The Collectv ensures a smooth return to UK screens for Dancing on Ice

The Collectv is helping ITV Studios Entertainment’s Dancing on Ice reach a live audience of millions as it returns for its 13th series.

Shot at a purpose-built facility at Bovingdon Airfield, south of Hemel Hempstead in the UK, the show has been remotely produced at ITN Productions in London since the 2019 season. The Collectv is ensuring this process runs smoothly by providing media management, integration and support on location at Bovingdon, making sure that the right material gets into the main broadcast OB and that it is also supplied back to the production team in London to provide content for ongoing social media clips, VTs and more.

The workflow sees The Collectv provide an Avid station on location for ingest, QC and rapid editing in case of changes during the live broadcast. Alongside this, it provides Avid Nexis storage for handling VTs from the edits and to stream onto when the show is on air. This is linked in turn to multiple EVS units running IPDirector and XTAccess provided by host OB provider Telegenic. Connectivity between Bovingdon and London is provided by NEP Connect via a 10GB pipe.

“This set up gives us the ability to schedule and control the exact feeds the production will need,” explained Chris Sarson, managing director of The Collectv. “We have the ability to stream or clip up the clean or dirty TX streams on any number of the camera feeds. When on-site, we remain in constant communication with the post-production supervisor for Dancing on Ice, Daniel Searle, and ensure we have the correct version of each VT. If they’re being edited close to transmission, we liaise with production and the EVS operators on-site to help ensure the right content gets to air.”

This workflow also operates the other way. Once the show is on air the team in London watches the live output and can flag up specific incidents that might help to tell a story that has been developing outside of the main show, for instance. Then The Collectv team can simply find and clip up the specific ISO (ISOlated camera feed) featuring the footage and get it into the edit. Careful planning is needed with Telegenic to ensure the EVS servers can handle all that is being asked of them from both the live broadcast and The Collectv’s post teams.

“We have been involved with Dancing on Ice since we were ITV staff back in 2006,” commented Soraya Robertson, commercial director at The Collectv. “A lot has changed since then, with the production moving to its current purpose-built home after a hiatus and then implementing a remote production workflow, which is happily making it easier to deal with any COVID-related issues this season. Live TV is always challenging, but it is a great team we work with and we’re looking forward to the first broadcasts going out later this week.”

Dancing on Ice is live on ITV1 every Sunday evening.

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