Customer Profile

Global Production, part of Euro Media Group (EMG), is a leading provider of top-end outside broadcast facilities across a range of genres, in its native Italy and around Europe. For 20 years, Global Production has been delivering premium content across some of the biggest sports and entertainment events for broadcasters, like Sky and Rai, and for sports rights-holders. Its fleet of outside broadcast (OB) vans includes three expandable production units.
Inside of an OBX truck during live production.

Business Challenge

With its new OB-8 production truck, Global Production was looking to build a state-of-the-art vehicle capable of meeting market demand for delivering high-value content in UHD HDR. The goal was to fit 30 full-4K camera chains and related production equipment into a single OB van, which meant optimization of both the internal operational space and of the broadcast infrastructure was paramount in this truck’s design.

Global Production wanted its new van to have the same look and feel as the other vehicles in its fleet and provide an excellent working environment for the crews.

Working with its systems integration partner Chromaline, Global needed to implement operator-familiar workflows to ensure consistency and maintain efficiency.

To ensure that the new van would keep Global Production comfortably ahead of the competition, Chromaline was tasked with designing a production solution for OB-8 that optimizes software solutions within a hybrid SDI-IP environment.

“In today’s hybrid world, broadcasters have to perform a lot of conversions. SNP allows for any conversion, on any transport, with the best accuracy on the market.”
Nicola Dall'Asta, CEO at Chromaline

Technology Solution

To deliver a 30-camera UHD production system based on conventional architecture would be impossible within the size and weight constraints of an OB van. Most of the functionality, therefore, needed to be implemented in software running on standard COTS devices, or in compact, powerful hardware. To achieve this, Chromaline relied on three field-proven products from Imagine Communications. First, the Platinum™ IP3 router, which supports mixed-format video and audio routing and a range of key functionality in a space-saving 15RU frame. In OB-8, the IP3 also incorporates 14 multiviewers, reducing integration and operational costs, while allowing operators to monitor 448 PiPs simultaneously. Global Production wanted its new van to have the same look and feel as the other vehicles in its fleet and provide an excellent working environment for the crews.
Second is the Selenio™ Network Processor (SNP), an IP media processing platform with independent processing blocks that can be reconfigured on the fly for maximum agility. The OB-8 van uses four SNPs for processing and HD/UHD up- and down-conversion, and to serve as a bridge between uncompressed IP signals in SMPTE ST 2110 and the SDI infrastructure. Finally, the Magellan™ SDN Orchestrator enables unified management of the technical infrastructure, allowing the production team to switch and interwork seamlessly between HD, UHD and uncompressed real-time SMPTE ST 2110 streams.

Business Value

OB-8 entered service in September 2018, providing host broadcaster coverage for the Men’s Volleyball World Championship. Since then it has been covering major sporting events around Europe. One high-profile showcase for the new van came at the Ferrari Challenge World Final in Monza, where Ferrari itself manages the production. The motor manufacturer was very excited by the prospect of 4K and HDR, but was keen that every viewer should see the best possible image quality. They set up a shoot-out among technology solution providers to compare consistency of image — and particularly color fidelity — across the full range of outputs from mobile streaming all the way to UHD and HDR. The Ferrari technical team needed to see every single available standard at the same time, with completely consistent results.

The critical test came with the familiar Ferrari red trademark. The multiple outputs from the new van, created by just 4RU of Imagine SNPs, delivered complete consistency across every output, to the delight of Ferrari.

The powerful production capability of OB-8 is implemented in a tenth of the rack space typically required, providing a critical advantage in achieving the capacity necessary. Without it, Global Production’s goal of full functionality, including 30 true 4K Ultra HD camera capability, simply could not have been achieved inside a road-legal vehicle.

“This exciting project was far more than just a huge outside broadcast van. It is an entirely new way of approaching production and systems integration.”
Nicola Dall'Asta, CEO at Chromaline
There’s more than one path to UHD.Check out how Switzerland’s tpc is doing it.
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portatif of Steve Reynolds


Steve Reynolds

Steve Reynolds is President of Imagine Communications, a global leader in multiscreen video and ad management solutions that broadcasters, networks, video service providers and enterprises around the world rely on to support their mission-critical operations.

Steve brings 25 years of technology leadership in the video industry to Imagine Communications. He has served as the CTO at Imagine Communications and Harris Broadcast, Senior Vice President of Premises Technology at Comcast, Senior Vice President of Technology at OpenTV, and CTO at Intellocity USA.

Steve earned a MS in Computer Engineering from Widener University and BS in Computer Science from West Chester University. As the Chairman of the AIMS Alliance and a member of SMPTE and SCTE, he has participated in numerous standards-making bodies in the cable and digital video industries. Steve also holds over 40 patents relating to digital video, content security, interactive television and digital devices.