Sky Relies On TVU Networks RPS For Video Transport Of High-Profile Sporting Events

TVU Networks
(Image credit: TVU Networks)

AUCKLAND, New Zealand—Pay TV operator Sky relied on TVU Network’s TVU Remote Production System (RPS) for live multi-camera contribution of content to supplement coverage of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games in July and the Beijing Winter Games in February, the company said today.

Based on the success it had using TVU RPS at both events, Sky plans to use the same transmission model for the 2024 Summer Games in Paris, it said.

“Our TVU setup was rock solid for both events,” said Sky technical production manager Kerry Phelvin. “During the Beijing Games, our TVU system was up and running for 16 days, running 24/7. The TVU RPS system performed flawlessly, moving over 30 terabytes in that period. Not only will we use this again for the Summer Games in Paris, but we may get a second RPS.”

Sky covered both events using feeds for the host broadcaster via the multi-channel service (MCS), which were sent to New Zealand using traditional paths, including satellite, fiber and IP Ethernet private line links. 

To supplement coverage, Sky used the TVUP RPS frame-synchronized remote production system with a single six-channel RPS encoder on location and a six-channel RPS decoder in New Zealand. Sky transported the signals via a standard commodity internet connection as H.265/HEVC-encoded video, which proved to be economical and efficient, it said.

For the Beijing Games, Sky used TVU RPS to deliver six unilateral feeds and two studio return feeds between the event’s international broadcast center and Sky’s main studio and transmission center in Auckland. The unilateral feeds carried a mix of programming not featured on the main host broadcaster feed, such as longer format time-shifted replays, local beauty shots and regional in-studio stand ups. The return feeds were used primarily for monitoring the studio productions in Auckland. Sky use a similar setup for coverage of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

Sky also relied on TVU for support during the games. “As always, TVU support was excellent. During the Beijing Winter Games, we discovered that we were missing an SDI-to-SDI cable for RPS. The TVU support team in Shanghai promptly found one and couriered it to our mountain hotel. No questions asked, no invoice in the mail – brilliant,” said Phelvin. 

More information is available on the company’s website (opens in new tab).

Phil Kurz is a contributing editor to TV Tech. He has written about TV and video technology for more than 30 years and served as editor of three leading industry magazines. He earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.