Super Bowl 50: Bexel on Hand in Force for Clients
The TV compound outside of Levi’s Stadium features much more than trucks this year. CBS Sports, with the support of Bexel Global Broadcast Solutions, has created a large graphics-creation and postproduction facility inside unified portable cabins located about a three-minute walk from SSCBS and the core production units for the broadcast. The facility includes full-blown Avid editing suites sharing 64 TB of ISIS storage; Adobe Premier editing systems; Adobe After Effects, Red Bee, and Vizrt graphics systems, and more for a CBS production team that numbers approximately 80 people.
“CBS was way more organized than what I am used to on some of these jobs, and the [trailers] had holes in the floors and walls and all the furniture so we could pull all 5 miles of Cat 5 cable in just two days,” says Johnny Pastor, director of technical services, Global Broadcast Solutions, Bexel. “Everything was set where we needed it so we could just plug everything in. It was great to see 80 people sit down and just start working.”
Michael Drazin, director of technology, workflow, and systems engineering, CBS Sports, worked closely on the project with Pastor as the two ensured that both the creative staff and the technical-support staff had enough physical space and technical firepower to get the job done.
“We have a 40-Gb pipe coming into our facility here and then a VLAN into the EVS network, communications, and an IPTV network that we are also managing,” says Pastor. “There is a 16-channel encoder located inside the SSCBS B unit that is piping content into 65 IPTV systems across the compound.”
A large RTS ADAM intercom system, meanwhile, is supporting 70 intercom keypanels across the compound with more than 1,000 intercom ports to make sure communications are as robust as they can be.
The facility also has Avid edit suites inside partitioned rooms with large 70-in. monitors, 5.1-surround-sound setups, and even downstream keyers so the editors can test graphics to ensure that the end product matches their vision.
According to Lee Estroff, VP, account development, Bexel, the editing and graphics facilities are only the beginning of the support services offered by Bexel. The company has 14 technicians onsite and is providing seven Sony HDC-4300 super-slo-mo camera systems (including two 4K systems), five Fujinon lenses, and 15 miles of fiber-infrastructure support within the TV compound and around the stadium to connect three CBS Sports sets. And there are more than 20 teleprompters and more than 100 Litepanel light systems in the various sets.
“There’s also a lot of EVS equipment here, with 11 12-channel EVS XT3 systems and almost 40 IPDirectors and seven XT Access [systems],” says Estroff. “We’ve been working on things with CBS for more than a year as we have things not only here but also at Super Bowl City for CBS and the NFL Network.”