Videosys Helps Timeline Deliver Comprehensive Basketball Coverage

Broadcast facilities company Timeline is using Videosys Broadcast’s camera control to deliver coverage of the British Basketball League championships, which are currently screened on Sky Sports, the League’s UK broadcast partner.

The championships involve 10 clubs that play three to four games every weekend, from venues all over the UK. To maximise resources, Timeline has devised a remote production solution that reduces outlay on staff and equipment.

The solution involves Timeline providing studio space for the League’s production crew and show presenters at its Ealing Broadcast Centre in West London. It also provides technical personnel and identical flyaway equipment kits at each venue. On match days, feeds from four Sony cameras at the venue are sent back to Ealing via ethernet connections so that the production crew in the gallery can deal with issues such as colour balance, the choice of camera angles and vison mixing.

“These days, we don’t move anything around in baseband video – it’s all just data sent via ethernet cables and IP addresses,” says John Hayhurst, Timeline TV’s Senior RF Project Manager. “The actual show is cut in Ealing Broadcast Centre, which is also where the tally for the cameraman at the venue is produced. The tally is sent over an IP system, to a data transmitter so that it can control the radio cameras at the far end.”

For camera control, Timeline is using a Videosys system consists of three units – an Indoor Unit (IDU) based in Ealing, an Outdoor Unit (ODU) at the venue and a compact Camera Receiver (RXSM-E) mounted on the camera at the venue. The IDU, which is designed to control up to four cameras from one unit, uses either legacy or full ethernet control to integrate into an existing OCP network. When connected to the ODU (a one-watt UHF transmitter) and the RXSM-E camera receiver, the system provides an end-to-end solution from RCP to camera allowing operators to seamlessly control their camera settings, regardless of their location.

At present, Timeline is unicasting the camera control data between Ealing and each venue, but the system is capable of multicasting the same data to all venues simultaneously because the equipment used for each event is identical. Videosys’ CCU system can facilitate this because it is fully IP and has built in software that allows set up changes to be made via a web browser. Videosys’ CCU supports TCP and UDP delivery, which allows data to be sent over a wide area network with guaranteed latency.

The ultimate goal of remote production is to utilise the same production crew across more than one event taking place on the same day.

“This is what lies at the heart of the technical set up we have put into place for the League’s basketball coverage,” John Hayhurst says. “Years ago, covering multiple games would involve sending an entire crew to each venue, which was obviously expensive and labour intensive. Now broadcasters are realising that if the crew in the studio are doing more than one thing – one event after another – there are resource savings to be made.”

For basketball fans this is all good news as the combination of IP and clever technology such as Videosys’ CCU is making it possible for fans to watch every championship game. These now appear live on Sky Sports’ linear and the British Basketball League’s YouTube channels on Thursday or Friday nights.

For more information about Videosys Broadcast products, please visit www.videosys.tv

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About Videosys Broadcast Ltd:
Videosys Broadcast has been a supplier of quality camera control systems, RF links and camera backs to outside broadcast companies for 10 years. Always at the forefront of innovation and technology, the company has successfully partnered with leading technology companies including Hitachi, Panasonic, Ikegami, Grass Valley and DTC. These partnerships enable Videosys to deliver the latest technology requirements, regardless of camera supplier or format.
www.videosys.tv

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