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VSN Tapeless Automation in Barça TV

About Barça TV:

Barça TV is a television station completely devoted to the Barcelona Football Club. This thematic channel started broadcasting on July 27th 1999, formerly with the name of Canal Barça. Currently, Barça TV airs 24 hours a day 365 days a year; their programming beingexclusively devoted to the club with special attention paid to all areas of the first team. There are also plenty of shows about youth football, the sporting side of the club and the institutional activity at Camp Nou stadium.

Information, entertainment, first team football matches and action from all the other sports teams, including live coverage of the Barça youth matches in every category, historic FC Barcelona games and specific programmes that show behind the scenes and the social role the club plays are among the main content of Barça TV's programming.

Barça TV's offices and studios are located in the club's Camp Nou stadium with the main areas being next to the Mixed Zone and the changing rooms. TV broadcasts are also made from the Miniestadi, the Ciutat Esportiva and the Palau Blaugrana.

The Challenge:

•After 10 years of broadcasting operations, Barça TV decided to undertake a complete technological renovation that would involve migrating into a tapeless television production system.

•The Unitecnic Company, VSN's official dealer, was awarded the MCR Automation project. Barça TV’s technical board of management was in charge of the Broadcast Management System (BMS).

•The technological renovation was based on three main pillars: the digital newsroom, the master control room and the digital archive systems. Barça TV had to find a way to make all three systems work together.

•Two VSN systems were to be implemented in this fusion of technologies: the VSNMULTICOM system, which manages the MCR automation, and the VSNCREATV used to centralize creation and ingest of new media contents. It was a turnkey project.

The solution:

•The integration of VSN solutions with EVS video servers and Vizrt graphics system was made in a record time.

•VSNMULTICOM system was integrated so that it constitutes the heart of the channel's equipment. It manages the playout servers; it makes requests to the MAM for media files that need to be broadcast and it manages the database of all materials that can be aired.

•Barça TV uses the broadcast management system, VSNCREATV, to decide most of the programming planning. Everything is planned and registered; the MCR operators import the rundown into VSNMULTICOM and check that all items to be broadcasted are received correctly and are ready to go ON AIR. When everything is checked, they adjust the rundowns to the frame just as planned in the channel's programming.

•Barça TV currently works with a unique media catalogue thanks to the synchronization of the VSNMULTICOM, VSNCREATV and Viz Ardome systems' databases performed by VSN (code and metadata are common to all three systems).

•VSNMULTICOM controls every EVS and Viz Ardome systems to allow for fully automated media movement (from ingest to archive and from archive to playout).

•VSNMULTICOM will be controlling all Miranda DSK and Avid's Deko and DekoCast titling equipment.

The results:

•Usually, the TV programming is subject to the FC Barcelona's latest news. That means Barça TV’s programming schedules may vary depending on game scores, usually in a very short time frame. VSNMULTICOM allows them to create two parallel programming schedules. At the last minute, Master Control Room decides which of the two will be broadcast.

•The integration of all VSN programs at Barça TV has increased quality ratings and has allowed for an error-free automation.

•Working on a unique media catalogue allows for a proper tracking of contents regardless of the managing system.

•The integration of all systems brought about important improvements in workflow productivity and efficiency.

Integration of MAM, Broadcast Management and MCR automation areas by means of VSN's core systems: VSNMULTICOM and VSNCREATV


"VSNMULTICOM constitutes the heart of the channel's technical system: it manages the playout servers, it requests the MAM the contents that will be aired and it manages the database of materials that are ready for broadcast. Thanks to an efficient management and performance we know our tv broadcast is in good hands". Iban Martínez, Technical Manager in Barça TV.

"Very often all of our programming is subject to the football team scores so we must work on two parallel rundowns. VSNCREATV helps us to plan these parallel programmings and to centralize the creation and ingest of new contents." Xavi Fontoba, Operations Supervisor in Barça TV.