by Ben Holmes
FCP Editor and Systems Consultant/Owner
Edit Out Ltd.
HEMEL HEMPSTEAD, U.K.
When I set up my own company in early 2008, I needed all my systems to be SD and HD, broadcast quality, and above all, reliable. I was impressed with the build quality and connections between the Multibridge Pro from Blackmagic Design and my Mac Pro, so the Multibridge Pro was my first choice of equipment. The single PCI express cable allows me to locate the interface wherever I need it in an outside broadcast truck, and the extensive choice of connections allows me to interface with a lot of different environments.
FLEXIBILITY IS A MUST
Ben Holmes I often work in SD and HD simultaneously and monitor on composite, component, HD-SDI or HDMI enabled monitors. Audio might be provided as AES to the truck and analog to the monitor speakers or headphone mixer. Above all, what I needed was flexibility.
Each of my edit kits is built around two flight cases containing the Multibridge Pro, Mac Pro tower, 23-inch cinema display, wireless keyboard and mouse and an internal array of hard drives. I capture and edit HD in ProRes HQ. I always carry a spare system drive as well as a G-Tech G-Raid 2 for back-up storage. Back at base, I use a much larger SATA array, which supports uncompressed high definition.
QUICK TURNAROUND TIME
Recently, Sky Sports took me to Kentucky for my fifth Ryder Cup. There I received embedded audio with my input video and fed the audio back as analog. I was provided with a high-definition flat screen monitor that was connected via HDMI from the Multibridge Pro—and it looked great.
My job was to add score graphics to game highlights as they finished, and to "treat" the sequences of great shots and moments which were being compiled, all in real time during the day. Many of my pieces were used within a minute of completion. As soon as the final shot was rendered, I played the sequence straight from the timeline into an EVS LSM XT2 HD system, so I could immediately cue it for transmission. To make all this happen, you have to have a reliable system.
We completed more than 32 hours of live coverage in almost three days. My Multibridge Pro did not fail once, nor did I suffer a single dropped frame or video glitch. I'm much happier now taking on assignments in unknown environments, as the flexibility my equipment provides allows me to work anywhere in the world. I don't think I could ever completely walk away from the "buzz" of live television, and the chance to witness a bit more sporting history first hand. I'm glad that Blackmagic Design's Multibridge Pro is around to make this sort of life just a bit easier and less stressful.
Ben Holmes has been involved in sports broadcasting since 1993, beginning his career with Sky Television in London. He was one of the first EVS operators in the United Kingdom. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information, contact Blackmagic Design at 484-954-0555 or visit www.blackmagic-design.com.