SIS LIVE in full bloom at Chelsea

Elsewhere in the broadcast industry, SIS LIVE continued its long tradition of providing technical services for the BBC at the annual Chelsea Flower Show with involvement in coverage of the 2013 event. This year the show was presented via 15 episodes screened each afternoon and evening on BBC1 and BBC2, with additional material made available via the Red Button.

Programmes were created on site by one of SIS LIVE’s large HD outside broadcast units, OB 3, coupled with Link 21 the largest TV satellite uplink truck in the UK.

The inserts were captured by six, and during the Royal visit seven, wireless cameras which roved the site, including an RF jimmy jib on wheels which featured a gimbal mount built by a SIS LIVE crew member to ensure that the RF antenna remained vertically upright at all times. The jimmy jib and camera teams were carefully chaperoned by teams of ‘banksmen’ who used a cord keep the crowds at bay and allow the crews to move freely without fear of disrupting the public.

The camera infrastructure allowed reverse vision feeds including autoscript monitor to be fed back to the camera via RF, essentially giving all the facilities one would expect of a cabled camera but with the flexibility of a wireless camera.

SIS LIVE engineering manager Ian Haynes comments: “It is pretty unusual for a show to be done using such a high proportion of radio cameras, and we couldn’t risk losing any colour definition or picture clarity. We ran a series of tests with the BBC’s R&D team to be sure that we used a wireless system that retained the maximum quality needed to broadcast the rich colours of the show and the minute details of the flowers and leaves.”

Two camera teams were made up of three cameras and sound sources from presenter radio mics were mixed at the location before being routed back to the cameras. The camera RF outputs were picked up at various receive points around the grounds. The material was then routed through EVS XT3 servers and X File [2] units into Avid ISIS.

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