Television

FIFA World Cup coverage promises to be a game-changer

NEW DELHI: Unlike the 3D that dominated the best viewing of the last FIFA World Cup, the second biggest tournament on the global sporting calendar after the Olympics, the entire media is concentrating on 4K and even more superior technologies.

 

Bedeviled by significant infrastructure problems that have reached all the way from the airports that will receive the international arrivals to the stadia of the 12 host cities that will stage the games, hamstrung by the communications problems caused by an overloaded telecoms system and marred by protest and unrest, broadcasters the world over have learnt the painful lessons that modern Brazil is at best an awkward place to operate in.

 

With the tournament just around the corner (12 June- 13 July in Brazil), the consensus is that host broadcaster HBS has done its best in ensuring diversity connections and implementing an impressively redundant form of production that has seen 12 identical, containerised production centres built in Germany and shipped over to Brazil.

 

Moving equipment around the country, especially after the group stages are over, was always going to be a major problem, and it is one that HBS has decided it does not want to be involved with. All of which is part of the reason why EVS loaded 234 servers on a container ship bound for Rio sometime in March. But it is what some of those servers are doing when they are installed that is probably the real story from Brazil 2014.

 

Apart from the Ultra HD effort, it is remote production that this year’s World Cup really moves the goalposts. Not just simply an add-on, remote production lies at the heart of the HBS production workflow in Brazil, according to a report by the National Association of Broadcasters in the United States.

 

16 EVS XT3 servers are to be installed at each venue and, alongside them, two of the company’s C-Cast Agents which represent the sharp end of its connected content production architecture.

 

C-Cast Contribution will be used to link the IBC and the 12 venues across the country together, live streams passing through the two C-Cast Agents at each venue where they will then be transcoded and transferred into an Amazon Cloud-based infrastructure. About 45 seconds later at the most they will then hit the C-Cast Central servers, which will then govern the material’s distribution on the network. This means passing the footage on to the Adobe Premier-based HBS production teams (there are 36 Premier suites in the IBC) and other rights holders at the IBC and further afield too. The servers automatically generate proxy files, allowing the various remote teams to access content at low resolutions, create clips and then import a high bandwidth version.

 

“I think in total there are 75 media rights licenses distributed for the IBC in Rio, and in addition there are offsite production teams that have web browse access from their own home cities, and there are 83 licenses distributed so far for that,” comments EVS SVP Marketing Nicolas Bourdon.

 

There have probably been more distributed, as this is far more than just a plain vanilla distribution of the nine feeds from each venue round the world. Mirroring the way the C-Cast second screen app works, the remote teams can add content — including camera angles and highlights — that have not been made part of the world feed into their coverage, switching it from a gallery as if they were in a truck outside the stadium.

 

With this new solution, the number of broadcasters deciding to ‘dial-in’ from their home territories into the FIFA MAX server in Rio makes it feel like a genuine game-changer.

 

FIFA’s estimates are that around 50 million people will be downloading its official application, which is being white labelled and has been picked up by more than 100 rights holders so far.

 

“Broadcasters can have a white label app that they can put their own logo on,” explains Bourdon. “Viewers can then access different types of content, up to six live camera angles, clips and key actions from a game, statistics, and a full language translation of all the logs and captions.”

 

C-Cast Central manages availability of material via APIs, and while the white label smartphone and tablet apps, not to mention a customisable web player (based around deltatre’s Diva system), are proving popular, many of the major broadcasters around the world are folding the multiple C-Cast streams into their own fully-featured apps. Add these figures to FIFA’s 50 million and you undoubtedly have the biggest outing yet for the technology.

 

Content will reside on an Amazon server farm controlled by EVS from where it will be passed to deltatre’s platform (deltatre is also the main data provider from the tournament). From there it will be either be encoded for delivery using Elemental technology over the Akamai CDN or, if the stream is to be integrated into a broadcaster’s own efforts and a third-party CDN, via the Microsoft Azure cloud platform.

 

Expect to see some interesting new features crop up too. HBS will be using the as yet unreleased C-Cast 3.0 out in Brazil, with the idea that this will then be productised into C-Cast v3.1 in time for IBC.

 

Four years ago, Sony was limbering up to broadcast 25 matches from South Africa in stereo 3D. Measured against that, the 4K effort for Brazil 2014 seems relatively minor: a mere three matches being captured in the format, all from Rio’s Maracan? Stadium.

