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SIS Live drives Open Golf production

SIS Live is providing 54 cameras and 70km of cable for the host broadcast of the 140th Open Golf Championship at Royal St George’s 14-17 July.

SIS Live is providing 54 cameras and 70km of cable for the host broadcast of the 140th Open Golf Championship at Royal St George’s 14-17 July, writes Adrian Pennington.

The biggest challenge is logistical, not least transporting is main OB1 production truck to Kent from Inverness where it was busy on the rain-hit Scottish Open this weekend.

For host broadcaster BBC Sport, SIS Live will have its OB1 and OB3 trucks, Unit 12, Unit 10, CTSV4, X Trailer FCP server system, a Fibre Trailer, seven support trucks and two PSC vehicles in a 20,000m2 broadcast compound at the venue.

Around the course will be some 54 cameras, mainly Sony HDC1500s but with eight LDK800 RF shoulder mounts, a high speed X –Mo working RF all around the course, a Steadicam operator, two Jimmy Jibs (one on RF working all around the course), plus seven hydraulic camera hoists, including a 72m one with full visibilty of the complete course.

The outside broadcaster will rig 70km of cable and record 600 hours of 1080i to 16 HD EVS machines. The operation is scheduled to air for about 11 hours on Thursday and Friday and around 8hrs a day for the weekend.

The biggest challenge, says Jon Mason, account director, SIS Live is getting core crew and facilities in place given the tight turnaround from their operation at the Scottish Open this past weekend.

“The way BBC Sport like to cover golf is to use our OB1 vehicle, which is capable of supporting the way they like to work with the right number of monitors, mixer inputs, size of sound desk and so on. There is a lot of kit and people that won’t arrive here until Monday or Tuesday this week, so when they do it is all hands on deck and desk to get everything done in time. Fortunately we have all the technical planning done to a ‘T’ so that everyone will know exactly what they are doing and when.”

Aside from the world feed, SIS Live will produce various sub-mixes including a secondary mix of material considered “the next most important” from another fully equipped production gallery. Two further mixes will be cut including one with an automated sound follow using a matrix. Footage from ISO cameras around the greens and from RF cameras roving the fairways will be continuously recorded to pick up anything that doesn’t make it to air.

All the feeds will be accessible in ProRes 120Mbps on four EVS LSM servers managed by Timeline TV and also in MPEG 6Mbps for browse purposes. This low-resolution content will be housed on a nearline server of 100TB capacity.

The feeds will be tagged by Timeline’s logging specialists on 20 IPDirector systems combining statistical information about score and player with descriptive information such as type of shot or notes on player reactions.

The BBC is able to browse and select clips to build highlights programming and other packages in Final Cut Pro.

SIS Live’s other client at the event is Japan’s TV Asahi for whom it will provide uplinks.