SIS LIVE selects 12 Crystal Vision logo keyers for ITV's Champions League football and latest outside broadcast vehicle

SIS LIVE, Europe’s largest provider of outside broadcast and satellite uplink facilities, has selected 12 of Crystal Vision's MultiLogo V431 logo keyers for its transmission of the ITV UEFA Champions League football and as part of the technology currently being installed into its new Outside Broadcast vehicle, OB 1.

Following extensive evaluation, six of the MultiLogos are being used in the three vehicles servicing SIS LIVE’s contract to supply the outside broadcast facilities to ITV Sport for its coverage of the 18 live matches in the 2009/2010 UEFA Champions League football, with three of the logo keyers located in OB 7, two in OB 3 and one in Unit 12.

The MultiLogos are primarily being used to add cue dots to programmes, which ITV uses to warn its local transmission centers when a commercial break is imminent. The cue dot has been created as an animated graphic and selecting the Crystal Vision logo keyer for the task, rather than a standalone cue dot generator, gives SIS LIVE the flexibility to use the MultiLogos for a variety of other applications.

SIS LIVE is currently using two of the three layers of keying available on MultiLogo, with the second layer used to insert line idents. Created as text-based graphics which can be faded up and down as required, these line idents show the origination of the football feeds (venue and OB vehicle), making it easier for other broadcasters to identify and access the feeds via satellite and fiber optic networks.

The other six MultiLogos are currently being integrated into SIS LIVE’s latest Outside Broadcast vehicle, OB 1, by UK systems integrator Megahertz, and will be used both for adding line idents and for general keying.

The MultiLogo logo keyer is based on solid-state fast reading and writing DRAM and permanent Flash picture storage. Its 4 GB video store can hold up to 250 logos and has the ability to read six images and write two images at the same time. The MultiLogo V431 additionally provides four external video inputs allowing a logo to be grabbed from a live feed, which SIS LIVE anticipates they will be using in OB 1. MultiLogo, which works with both HD and SD sources, is being used by SIS LIVE in an HD infrastructure.

SIS LIVE evaluated MultiLogo against two other units. One did not have all of the required functionality, while the final decision was made based on ease of operation and simplicity of loading captions.

The control interface provided by the PC-based MultiLogo Control Software was one of the deciding factors in the choice. The software can convert any of the graphics formats used by SIS LIVE to the MultiLogo format, before transferring the graphics quickly from the PC to the board over 100 MB Ethernet. The line ident function is being controlled directly from the PC software, while the cue dot is controlled from a hardware panel on the production desk via the GPI inputs.

It was also important to SIS LIVE that their chosen logo keyer did not take up much space, and MultiLogo met this criteria – with up to three logo keyers housed in a 1RU frame in the football OB vehicles and all six logo keyers housed in one 2RU frame in OB 1.

A long-established Crystal Vision customer, Julian Parsons, Technical Development Manager at SIS LIVE, commented: “Crystal Vision provides very good support and flexibility in adapting its product line to our sometimes bizarre requirements. This is teamed with fast delivery.”

SIS acquired the company formerly known as BBC Outside Broadcasts in 2008 and combined it with satellite link provider SISLink to create SIS LIVE, which is the largest outside broadcast provider in the UK. SIS LIVE covers over 100,000 hours of live events worldwide each year and delivers approximately 80% of live news feeds across the UK. Megahertz Broadcast Systems is the European home of the AZCAR Group, the world’s largest independent broadcast systems integrator, and has been designing and delivering innovative broadcast solutions for over 25 years.

Based at Whittlesford near Cambridge in the UK, Crystal Vision provides digital keyers, picture storage modules and a full range of digital and analogue interface equipment including converters, synchronizers, distribution amplifiers and audio embedders to the professional broadcasting industry worldwide.