Server manufacturer EVS is once more at the heart of the host production for the FIFA World Cup.
EVS’ hardware and software has been configured into a comprehensive workflow spanning OB production of all the multilateral feeds to the logging, storage and management of all official audiovisual content.
“This is the largest event in terms of equipment supplied and hours of content managed that EVS has yet undertaken,” said Luc Doneux, EVS general manager Asia-Pacific and head of big events projects. “The underlying workflow is however a tried and tested one similar to previous World Cups. The main innovations are the ability for HBS production teams to remotely browse content produced at the venues from within the (international broadcast center), the first-time integration of a virtual offside detector within the international feed and the full integration of super-high-speed cameras (from ARRI Media, Live Motion Concept and Digital Video Sud) with EVS LSM.”
Housed in the international broadcast center (IBC), the central media server is an integrated cluster of 15 EVS XT+ production servers, which will manage the ingest and exchange of all content produced by host broadcaster HBS.
An additional nine servers will be used for various production functions within the IBC, including six machines for an EVS control room, two machines for highlights creation and one to integrate graphics. Twenty more XT+ servers have been provided within the IBC for every broadcaster to deliver the feeds. Six of the 10 OB hubs will house 13 XT+ servers, and the others will contain 14.
More than 3500 hours of HD content will end up stored on the main media server and 18 XStore storage systems. That’s in excess of 1500 hours more than the total volume produced in Germany 2006. “The main difference is the amount of ENG footage which FIFA wants to generate in 2010,” Doneux said. FIFA has invested in a dedicated ENG production crew equipped with Panasonic P2 camcorders and Apple Final Cut Pro editing to follow each of the 32 teams, plus an additional 10 crews to create feature material.
“They will they will each input 20 to 25 minutes of DVCPRO HD rushes per day onto the server,” he said. Connected to an EVS Xedio Dispatcher, the ENG teams will be able to instantly display footage, enabling immediate media browsing for clip selection, indexing and logging. Those clips are then transferred from the venues to the IBC using SmartJog file transfer.
To increase the availability of ENG cuts to rights holders, HBS is implementing a Web server and browser solution modeled on one already operated by HBS for the Ligue 1 soccer production in France.
The build of the IBC begins May 3, with the build of OB facilities at the venues from June 4. EVS previously collaborated with HBS to deliver the 2002 World Cup, which included the first multifeed service for broadcasters. Four years later, the introduction of the media server and the clip compilation channel at the 2006 World Cup allowed the tapeless delivery and sharing of media. Other events the companies have collaborated on include the production of a dedicated mobile international signal for France’s soccer league, Ligue 1 (2008-2012), the stereoscopic, live 3-D coverage of the IIHF World Championship in ice hockey in 2008 and a live 3-D football match a year later shown simultaneously in Lyon and in Paris.
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Adrian Pennington is a journalist specialising in film and TV production. His work has appeared in The Guardian, RTS Television, Variety, British Cinematographer, Premiere and The Hollywood Reporter. Adrian has edited several publications, co-written a book on stereoscopic 3D and is copywriter of marketing materials for the industry. Follow him @pennington1