The Swatch FreeRide World Tour by The North Face is streaming live competitions using a Blackmagic Design broadcast infrastructure. The World Tour showcases skiers and snowboarders executing stunts and runs on Europe and North America’s biggest mountain ranges.
A self-contained production unit has been constructed at the top of the mountain hosting one of the tour’s four European stops. Six ATEM camera converters and more than 3km of optical fibre cable are being used to position six cameras, while wireless cameras are also employed. Fibre signals are converted back to SDI via two ATEM studio converters and routed through a Smart Videohub router to an ATEM 2M/E production switcher.
A programme output and clean feed are produced, routed back to three Blackmagic Teranex 2D processors, and a clean and dirty audio feed are embedded. One Teranex embeds both the clean and dirty audio into the programme TX output, downscaled to 720p50 and encoded for live streaming via satellite to Red Bull TV, dailymotion and the FreeRide online player.
“The ability to embed audio with the Teranex 2D and create consistency in our feeds has been essential,” explained Steeve Morales, technical manager, FreeRide Europe and Switch Productions. “We are able to manage the programme and clean feeds much more smoothly, and it ensures we have the formats needed for instant and future distribution.”
Morales added: “You don’t want to be worrying about kit not integrating properly when you’re trying to set up in freezing cold temperatures, and the Blackmagic Design equipment has given us a fixed infrastructure that we can rely on, whatever the weather chooses to do.”