 

However, the significance is the same: the company is using the World Cup to seed demand for the format that it hopes will break through to the mass market by the time of the following Olympics. Maybe this time it will work.

 

4K trials — indeed trials of pretty much all of the World Cup workflow — were held at the Confederations Cup last summer and though the Telegenic truck that was shipped from the UK for them isn’t available this summer, the crew will still be sourced from the British OB provider, albeit working in a 4K-capable Globocast truck.

 

The matches will probably represent the most comprehensive coverage afforded a 4K production yet, with 12 Sony F55 cameras slated for each game and a number of the speciality cameras from the standard HD broadcast also being upconverted for the occasion.

 

It seems that the final will now be actually broadcast in 4K format as opposed to being simply beamed into cinemas or destined for a souvenir film for online distribution. Names are not being discussed as yet, but it seems that there is a queue of interested broadcasters and, according to Sony, “More than one will broadcast the feed.”

Latest Reads

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2016/08/30/Untitled-1_3.jpg?itok=0u83k_b9
R.K.Arora bids adieu to Zee Media

Executive director and CEO of Zee Media, R.K. Arora has stepped down from his role. This comes after the exit of Zee Media's marketing head Pooja Gupta, who worked closely with Arora.

Television TV Channels People
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2016/08/30/Untitled-1_2.jpg?itok=n4zZPXSo
Sony to strengthen weekend lineup, begins with ‘Super Dancer’

The trio that has given Indian television some top of the line dance reality shows is back again with program in the same genre: Super Dancer - Dance Ka Kal. Ashish Golwalker, Ranjeet Thakur and Hemant Ruparel are all set to launch their new kids dance reality show on Sony Entertainment Television

Television TV Channels GECs
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2016/08/30/Barc.jpg?itok=mLYPYkUm
BARC India on role of big data in ad effectiveness: Zee MELT 2016

MUMBAI: BARC India’s Think session on ‘Role of Big Data in Driving Ad Effectiveness’, at the just concluded Zee MELT, delved into the need for Big Data and its use in ad campaigns. The session featured Romil Ramgarhia, Chief Business Officer, BARC India, Bjoern Kroog, Global Head POS Analytics and...

Television TV Channels Viewership
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2016/08/29/beyonnce.jpg?itok=STt_XxOj
Beyonce dominates MTV VMAs 2016

MUMBAI: Beyonce has topped the winners list at this year's MTV Video Music Awards that was held in New York, after scoring a string of top honours, including video of the year for her politically charged song, "Formation" and best female video.

Television TV Channels Music and Youth
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2016/08/29/Untitled-1_1.jpg?itok=ULSnJDwF
PM urges TV Channels to aid Swachh Bharat programme, Big B in new promo

Prime Minister today urged television channels to participate pro-actively in the Swachh Bharat programme as creativity may lead to new ideas and new slogans which can inspire people.

Television TV Channels Terrestrial
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2016/08/27/sports-tv.jpg?itok=Azsi0RgC
Task Force being set up to study preparations for next three Olympiads

NEW DELHI: India sent its largest contingent to the Rio Olympics 2016, with even Sports Minister Vijay Goel being present there.

Television TV Channels Sports
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2016/08/27/dish-auction.jpg?itok=tMqn0-hx
Freedish slot e-auction on 15 Sept, reserve price Rs 4.3 cr

NEW DELHI: The country's only free-to-air direct-to-home platform Freedish has slated its 30th auction for 15 September, which also coincides with the day Doordarshan first started beaming in 1959.

Television TV Channels Terrestrial
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2016/08/27/start-up-india1.jpg?itok=Ye1xuedl
DIPP wants to launch startup TVshow & channel

MUMBAI: Well, well, what will happen next under Indian prime minister Narendra Modi. The Indian leader has been at the forefront of declaring that innovation and business enterprise from young Indians is what India needs to drive it to the super power status that it deserves. Hence, the initiative...

Television TV Channels Specialised and Niche
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2016/08/27/Ashit%20Kukian.jpg?itok=U_PPQzWB
Times Network targets jet set with Luxury Time across six channels

MUMBAI: Ever got the liberty to choose a platform for the consumption of your favourite content? And no, we are not talking about digital but our own traditional television. Times Network is launching a new show titled Luxury Time. The show is placed on the weekend primetime slots of not one or...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories