole graphics infrastructure is supported by Chyron Hego’s BlueNet workflow solution which includes a Camio Media Server and twelve CGs, all backed up by a disaster-recovery solution based at BT Tower.

BT Sport recently selected RT Software to provide augmented reality graphics for the studio coverage of its brand new UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League shows. The news follows the recent announcement that BT Sport will be the new UK home of UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League football from the start of the 2015/16 season, following a tender process in which BT won the exclusive live broadcast rights to cover all 351 matches.

BT Sport undertook a thorough investigation back in April, to explore all of the augmented reality graphics options available in the market place, with RT Software’s tOG-VR3D chosen as the winning solution for the studio graphics. RT Software’s tOG-VR 3D solution was designed specifically to meet the live graphics needs of the most demanding broadcasts. The package selected incorporates the delivery of a three-camera VR studio with n+1 redundancy and as well as services to commission the VR studio with BT Sports’ chosen camera tracking technology from Ncam.

Telegenic and Timeline TV

OB and post provider Timeline Television has designed and built the first purpose built Ultra HD 4K outside broadcast unit in Europe. The new unit was built in conjunction with BT Sport, which has awarded Timeline a four-year contract for the provision of Ultra HD 4K OB’s to provide content for the new BT Sport Ultra HD channel.

The first UHD broadcast will be the Community Shield between Arsenal and Chelsea this weekend. UHD events will be broadcast throughout the year, each week, and will include UEFA Champions League, Barclays Premier League, FA Cup and Aviva Premiership Rugby.

Timeline’s bespoke 4K truck will feature twelve of Sony’s new HDC-4300 2/3 inch UHD 4K cameras, Sony’s UHD 4K PWS-4400 server, the world’s first Fujinon UHD 4K 2/3 inch, 80:1 box and 22:1 ENG lenses, as well as a host of top of the line 4K equipment from Snell, Grass Valley and Axon.

Jamie Hindhaugh recently told SVG Europe, “Telegenic have been absolutely key in the development of our 4K path. And we’ve also commissioned our own 4K truck build via Timeline. Timeline works very closely with us on things like RF enablement, and they have that agility to work alongside Telegenic.”

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