Live from London: Finland’s YLE back in IBC for personal touch
Finnish broadcaster YLE experimented with the concept of producing the majority of its content from home during the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. But this year, it has returned to the IBC, with content for its main Olympics channel produced on site in London.
“In 2010, we discovered we didn’t like the idea of having the studio away from the event itself,” says Kaj Flood, YLE, senior technical advisor. “We would lose guests and have to do interviews from standup and mix zones, and it was extremely complicated to handle the commentary circuits back and forth. So now the main channel is done completely on site.”
The YLE area within the IBC is outfitted with a Ross vision mixer, six EVS XT3 servers, two EVS XStores with 15.5 TB of storage each, and EVS XTAccess transcoding gear to get content onto Avid editing systems. Acquisition is done using Panasonic P2 cameras. Bexel and Applied Electronics Limited provided the equipment used by YLE to produce two channels of content, one locally and a second from YLE’s OB10 production truck located in Helsinki. A total of 450 hours of Olympics coverage will be broadcast on the two networks.
“The OB truck in Helsinki is receiving 12 multi-feeds, and then they pick off sports and have eight off-tube commentary positions located in an empty studio,” says Flood of a channel that is on air for more than 12 hours a day.
YLE also has a studio located near Marsh Gate in Stratford with three cameras that are remotely controlled from the IBC.
The Nordic broadcasters are sharing a 256×256 Grass Valley Trinix router from Applied Electronics. All event coverage passes into that router and is then made available to the broadcasters, which also share mix zones as well in an attempt to minimize cost.
Flood says the emphasis in week one will be on swimming and covering Finnish athletes live. Wrestling, tennis, boxing, football, basketball, and handball are also of interest to Finnish viewers.
The biggest technical challenge is that the two networks are each broadcast in two languages.
“Some countries with multiple languages, like the Swiss, have a channel for each language,” says Flood. “But we do both Finnish and Swedish for each so we have to double a lot of things, like commentary. We also cannot transmit both in 5.1 so Finnish is in 5.1 and Swedish is in stereo. We have 224 lines into the console, and they’re all filled.”