RAI taps BLT servers, Casa Italia for Olympic operations
RAI, the Italian national broadcaster, is taking a different approach to its Olympic production, housing a smaller team at the International Broadcast Centre and a larger one at Casa Italia, the 6,000 sq. ft. facility located at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Center near London City, approximately 10 kilometers from the IBC. Casa Italia is run by the Italian National Olympic Committee as a key destination for Italian athletes, VIPs, and media.
Italian broadcast equipment specialist BLT is providing two TECA video servers for RAI, with one installed at BLT and the second installed at the IBC. Sky Italy will also broadcast from the lounge at Casa Italia and the facility will also host galleries from Mediaset and La7. The two BLT TECA media servers, with live slow motion and highlight creation capabilities, are networked by means of a high speed data connection. In this way audio and video materials, together with their metadata, may seamlessly travel between the two 10KM away studio locations.
The BLT TECA media server configuration consists of a main station installed at IBC which has eight simultaneous channels: four used as live ingestion feeds and four as playout channels. The remote system at Casa Italia features two input channels for local ingestion, two playout channels and network connections. Both systems are based on BLT hardware platform and dedicated software.
“We are extremely pleased that RAI will rely once again on BLT equipment,” says Emilano Rossi, BLT, operations manager. “Since the Sydney Olympics in 2000 our technology has been playing a key role in such important and mission critical sport events. Every event is an opportunity for us to improve; for the London 2012 Summer Games we managed to introduce the remote production workflow.”
RAI will have one operator at the IBC who will ingest material onto the BLT server, building clips from the live feed and logging metadata via the TECA software. Content, once ingested on the IBC server, will also be available on the remote server at Casa Italia. There editors, working on NLEs, will be able to browse clips and prepare packages for RAI’s daily TV programme, news, and more.
RAI has been using the BLT TECA system for several years and building a growing detailed sport archive. The scalable architecture and powerful metadata creation capabilities of BLT TECA allow to store several hundred thousands of clips: an incredible gold mine, available in real time with few clicks.