No second chances

05th July, 2009

The smooth integration of EVS and Avid technology was crucial to NEP Vision’s outside broadcast coverage of Wimbledon for US TV networks.

Wimbledon is one of the jewels in the crown of the British summer sporting calendar, a watercooler event not just for British fans but for tennis enthusiasts around the world.

That’s why US broadcasters NBC, ESPN and the Tennis Channel once again joined forces with OB company NEP-Visions to produce their own packages of live coverage, interviews and highlights throughout the two-week tournament.

Project manager Tim Allsop at NEP-Visions explains the entire operation required three OB trucks and over sixty staff backed up by a tapeless post production installation set up by On Sight’s HD Hire department.

It included three Avid Nitris DX systems with Grade 1 monitoring, two Avid Media Composers a 16 Terabyte Unity and Avid Interplay. Allsop recalls: “The broadcasters had their own gallery with a total of 96 feeds from their own court cameras, ISO feeds from the BBC, plus material from their own ENG crews going out and about at the venue. We also had player interview positions on the roof and in the studios. All this material was clipped to our EVS network and delivered to Avid via Avid Transfer Manager so the editors could work on packages.”

One of the crucial parts of the whole operation was seamless communication between the EVS network and Avid – an area where Allsop insists that On Sight’s HD Hire operation came into its own. “They are really clued up on EVS integration and Avid. New versions of EVS and Avid software are things that you really need to keep on top of and we simply don’t have time. We just leave it to On Sight to manage the whole edit.”

On a complicated and fast-moving live sports events such as Wimbledon there are no second chances so working with a team who know exactly what they are doing is paramount, insists Allsop. Producing the coverage entirely in HD certainly created extra pressure on the system’s storage. “We were really pushing our non-linear edit set up to the edge,” he reveals. “But On Sight’s engineers were right on top of it. They offered 24 hour support, made sure we never ran out of space and kept everything running smoothly.”