Lyon Video, Grass Valley Provide 4K Coverage of COPA America Soccer Tournament
Soccer continues to rise in popularity in North America as more fans discover the excitement that fans in other parts of the world have long known. With COPA America celebrating its 100th anniversary in America this year, viewership and interest are way up. Seeing the demand, organizers began to explore the possibility of implementing a 4K telecast of the championship match on June 26.
Lyon Video, a long-time customer of Grass Valley, a Belden Brand, provides mobile television production facilities and event crewing for a wide variety of sports and event clients. Based in Columbus, OH, the 30-year-old company worked with COPA America organizers for many years, and this year has been chosen to provide host broadcasting and international rights holder services, including 4K content, that will be fed to a number of rights holder networks and stations for use in their own coverage.
“A lot of planning has gone into this project to ensure that it will run smoothly and meet the needs of the organizers,” says Chad Snyder, chief operating officer, Lyon Video. “The beauty of the Grass Valley equipment is that it is flexible, so we are able to deliver whatever format is needed. We are in a real transition period in the industry, which means we often need to provide multiple formats of HD for multiple clients, and now even 4K at the same time.”
Grass Valley equipment has dominated much of the set-up for the broadcast. From the group stage and through the quarterfinals, Lyon Video employed LDX 86 and LDX 80 Series Cameras with XCU Universe XF base stations, a Kayenne K-Frame Video Production Center switcher, K2 Summit 3G Production Client and K2 Dyno Universe 6X and 4K Switchable Replay System for each match. For the final match in HD and 4K, Lyon Video will use 14 LDX 86 Universe cameras, 16 LDX 80 cameras, 8 legacy Grass Valley cameras, XCU Universe XF base stations, two Kayenne K-Frame switchers, a K2 Summit 3G Production Client and K2 Dyno Universe Replay System.
For the first time, Lyon Video will be using 14 of the LDX 86 Universe cameras to provide a 4K signal and high-speed replay for the host broadcast and those rights holders who want it for their broadcast. The company did extensive proof-of-concept testing with the tournament organizers and solved the network infrastructure challenges of delivering the various format streams.
“More and more clients will be looking for 4K content, especially in the sports and entertainment areas where differentiation is key,” adds Snyder. “4K enables a better viewing experience in the right circumstances, and we are always ready to increase our capabilities as we need to.”
The ability of Grass Valley’s integrated solutions to easily handle the different formats is essential in helping mobile broadcast companies meet the changing needs of their clients. “We have been working on 4K solutions for quite some time, understanding that it’s going to be a period of transition while the rest of the pieces fall into place,” explains Kyle Luther, vice president of sales, North America, Grass Valley. “This is an exciting project because it’s creating such a buzz in the U.S. and will lay the groundwork for many future 4K projects.”