NEP Switzerland Takes on 4K/UHD Production With Grass Valley
NEP Switzerland is building two large 4K/UHD OB trucks, a 4K/UHD studio and playout facility, and a remote studio, all leveraging the latest live production and content delivery solutions from Grass Valley, a Belden Brand. NEP Switzerland, part of the global NEP Group, provides a full range of production services for customers with sports, entertainment and other live production needs.
This project represents the first time that a full 4K/UHD workflow and playout solution is being installed in OB vans and studio in Switzerland, a significant milestone in that market. Included in the installation are native 4K cameras, switchers, routers, multiviewers and playout. The first OB van is already operating in the field and the studios will be coming online very soon.
“We were looking for a supplier that could provide a true, end-to-end solution that would help us accomplish our goals for 4K/UHD production,” says Trond Hermansen, CTO and project manager, NEP Switzerland. “Grass Valley has a clear vision and an advanced portfolio; this investment is going to put us right where we need to be. Our customers have been asking about 4K, so the timing is ideal.”
Each of the two OB vans feature 16 LDX 86N Native HD/3G/4K/High-Speed System Cameras and 9 M/E K-Frame Switchers with Karrera and Korona control surfaces. The studio facility in Zurich is equipped with two large 9 M/E K-Frame Switchers with two Karrera and two Korona control panels, eight LDX 86N 4K camera chains, a 4K/UHD capable NVISION 8576 Router with 369 x 774 I/Os, and a Kaleido-Modular-X Multiviewer System with 320 independent inputs.
The iTX Integrated Playout Platform handles 20 channels of live and 24/7 playout including two 4K/UHD event channels. A satellite facility in Rossens near Geneva is equipped with four LDX 86N4K camera chains that are remotely controlled from the Zurich studio.
One of the centerpieces of NEP Switzerland’s 4K/UHD capability, the LDX 86NNative HD/3G/4K/High-Speed System Camera with its XensiumHAWK CMOS imagers and the DPMUltra feature delivers uncompromised 3G/HD performance as well as the ultimate 4K resolution with native 4K imaging. Just like all the LDX Series cameras, they support the GV-eLicense software upgrade path for easy upgradability as needed. With the GV-eLicense, users can activate native HDR operation with an outstanding range of up to 15 F-stops; and because both standardized HDR OETFs are directly supported, no proprietary in-between curve with intrinsic negative effects is required.
Playout also is a critical ingredient in the deployment of the NEP Switzerland solution. Using the latest version of iTX, the UHD channels feature new Vertigo UHD graphics capability as well as an updated secondary record to capture UHD files for later replay. The iTX system is also present at the second site, which provides geographic resilience and disaster recovery features for added peace of mind.
“The advantage of Grass Valley’s 4K/UHD portfolio is its ability to handle the 4K format from capture through delivery with a full range of native technology,” notes Neerav Shah, senior vice president, Live, Grass Valley. “We are seeing this trend toward more 4K/UHD content today as viewers look for better viewing experiences and content owners see higher revenue potentials. NEP Switzerland’s decision to standardize on our solutions gives them a real competitive edge in the market.”
NEP Switzerland is building the new studio and playout center in Zurich for the MySports project of Swiss Cable Provider UPC. Beginning with the 2017/2018 season, the company will produce and handle playout of Swiss First League ice hockey from this new state-of-the-art broadcast facility. The two new OB vans will be used by Teleclub to produce selected SFL football matches for the Swiss Raiffeisen SuperLeague in 4K/UHD resolution.