NEP Visions Flies OB Gear, Crew Into Kazakhstan for Asian Winter Games

UK outside-broadcast operator NEP Visions has sent flight-case-packed facilities and 85 crew members to Kazakhstan in the run-up to the 7th Asian Winter Games, which begin Jan. 30. Visions has been contracted by host broadcaster IGBS (International Games Broadcast Services) to provide equipment at the six venues in the city of Almaty, which is hosting alpine skiing, the biathlon, cross-country skiing, ski jumping, and ice hockey.

The flyaway OB systems include more than 100 camera channels (a mix of Sony and Grass Valley HD units), 56 big lenses, and 28 EVS media servers. These will be installed in either existing buildings or custom-made temporary structures at the venues.

Feeds from the venues will be sent to the 2,050-square-metre International Broadcast Centre (IBC), which was officially opened in Almaty on Jan. 10. Over the past few weeks, hundreds of staffers have arrived at the IBC to work in temperatures as low as -20 Celsius with IGBS staffers who have been in Kazakhstan for several months.

Approximately 130 tonnes of equipment has arrived in the country for TV coverage of the Games. Between 13 and 32 HD widescreen cameras will be used to cover each event. To carry signals back from the skiing areas, NEP Visions has laid more than 75 km of fibre and triax camera cable.

“We’ll be laying a staggering 70 km for the alpine skiing and cross-country events alone,” says Dougie Fletcher, flypack and contract manager at Visions. “Considering the terrain, the expected temperatures of -20 C and the lengths involved, this will be a remarkable feat of engineering.”

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