Vidi announces successful completion of winter sports season 2020/2021

The FIS Nordic World Ski Championship 2021 took place in Oberstdorf, Germany from 24 February to 7 March

The trend towards remote production of TV winter sports events and the associated increased demand for broadcasting services raised new challenges to all involved in the winter of 2020/2021, working amid a pandemic.

Vidi has mastered these challenges and, with the successful finalisation of the Nordic World Ski Championships in Oberstdorf, has delivered the winter sports season with 100% overall availability.

ZDF, for example, has relied more than ever on remote production for the 2020/21 winter sports season. Usually, the Mainz-based broadcaster has its own OB van on location at prestigious events to pick up the signals directly from the host broadcaster. Not so this year.

“It was clear to us in advance that we would move the ZDF OB van to Mainz,” said Jörg Bößendörfer, technical director at ZDF.

This applied equally to the Four Hills Tournament, the Biathlon World Cup and the World Ski Championships. For the Nordic World Ski Championships in Oberstdorf, ZDF also set up the National Broadcast Centre (NBC) in the Mainz Broadcast Centre II. Here, Vidi came into the game for the contribution links; for the World Ski Championships in Oberstdorf alone, the video specialist from Darmstadt enabled 32 transmission lines, eight return lines, one MADI line and various data lines.

The large number of transmission lines was necessary for each venue, which is home to a World Championships with the cross country skiing and ski jumping competitions. “And the editorial pre-reporting also makes this necessary,” explained Bößendörfer.

In view of the growing importance of remote productions, the trend is towards even more bandwidth in the 10Gpbs range, as Robert Oszvald, director of event services at Vidi, outlined on the SVG Europe panel discussion at the Winter Sports Summit 2021, ‘Vendor Perspectives: Winter Sports Challenges and Opportunities‘.

In addition to staffing at the Vidi network operation centre (NOC) in Darmstadt, Vidi engineers were on site throughout the broadcasts. In Oberstdorf, Vidi was represented by its own staff, its own technology and its own OB van, and the counterpart in Mainz at ZDF was also manned by its  staff during the transmissions.

In the winter sports season 2020/21, Vidi realised a total of around 90 TV transmission lines in HD and UHD. The transmission time added up to more than 5,000 transmission hours.

In addition, the company provided various audio and data connections. All transmissions ran flawlessly and to the complete satisfaction of the customers. Vidi was on site at all locations with its own OB van and staff, and VISI NMS 2.0 was used for central monitoring of technology in use.

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