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Tape shortage changes Chelsea choice for BBC

27 May 2011

Coverage of this week’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show was affected by the tape shortages caused by the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, which forced it to shoot on DVCPRO HD instead of HDCAM due to limited supplies, writes David Fox.

The BBC coverage, which is one of its most complex outside broadcasts, included the production of two or three magazine-style programmes each day, some of which are completely wireless.

It provided more than 11 hours of HD programming, almost all of which was shot at the show during the week, plus further Red Button and online coverage.

Although parts of the coverage, including all of a daily lunchtime programme, were recorded wirelessly to an EVS system, five of its camera crews shot on tape, and had to switch to Panasonic cameras when it was discovered that there were insufficient stocks of HDCAM tape available to cope with their requirements, thanks to the current tape shortages caused by the effects of the earthquake and tsunami on Sony’s main tape facility, which, as we reported previously, is not expected to resume tape production until the end of July.

The full story of the BBC’s Chelsea coverage, with production facilities provided by SIS Live, is in TVBEurope’s May 31 Sports Broadcast Europe newsletter. The newsletter is delivered by email every second Tuesday and covers the latest in workflows and technology in the world of outside broadcast sports and events.

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