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/2016/09/27/Untitled-1_25.jpg?itok=_2A3Ev9J
Powerpuff Girls: Over 30 brands partner with Cartoon Network

The revival of Cartoon Network’s enduring original franchise The Powerpuff Girls made a spectacular debut on TV screens across EMEA recently. Now, with the show delivering consistently great ratings and interest in the brand accelerating, Cartoon Network proudly details its comprehensive first...

Television TV Channels Kids
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2016/09/27/Untitled-1_4.jpg?itok=a_JSVu5m
BARC India ropes in Nielsen's Jamie Kenny as DAM head

BARC India has appointed Jamie Kenney as the business head of its digital arm. The move is a part of BARC India’s plan of launching digital audience measurement in the country.

Television TV Channels People
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2016/09/27/TV9.jpg?itok=wNCSSNZG
TV9 network on sale; Zee group front-runner?

MUMBAI: Consolidation in the Indian news television business is but a foregone conclusion, thanks to the plethora of channels operating in the space. The only question is when and who.

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2016/09/27/Untitled-1.jpg?itok=1qGZUh9d
Engaging content: Akbar Birbal folklore completes 500 episodes

Big Magic is all set to create a new benchmark with the completion of 500 episodes of its marquee show Har Mushkil Ka Hal Akbar Birbal.

Television TV Channels GECs
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2016/09/26/Prannoy%20Roy.jpg?itok=O75DOjIQ
NDTV 24 x7 expands its presence in Singapore

New Delhi Television Limited (NDTV) on 26 September announced the launch of its flagship channel, 'NDTV 24x7', on Singtel in Singapore.

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2016/09/26/Untitled-1_26.jpg?itok=crzL0Kg-
Chrome week 38: English movies genre tops chart with 4.8 % OTS

The English movies genre emerged as the gainer in Chrome’s opportunity to see (OTS) analysis in six metros by registering an increase of 4.8 per cent. Movies Now was the leader with 49.6 per cent OTS in week 38.

Television TV Channels Viewership
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2016/09/25/ipl800x800.jpg?itok=avJ0Q0ML
BCCI’s cricket media rights bonanza

MUMBAI: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has forecast that it is going to take home a whopping 60 per cent plus more media rights income from cricket in the financial year 2016-2017. The figure it has kept in its sights is Rs 1036.80 crore. In 2015-16, it had budgeted a figure of Rs...

Television TV Channels Sports
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2016/09/24/Untitled-1.jpg?itok=uUuTMLCE
Uri reaction: Zee considers dropping Pak shows from Zindagi

It makes sense, nationalism-wise. But, does it make sense, business-wise? An unexpected yet ideal tweet by media baron Subhash Chandra has catalysed a hot debate whether film actors from a hostile country should be allowed to earn millions working in the Indian film industry. His tweet follows in...

Television TV Channels GECs
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2016/09/24/non-%20tv.jpg?itok=UVXFUvEj
Non-news temporary uplinking approvals in 15 days

NEW DELHI: Applications from all non-news (general entertainment) television companies for temporary uplinking permission from the Government should be made at least 15 days prior to the scheduled events.

Television TV Channels GECs

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories