For its recent coverage of the Wimbledon tennis tournament, NEP UK deployed its new fleet of IP-based OB vehicles.

On the road with the best-equipped OB vehicles

While remote production may be increasingly popular, the traditional outside broadcast (OB) vehicle still has an important role to play in live production

The recently concluded Wimbledon 2018 tennis tournament was momentous for NEP UK, an NEP Broadcast Services Company.

Not only did it continue a 35-year relationship with the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) — where Wimbledon has traditionally been held — but NEP UK also delivered what it calls the “first” Wimbledon tournament to be broadcast utilising the SMPTE ST 2110 standard.

Working in partnership with Wimbledon Broadcast Services (WBS), NEP UK delivered IP technical facilities for its in-house production of Wimbledon 2018. Specifically, NEP UK deployed its new IP-based outside broadcast (OB) trucks; this, said the company, offered increased flexibility compared to coaxial cable connections and “significantly reduced” the expense and use of unsightly cabling throughout the grounds of AELTC. NEP UK was also able to expand the OB vehicles’ capacity and facilities via modular connection with multiple IP fly-packs.

Rob Newton, director of engineering and CTO, NEP UK, tells APB: “This was a project, the scale of which has not been seen before, in IP. Therefore, the challenges were: learning curves for the crews using the technology and the cutting-edge hardware with the associated teething problems and software updates that new technology brings.

“In the end, it was remarkably smooth, considering the total change in workflow, and we are proud of the result and the crews who used the technology.”

The key installations in Venus and Ceres, NEP UK’s two IP trucks, are based on Arista 7504 switches, used in collaboration with Grass Valley gateway cards and Kahuna mixers. During Wimbledon 2018, these were trucked together with the redundant Arista 7508 switches within the fly-pack area to provide one distributed routing system.

Read the full story in the APB Aug 2018 issue.

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