The management of France Television Sports decided a few months ago to install a 100% tapeless integrated media management system, supplied by EVS, for the production of the Tour de France 2006, a major challenge willingly accepted by all of the technical and production teams of France Television and the French service provider, VCF.
"We were looking for a system capable of making the video content more accessible for our various production and post-production teams in a shorter period of time. In addition, the system had to be easily accepted and integrated by people of very different profiles, such as editors, operators, archive teams, and so on", declared Christophe Barrier, Tour de France Production Director. "Our positive experience with their slow-motion and live production systems, in which EVS are the specialists in the world market, provided part of the impetus for our desire to turn to the Belgian company for the installation of the integrated system. A first conclusive test at Roland Garros enabled us to measure the benefits of the system better, and to familiarise our teams with it before the Tour."
France Television and VCF (Video Communication France) were in charge of the entire production of the Tour de France. In addition to the international signal, France Television also produced highlights intended for live show (Vélo Club), and for the France 2 and France 3 news bulletins.
The entire EVS system is built around the production and playout server, XT. In total, eight networked production servers (via EVS' XNet media sharing network, ensuring instantaneous media transfer with a capacity of about 240 hours of content) linked to the EVS media management system, [IP]Director, ensured the acquisition, production, transfer, and finally the playout of the sequences. All of the live broadcasting carried out during the race (CleanFeed) is integrated into the network, and the various sequences are indexed thanks to the [IP]Director's logging interface. This application enables a series of keywords to be associated with recorded video sequences. The grids of keywords are defined beforehand with the various production and post-production teams. The logging also enables a description to be incorporated, as well as a quality scaling relating to a particular sequence. Once logged, the media is then not only made available to the various production teams working on the live transmission, but also to the editing teams working on the highlights intended for the live broadcasting after the race or for the evening news bulletin. Thanks to the [IP]Director's media search interface, the editing teams working on Avid, can carry out a search of the media on the basis of pre-defined keywords. "This tool is a real revolution in the preparation of edits, its ease of use and speed in the search of the media by keywords enable us to save a considerable amount of time", declared Jean-Jacques Brouard, Chief Editor of France 2 for the Vélo Club show. Once selected, the sequence can then be visualised and finally transferred to Avid's shared Unity storage with just a click of a mouse. "The transfer of the chosen sequences to our editing station is ultra fast, in the space of 15 seconds the video sequence is transferred to my station. I would never like to work again as before, as this system is so fast and efficient", added Christian Indjeyan, Chief Editor of Television News and Sports of France 2. When the editing on the Avid station is finished, it can then be just as quickly reintegrated on the EVS XT servers, ready to be played out. "In addition to the obvious productivity improvements, the media management system set up for the Tour de France 2006 has definitively enabled the general quality of the Tour production to be enhanced", added Denis Lamblin, Technical Manager of the editing truck provided by VCF.
The EVS media management system that has won considerable success in 2006 at large sporting events such as the Turin Winter Olympics, the World Cup in Germany, Roland Garros and the Tour de France will be presented at the IBC show in Amsterdam, from next September 08 to 12 (Hall 8, Stand 8191).