Tinopolis Group, the UK’s largest independent media group, used a Blackmagic Design Universal Videohub 288 to broadcast the 2011 Rugby World Cup in Wales. It also used a wide range of Blackmagic Design’s OpenGear Converters and Mini Converters to support its HD infrastructure to broadcast the games, writes David Fox.
Sunset + Vine Cymru, one of the Group's companies, provided Rugby World Cup programming for the S4C Network. As part of this, a Sunset + Vine team worked in New Zealand for the duration of the Rugby World Cup, with all matches and rugby related programs sent back to Wales via a combination of satellite and optical fibre. From there, live programming and highlights were produced at the Tinopolis studios and headquarters in Llanelli, Wales.
The Universal Videohub was used to route all incoming HD satellite feeds from New Zealand into record playback servers and edit suites, as well as routing all studio sources into a vision mixer located in the company’s production suite. Through this workflow, Tinopolis was able to complete rapid input source changes as well as the rerouting of satellite receivers, VTRs and other servers quickly and efficiently, keeping pace with the huge amount of footage and programming being created during Wale’s World Cup run.
“We used an iPad to control the previous Videohub, but for the Rugby World Cup, we have added a combination of software control panels and Blackmagic Design’s Smart Control panels. This allowed for rapid input source changes to the EVS as well as the re-routing of satellite receivers, VTRs, servers and vision mixer outputs," explained Peter Harston, Chief Engineer at Tinopolis.
“We wanted to install a system that would cope with 3G so that our infrastructure is ready to handle our future needs, and the Universal Videohub was perfect for this. We decided to integrate the Universal Videohub into our workflow, not just because of the attractive price, but also because the equipment needed to fit the bill in terms of both performance and operability. The Universal Videohub did just that," he added.
The Universal Videohub range consists of two customisable card based routers designed for high-end post production and broadcast use. The two models are: 72x72 (pictured left) and 288x288 capacity units that can take a combination of SDI and optical fibre interface cards. Universal Videohub 288 also supports hot-swap redundant crosspoints and power supplies, with fully automatic switchover for 24/7 reliability. Other features include: SD, HD and 3Gbps auto switching, built-in deck control ports and Ethernet and serial router control with a wide range of Mac and PC software and hardware control panels.
Tinopolis works across all genres in TV, new media and animation, and recently acquired two US production companies as part of a strategy to create an international business with a strong US presence from which to launch its intellectual property, with a focus on programme and format rights.