TV 2 creates multiple offsite production capabilities for control rooms
When COVID-19 hit Norway in March TV 2 started working on a contingency plan in order to stay on air even if their facilities became a COVID-19 hot spot. TV 2 news editor Karianne Solbrække said: “I believe this is the first time a broadcaster has been able to create multiple offsite control rooms locations for their live sports and news broadcasts.”
In order to ensure continued operations of all of TV 2’s publishing platforms TV 2 set up multiple offsite control room locations that piggybacked on internal workflow solutions and hardware. According to CTO Svein Arne Hammersland: “The internal infrastructure and resources in both the technology and production department enabled us to create offsite workflows for our control rooms within a week.”
The main focus was at first for news production but has since also been tested for sports and current affairs. Hammersland said, “This was a complex task as our offsite control rooms need access to the same technical infrastructure and production sources as our internal control rooms.”
TV 2 utilised this solution on March 19, one week after Norway was put under strict COVID-19 regulations by the government. The first broadcast with the offsite control rooms utilising internal technology was performed over 4G.
Jens C Knudsen, VP production said: “The first production had full backup in an internal control room where we monitored the offsite production, but the offsite production workflow performed flawlessly.”
Utilising internal technical control room resources from multiple offsite location requires a lot from the end user. TV 2s offsite design requires the offsite director to handle more setup, config and technical testing prior to production alone.
According to Knudsen this requires an in-depth technical knowledge from the directors involved in offsite production as they don’t have direct access to any technical assistance. “The idea for the offsite workflow was to give TV 2 the ability to stay on air with very limited resources hence the directors have to be self sufficient all the way.”
Access to similar projects TV 2 has done lately was key in creating the multiple offsite control rooms. Just last year TV 2 designed a new cost effective remote workflow for their production of the national hockey league for TV 2s OTT platform, which produced 225 games.