SIS LIVE Handles BBC’s HD Coverage of Six Nations Rugby

The 2011 Six Nations rugby union tournament got under way at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on Feb. 4 when Wales took on England. Host-broadcast coverage in high definition was provided by the BBC using facilities from SIS LIVE.

All production and presentation for the match was handled in SIS LIVE’s big triple-expander HD truck, OB 1. The unit can run up to 20 Sony HD cameras, mixed through a 51-input Sony MVS8000G video switcher. It has three VT areas: one for editing (with two Apple Final Cut Pro workstations) and two slow-motion–replay suites, with space for eight HD/SD EVS recorder-players and eight HD/SD tape machines.

SIS LIVE also had its Unit 11 in Cardiff to provide facilities for S4C, the commercial Welsh-language broadcaster. The supplier’s French division provided presentation equipment and HD uplinks on-site on behalf of France Television.

The action continued on Feb. 5, with Italy facing Ireland and last year’s champion France taking on Scotland. SIS LIVE Unit 12 was at the Stadio Flaminio in Rome for the first match of the day, and OB 7 was at the Stade de France in Paris for the closing game of the weekend. SIS LIVE also supplied uplinks from the grounds back to the UK for the BBC’s coverage.

This year, the BBC is transmitting all games in HD on either BBC One or its HD channel, with SD broadcasts of Ireland vs. France on Feb. 13 and Scotland vs. Ireland on Feb. 27 on BBC Two, although these will be available on BBC HD.

The BBC is highlighting its multiplatform approach, with live streaming of all games on the BBC Sport Website. For anyone missing the live broadcasts, everything will be on the iPlayer for up to a week afterwards. BBC Radio Five Live and the digital Five Live Extra also have comprehensive coverage of the tournament.

“The Six Nations continues to excite and entertain, each year producing new twists and turns,” says Carl Hicks, editor of BBC Six Nations Rugby. “This year promises more of the same. Our coverage is more comprehensive than ever, with options across TV, HD, radio, Red Button, online, iPlayer, and mobile. We look forward to bringing the British viewing public five weeks of outstanding rugby action.”

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