TV Globo updates on ‘4K over IP’ truck progress ahead of Rio Olympics
At IBC 2015 Brazilian broadcaster TV Globo announced it would outfit the first 4K over IP mobile facility. Timed to be ready for the Rio Olympics, the truck is still on track and will be equipped with a Sony F65 and HDC-4300s. José Manuel Fernandez Mariño, director at TV Globo, says the investment is intended to futureproof the fleet “with the latest and best 4K technology and IP inter-connectivity”. In recent days, he has provided SVG Europe with a comprehensive update on the progress of the truck build.
TV Globo has previously said it would likely capture the Olympics in 4K for its unilateral coverage but transmit in HD. “At the moment, we’re working with three trucks – UM1, UM3, and UM7,” explains Mariño. “We’ve decided to replace the UM7 model with the 4K truck, which will be used primarily for the production of live sporting events. This includes football, volleyball and athletics, but will also be capable of handling other types of production, such as game shows and music concerts. The truck will enable us to produce 4K content which we can then distribute to viewers through various channels, including free TV (down-converted to HD), connected TVs (in both HD and 4K) and pay TV (also in HD and 4K).”
TV Globo’s existing fleet is equipped with dual production galleries, which work well on shows such as Carnival, where one gallery is deployed to cover the parade and the second to produce news content of the event. The trucks were also used to produce the multilateral feed for the preliminary and final draws of the 2014 World Cup.
The new 4K vehicle truck is a single expansion model capable of handling up to 20 cameras. Coachwork was built by Gerling Associates at Sunbury, Ohio, and is now in Rio de Janeiro, where it is undergoing systems integration. This is being carried out in TV Globo’s own systems integration shop in the Barra da Tijuca unit, inside Globo’s Projac Production Complex. The next step is to integrate the truck, and that will take place in April or May.
For the main stand camera TV Globo’s team selected the Sony F65 with a Canon Cine-Servo 17-120 lens. For close-up shots, it chose a Sony HDC-4300 camera with a Fujifilm UA80x9BE lens. The two off-side cameras and beauty-shot camera will be catered for with HDC-4300s and Fujifilm UA22x8BE lenses. For the cranes behind both goals, the facility will be outfitted with an HDC-4300 sporting 4K wide angle lenses and, finally, for slo-motion it will use an iMovix X10UHD with a Canon CN20x50 lens for hyper slow footage.
“The camera’s 4K signal feeds the IP RSW, which in turn feeds the two production switchers,” explains Mariño. “This then outputs the PGM A/B signals. When we’re using 4K we only utilise IP connectivity; however, the truck does have the ability to operate in HD-SDI if required.”
All sources which connect to the IP router also feed a separate HD-SDI router, which in turn feeds the HD-SDI inputs of the production switchers. “We can do everything that we do in 4K in HD and vice-versa – that was one of the main principles for this truck,” he says.
The complete equipment list of the new truck is as follows: 10 Sony 4K cameras; one iMovix 4K hyper-slow camera; four in-goal cameras (in HD-SDI); two RF cameras (in HD-SDI); seven 4K replay servers comprising EVS XT3 and Sony PWS-4500 units; two Sony MVS-8000X 4K production switchers; one 4K Chyron GC; one Studer Vista 10 audio mixing console; one IP router; one HD-SDI router; and one Clear-Com comms matrix.
As an aside, Sony is believed to be developing its own new high-speed 4K camera with the code name ‘Python’. This is not part of TV Globo’s current arsenal.
When it comes to HDR, Mariño is currently looking into this technology and acknowledges it won’t be deployed by the time the truck is introduced. “We always test equipment before we make an investment,” he says. “We tested the new cameras with the lenses both at the engineering lab and at the venues during sporting matches. We also conducted workshops with the cinematographers and TDs to determine the best possible configuration for each camera position to ensure we can achieve the on-air look desired by Globo.
“We’ve also carried out tests with the IP signal chain, including the sources, IP router and production switcher. When the truck is ready for delivery to sports operations, we’ll conduct a series of real life tests at the arenas, producing games in parallel to our normal HD-SDI trucks.”