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First IP channel in Colombia

A live sports television channel, requiring in addition to the matches, the transmission of graphics and analysis, has very high demands regarding production and broadcasting, that is why IP was used.

Richard Santa

At the beginning of 2020, Win Sports + began operating on Colombia, the new channel with 24 hours of programming that presents Colombian professional football live, without commercials during matches and with more cameras. It is a channel 100% dedicated to football.

For the start-up of this Premium channel, the Colombian technology integrator Seel was in charge of the implementation of the production and broadcast master's degree, during November 2019 and January 2020. The WIN+ channel is the first television channel in Colombia to use IP technology for live production and one of the first in Latin America.

- Publicidad -

Carlos Iván Fernández, manager of Seel, told TVyVideo+Radio that the project included the location and physical distribution of spaces, the direction in the construction stage and architectural adaptation, carrying out the sizing and configuration of the electrical and air conditioning part, as well as the technical furnishing and finally, but not least, the integration of the set of electronic equipment that make it up.

"Win Sport+ is part of the Win Sport family, a subscription television channel specializing in sports issues. The implementation of this new Master was carried out at the headquarters of Win Sport in the city of Bogotá, taking advantage of the availability of study, areas for the location of the new Master and CER (Control Equipment Room) of Win Sport + and its proximity and interaction with the current Master of the basic channel of Win, "he said.

Installed technology
The system is composed of the production studio of approximately 300 square meters, the CER (Control Equipment Room), the equipment room that has 21 racks of which the first 8 racks were used at this stage, and the Production Control - emission itself formed by a monitoring panel and three production tables. Additionally, it has the audio booth where the mixer and its audio peripheral equipment are housed.

As an outstanding feature of the system, the SMPTE 2110 protocol is used for interconnection of the equipment, both in video (ST 2110-20) and audio (ST 2110-30) and control (ST 2110-40). This implies that signals are transferred via high-speed data connections, via data switches. In the same way, the SMPTE 2022-7 "Seamless Protection Switching" protocol was implemented, generating two data streams from each source, being sent by two different routes, so that the original stream can be reconstructed at the destination, in case of packet loss.

This is why the heart of the system is in the hands of two Cisco Data Switches of the Nexus 9336C series with 36 40/100G ports in redundant configuration and two Nexus 9108TC switches as aggregation switches, with 6 40/100G ports and 48 copper ports.

The system-wide orchestrator is based on Lawo's VSM servers in redundant configuration, responsible for managing, routing and prioritizing all necessary connections.

Lawo's system also includes signal routing control panels and a set of 6 C-100 series gateways responsible for converting signals from HD Baseband to IP and vice versa. Similarly, there is a set of 4 double-head MultiViewer cards also based on the C-100 series, for the visualization of signals in the Master of Production and Broadcast.

- Publicidad -

The MC2 32 reference audio mixer also belongs to Lawo and works in conjunction with its associated studio box or Stage Box, which also shares the ST 2110-30 protocol.

The 4 chains of studio cameras belong to Sony of the HDC-3100 series, which have IP 2110 output in their CCU and connect to the data switches through 100G QSFP and fiber optics. All video, return, audio and control signals are handled by these IP connections.

The main production switcher is from the manufacturer Sony, XVS-7000, with 64 inputs and 32 outputs handled through 7 100G QSFP connections. The coordination with the orchestrator of the VSM system is carried out by two LSM servers in redundant configuration, which are responsible for translating the orchestrator's commands into a protocol understandable by Sony equipment, in addition to functioning as a network monitor.

The system has two EVS servers of the XS-VIA series with recording capacity of 6 input channels and two simultaneous output channels on each server. Together with the XT Acces and IP Director servers, they manage the notes in the news following the playlist generated by the Avid iNews system existing in the basic Win channel.

The graphics of the system are in charge of 8 servers or "Engines" of the manufacturer VizRT and are a combination of new equipment with IP connection and existing equipment with HD baseband outputs and inputs, so for the latter equipment it is necessary to use the Lawo C-100 gateway of the system for conversion to and from IP. These Engines are responsible for the credits (C.G.) on the air, the management of two 98" touch screens in the studio for interactivity effects, the management of the signals of the two large format LED screens in the studio (Multiplay), the graphics of analysis of the plays (Libero) and the graphing in real time on the grass of the playing field (Arena).

The manufacturer Tektronix contributed to the system its Master Clock SPG8000A synchronism generator equipment in redundant configuration and synchronized by GPS. These equipment, in addition to the PTP signal for synchrony of the entire IP part, also generate Black Burst and Tri Level signals for Baseband equipment. As dual measurement equipment, both IP and HD baseband, there is a PRISM which verifies both the connection of the signals, as well as their quality and synchrony with the system.

- Publicidad -

Carlos Iván Fernández pointed out that "a very important aspect is the coordination of the different operators at the time of emissions. This coordination is carried out through an intercom system of the manufacturer RTS / Telex and its 32-port Odin matrix, which was linked with the basic Win master and via fiber optics with the RCN Master, which is the one that sends the signal of these two Win channels to the operating cable. Each operating position has its intercom station, allowing private communication or to a particular group."

In the Studio, the set has 7 monitors of 98", two of which are "touch" for interactivity effects and also has two large format LED screens, the first of 12x6 modules, with a dimension of 7x2 meters and the second of 6x6 modules with dimension of 3.6x2 meters. Both LED screens are from the manufacturer Layard-Planar.

24/7 operation
The objective of this integration is to keep the channel signal on the air 24/7 with the best possible quality and without cuts. To achieve this, the areas were adapted to maintain the best technical and operational conditions. Additionally, there is the set of redundant and backup equipment, necessary for this type of required availability. Likewise, backup procedures and maintenance protocols were established to ensure continuous operation.

The manager of Seel concluded that "This Master of Broadcast and Production is intimately linked with the Master of the Basic Win channel, through the interconnection with its video matrix and the connection with the intercom system. Additionally, it has connections via fiber optics with the video and intercom matrices of the RCN Master, through which the signals are sent to the operating cables. With this type of protocols and IP technology, it is very important the direct support of each and every one of the manufacturers and suppliers involved, to solve in the fastest and most effective way, any difficulty in terms of configuration or adjustment of the equipment in particular and the system in general. "

Richard Santa, RAVT
Author: Richard Santa, RAVT
Periodista de la Universidad de Antioquia (2010), con experiencia en temas sobre tecnología y economía. Editor de las revistas TVyVideo+Radio y AVI Latinoamérica. Coordinador académico de TecnoTelevisión&Radio.

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