Audio Global Viewpoint – August 2018

Wimbledon Tennis Championship Broadcast Relies on World’s Largest To-Date IP OB Network

Veteran production company NEP UK successfully supported the 4K (UHD) HDR live production of the 2018 Wimbledon Tennis Championship, using IP infrastructure and IP gateway cards as well as live production gear from Grass Valley on board the all-IP (SMPTE ST 2110) trucks, "Venus" and "Ceres."

Wimbledon Broadcast Services (WBS), the newly formed host broadcaster of the world famous tennis tournament, provided multi-camera coverage of all 18 courts for the first time, including a net-cam on both Center Court and No.1 Court, as well as other enhancements throughout the tournament. The NEP Venus and Ceres trucks managed HD, HDR and UHD content on site, providing world feeds to 20 onsite broadcasters and supporting 21 of its own production galleries.

The two trucks were linked via a portable IP flyaway system, forming the world’s largest SMPTE ST 2110 OB installation. The setup managed more than over 118 camera signals, which would have normally involved miles of cabling. However, thanks to the Grass Valley IP infrastructure, this was vastly reduced.

The Venus and Ceres trucks, linked via a portable IP flyaway system, formed the world’s largest SMPTE ST 2110-based Outside Broadcast installation to date.

The Venus and Ceres trucks, linked via a portable IP flyaway system, formed the world’s largest SMPTE ST 2110-based Outside Broadcast installation to date.

Grass Valley’s IP infrastructure platform is built around its IQ UCP 25GbE Gateway cards, which support clients using Serial Digital Interface (SDI) feeds. The card is a modular, re-programmable, processing platform for two-way interfacing between the IP equipment and existing baseband technology. This allowed OB truck's crew to easily adapt the system for different events without having to replace or re-wire racks of equipment. Each truck has around 70 Grass Valley IQ UCP cards and 200 pre-tested flyaway kits.

The trucks also house Grass Valley’s IPEDGE-SVR turnkey IP routing control system with Orbit control and monitoring software, Kayenne and Kahuna video production switchers, along with IP multiviewers. These seamlessly integrate with Arista Networks COTS network switches, Axon Digital Design master control systems,Calrec Audio mixing capability and comms facilities from Telex Communications.

The same UK trucks were later deployed to cover the Royal Wedding on 19 May 2018, which attracted 1.9 billion viewers around the globe.

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