Wimbledon 2018: NEP UK deploys Axon Cerebrum for IP workflow control and monitoring

Inside the host broadcast operation at the 2018 Wimbledon Championships

NEP UK has deployed Axon’s Cerebrum platform to control and monitor the complex IP workflow which is being used to deliver technical Host Broadcast Services for The AELTC Championships taking place at Wimbledon this month.

This year’s tournament, which is believed to be the world’s biggest fully-IP sports production, will see NEP’s two new state-of-the-art IP OB vehicles in action paired with a huge modular custom-designed fly-pack to provide the core IP infrastructure and technical facilities. Together the systems become a single integrated solution, allowing greater integration of multiple concurrent feeds and sharing of sources to broadcast the event to an audience in excess of 1 billion in over 200 territories.

The complex IP infrastructure, which simultaneously offers dual level UHD, HD-SDI, SDR UHD and HDR UHD, required a reliable and comprehensive control system to seamlessly integrate and manage the latest technologies from GVG, Arista, EVS, Phabrix, Calrec and Evertz in a unified IP workflow.  Following extensive trials last year, NEP selected Axon’s Cerebrum as its chosen platform.

“Cerebrum provides both power and flexibility and scales effectively to allow multiple users on the system,” said Gareth Phillips, head of vision and VT for NEP UK.  “It simplifies our workflow by minimizing engineering bottlenecks and is easy to configure at speed.”

Three main Cerebrum systems will be deployed within the two trucks and fly-pack, featuring a total of 150 hardware control panels. The fly-pack will be later split into four configurable systems. Each Cerebrum system allows rapid configuration and wide integration of 3rd party technologies with comprehensive tally management – all through a customizable user interface.

“In a fast-paced production environment, familiarity and ease-of-use for our skilled operators is critical. This is where Cerebrum comes into its own,” Phillips explained.  “It gives us a really simple user-friendly graphical interface that enables the crew to get their heads around the workflow, to customize it and quickly preconfigure a show file to be pulled up later.  They can get to work and focus on the production, without concern for the complex and changing technology layer underneath.”

Adrian Richmond, sales director UK, Ireland and Africa, concluded: “IP offers true interoperability and scalability for production but it requires a control system capable of managing the complexity.  We’re delighted that NEP has chosen Cerebrum to deliver control and management within their IP infrastructure.  With operational familiarity and such ease of use, Cerebrum is becoming the de facto standard in production worldwide and will help ease the adoption to IP and the benefits that move delivers.”

The two 24-camera multi-cast trucks – Venus and Ceres – have already been successfully deployed at major events, including The Royal Wedding, and will be in action at various prestigious sporting events this summer.

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