Imagine Communications Teams With NEP UK For Live Premium Sports Coverage

As the demand for high-definition coverage of live sports continues, NEP UK has worked with Imagine Communications to deliver this increased level of quality to their viewers.

Imagine Communications has supplied multiple Selenio Network Processor (SNP) appliances to NEP UK, the UK division of the media technology partner for content creators around the globe. NEP UK installed the SNPs in four of their largest outside broadcast trucks, in order to provide a seamless, automated workflow for delivering 4K and UHD, HD, standard (SDR) and high dynamic range (HDR) signals.

NEP UK provides facilities for the leading sports broadcasters in the UK, who are increasingly offering UHD coverage as an option for subscribers. At the same time, they have to maintain the highest quality HD output possible to serve the majority of viewers. In the high-pressure, live environment of premium sports, it is vital to have a simple and automated workflow to provide multiple outputs from the truck with a minimum of user intervention.

“We have adopted the use of the SNP as a high-density signal conversion engine,” said Chris Cannon, Director of Technical Operations at NEP in the UK. “Given the tight confines of an outside broadcast truck, we really appreciate we can get eight UHD conversion channels in just 1RU, and that includes signal format conversion, as well as SDR-HDR conversion ― the latter through the built-in conversion pipeline or through customer-defined LUTs. We set and forget the SNPs: they perform well, take up little rack space, consume less power, and deliver the full variety of HD, UHD, SDR and HDR outputs we need.”

The SNP is a software-defined IP and SDI signal processing device. Each 1RU device features four independent processing blocks, each of which can adopt personalities defined by the software. Applications are available on individual licenses, so users can define the exact functionality they require and reconfigure their SNPs as tasks demand ― making them particularly suited to outside broadcast work. NEP UK has ordered a mix of licenses for signal format conversion including HD, 3G, and 4K, as well as dynamic range conversion between SDR, HLG, PQ and Slog3.

“SNP is an incredibly adaptable platform, with new personalities continuing to be added,” said Mathias Eckert, SVP & GM EMEA and APAC for Imagine Communications. “Because it is so compact and flexible, it is ideal for outside broadcast operators like NEP, who need to be able to reconfigure their trucks on site, day to day, as they move between different sports and entertainment productions. In the long run, the software-based design of SNP guarantees quick adoption of future requirements, for example, 8K video.

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