Live From Rio 2016: TV2 Norway Studio, IBC Operations Deliver for Viewers
TV2 Norway has 68 people onsite in Rio, working out of a production area in the IBC as well as at a studio in Olympic Park, a standup position right outside that studio, and a third standup position atop the TV Tower in the middle of Olympic Park. Helping out with ENG work around the venues and the city are four AVIWEST transmission systems that make use of bonded cellular and WiFi signals.
“All of our production efforts start by minimizing the technical footprint and maximizing the editorial coverage. Here we have gone from 10 ENG crews [at previous Games] to five because the AVIWEST signals are being fed to home,” says Jens Knudsen, senior director, sports production, TV2 Norway. “None of our productions are finished here: they pass through one of three control rooms in either Oslo or Bergen, where there is a director and producer as well as graphics and audio. The director will cut using Vizrt Viz Mosart and EVS.”
The TV Norway team in Rio cranks away for 15 hours a day while the operation back home, with about 140 people (100 in Bergen), is creating Olympics content 24/7 during the Games.
One of the other technical highlights is a studio location in the heart of the Olympic Park in Barra, deployed for its third major global sports event. The studio features polarized windows, which can be adjusted to filter the light for optimal images, as well as Electric Friends robotic camera systems that facilitate creation of augmented-reality graphics. The studio is built on top of the three shipping containers used to ship it and additional equipment. And the TV2 Norway team maximized use of the containers by converting one to a makeup and green room.
At the core of the coverage is the OBS Multichannel Distribution Service (MDS), which makes 12 channels of content available globally via satellite. There are 12 commentary booths in Oslo and Bergen, and announcers there call the action. TV2 Norway also relies on the broadcast data feed to add metadata to the channel’s Viz Ardome content-management system, which had to add 12 extra ports to handle the load of content.
“The results service marries the BDF to our media-asset–management system so that it’s searchable,” says Knudsen. “We really can’t afford to log feeds for the channels when we’re making TV for only 5 million people.”
Besides the MDS feed, a 2-Gbps connection to Bergen sends a variety of signals, including the four cameras from the studio (including the crane signal twice, one dirty feed with augmented-reality graphics courtesy of a Vizrt graphics engine, and a second clean signal) and nine additional signals booked via Xytech MediaPulse to maximize use of those feeds. TV2 Norway also uses those feeds to send along the OBS Multi Clip Feed (MCF) for certain events.
“We’re focusing mostly on live sports coverage as we trust the international production,” says Knudsen. “But we do have editors back home that need clips from the MCF for teasers, and we want all of the beauty cameras.”
Two events, however, are cut in Rio: track and field and handball, the latter of which is of particular importance to a nation that takes prides in its women’s team, which is both the 2015 World Champion and the 2014 European Champion.
“The director will cut everything here, and then it will be finished with graphics in Norway,” says Knudsen. There are two EVS XT3 servers in the IBC to help with the process, and all the control rooms back home have EVS servers, with the exception of the control room used for the morning program. That content is cut in Bergen and pushed to a Quantel system in Oslo for playout.