New Zealand-based Sky operates TVU Networks multi-camera remote production system for two major sporting events

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New Zealand pay-TV operator, Sky, used the TVU RPS multi-channel live remote production solution to deliver additional content during the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and the Beijing Winter Games. The results of both high profile events were very successful and the broadcaster plans to use the same transmission model for the 2024 Summer Games in Paris.

At both events, Sky’s coverage consisted of feeds from the host broadcaster via Multi-Channel Services (MCS), which were sent to New Zealand using traditional routes, including satellite, fiber and IP/EPL links . However, Sky needed additional feeds for its coverage and for this they used the TVU RPS synchronized remote production system using a single six channel RPS encoder on site and a six channel RPS decoder in New Zealand. Thanks to the use of standard Internet and high-quality HEVC encoding, the solution proved to be very economical and efficient.

TVU RPS provided additional content during the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and Beijing Winter Games for Sky.

“Our TVU setup was rock solid for both events,” says Kerry Phelvin, Sky, Technical Production Manager. “During the Beijing Games, our TVU system ran for 16 days, 24/7. The TVU RPS system worked perfectly, moving over 30 terabytes during this time. Not only will we be using it again for the Summer Games in Paris, but we may be able to get a second RPS.

For the Beijing Games, Sky used RPS to provide six one-way feeds and two studio return feeds between the event’s international broadcast center and Sky’s main studio and transmission center in Auckland. The one-sided feeds aired a mix of programming that did not appear on the host broadcaster’s main feed, such as longer-format time-shifted reruns, local beauty shots, and regional studio stand-ups. Return feeds were mainly used to monitor studio productions in Auckland. A very similar setup was used by Sky for coverage of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

Phelvin points out that TVU’s support is a lifeline during such high-profile live sporting events: “As always, the support from TVU has been excellent. During the Beijing Winter Games, we discovered that we were missing an SDI to SDI cable for RPS. The TVU support team in Shanghai quickly found one and couriered it to our mountain hotel. No questions asked, no bills in the mail – brilliant!

“It is a testament to our technology and the people who support it that Sky, a broadcaster with such a strong reputation and known for its dynamic sports coverage, chose TVU RPS for its multi-channel synchronized remote production needs,” says Dave Demmocks, Sales Director, Australia and New Zealand, TVU Networks. “We are delighted that our people and equipment continue to meet the needs of a company like Sky. We also appreciate the team at Digital Video Technologies in Auckland who have been instrumental in supporting Sky with this new technology.

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