January 21, 2019

Quality and efficiency in production across a range of sports and arts applications

A remarkable outside broadcast truck, UHD1 HDR, built for Swiss production company tpc using technology from Imagine Communications, completed its first live broadcast – a match in the Swiss National Hockey League in Zürich on October 19, and is now in regular use. To deliver high-performance and multiformat capabilities across a broad range of productions, the truck uses standards-based IP connectivity. Providing extensive functionality in a compact form, the truck is the first step in tpc’s aggressive programme to move to an all-SMPTE ST 2110 production and delivery infrastructure.

From its base in Switzerland, tpc, the technical service provider for national broadcaster SRF/SRG, manages coverage of a broad range of events, from football to Alpine and Nordic skiing, as well as theatre, concerts and opera. When designing a new, large-scale truck, flexibility was critical, allowing it to switch from sports to arts, day to day. It also comes at a time when tpc’s broadcaster clients are expressing growing interest in acquiring in the highest quality, including 4K resolution and extended dynamic range and colour gamut, to future-proof content and maintain its value for audiences.

“We are at the beginning of a journey to move all our operations to IP connectivity,” said Andreas Lattmann, CTO of tpc. “It is great to see our new UHD1 HDR truck on the road, giving us both outstanding production quality and valuable experience in developing and operating IP networks. Most important, it does all this while looking and feeling like the trucks that our crews have been operating for years.

“It gives us the same performance characteristics and operational look and feel as a traditional SDI system,” Lattmann explained, “but with all the benefits of IP connectivity and software flexibility — not least, complete format independence right up to uncompressed 4K HDR Ultra HD.”

Imagine Communications provided the IP-connected infrastructure using commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) switches and hardware, which allowed uncompressed Ultra HD production when required. Central to this was the Selenio™ Network Processor (SNP), which is now widely regarded as the most powerful and flexible gateway and video processor in high-performance IP implementations worldwide.

The compact SNP provides high-density signal processing with complete freedom to select formats by signal or by production. It also delivers gateway conversion to external SDI signals. The new UHD1 HDR truck also relies on Imagine’s Magellan™ SDN Orchestrator to provide system-level control of the complete network, as well as the company’s EPIC™ MV multiviewer for fully flexible monitoring.

“Open standards are very important to us, to give us the reassurance we need that we can select best-of-breed solutions for every stage from acquisition to delivery,” said tpc’s Lattmann.

Andreas Kotulek, director Sales, Nordic, Central & Eastern Europe and Russia, added, “tpc is an early adopter of IP technology, and knew from the start that open standards and open interoperability were critical. We formed a strong bond with them because we demonstrated a commitment to interoperability through our advocacy of the Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS) and a commitment to open standards in our active participation in the delivery of SMPTE ST 2110.”

Kotulek continued, “We shared a common vision with tpc that enabled us to deliver the functionality, the performance and the reliability that they demanded through leading-edge technology – and that helped to streamline their production workflows.”

Through the winter, UHD1 HDR is fully booked on World Cup winter sports and Euro League and Champions League football, among other events.

tpc and Imagine Communications are to stage a one-day event to showcase this new truck to end users, systems integrators, partners and the press on Tuesday, February 19, 2019, at the Technology and Production Center in Zürich.

For more information about Imagine Communications’ products and solutions, please visit https://www.imaginecommunications.com

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About Imagine Communications
Imagine Communications empowers the media and entertainment industry through transformative innovation. Broadcasters, networks, video service providers and enterprises around the world rely on our optimized, future-proof, multiscreen video and revenue enablement solutions every day to support their mission-critical operations. Today, nearly half of the world’s video channels traverse our products, and our software solutions drive close to a third of global ad revenue. Through continuous innovation, we are delivering the most advanced IP, cloud-enabled, software-defined network and workflow solutions in the industry. Visit https://www.imaginecommunications.com for more information, and follow us on Twitter @imagine_comms.

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