NEP Mediatec Embraces Grass Valley Solutions for Remote Production of Horse Racing Events

Paul Henriksen, CEO, NEP Europe. “We worked with the engineers from Grass Valley to implement remote camera control

With an eye toward increased efficiency and sustainability, Mediatec Broadcast Norway, part of the NEP Group Inc., has made a significant investment in cameras and infrastructure from Grass Valley, a Belden Brand, for its horse racing coverage. The company purchased 24 LDX 80 Première cameras, eight OCP 400 operational control panels, and two MCP 450 master control panels and is installing everything at 12 trotting venues across Norway, feeding a central control room in its Oslo headquarters.

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“By centralizing our editing and production functions, we are able to take racing content from all the locations and easily put it together in a way that is more compelling for viewers,” explained Paul Henriksen, CEO, NEP Europe. “We worked with the engineers from Grass Valley to implement remote camera control previously, but this project is on a much larger scale. We are covering more than 500 events a year, and each one requires a very quick turnaround. We now are able to deliver better content for less money.”

Mediatec is feeding all footage from the parks over C2IP protocol via a layer 3 IP VPN network to the Oslo studio, giving editors and producers more options for creating an exciting mix of trotting content. Previously, the same process required multiple OB vans travelling long distances to the various locations across the country, driving up staff and operation costs. Now, only three cameramen are required at each site, capturing the action and sending video back over the network to the studio for editing and finishing. The result is a dramatic reduction in cost and environmental impact.

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The LDX 80 Première can switch between 1080i and 720p, and features the Contour Equalizer, which allows for tweaking the crispness in the shadows, mid-tones and highlights independently. In addition, the camera can be easily upgraded as production needs change by taking advantage of the GV-eLicense program. The OCP 400 camera control panel is one of the smallest available, offering variable matrix control, fine skin-detail adjustments and installation adjustments. The MCP 450 enables users to interpret and log all network activity between cameras and control panels, gather data through a spreadsheet-like interface, review all camera settings and make across-the-board or camera-by-camera adjustments.

Mediatec worked closely with the Grass Valley camera factory in Breda, Holland, to implement the remote technology. Some custom software development was provided to make the MCP 450 work as a master camera control over a layer 3 IP VPN network. The project went live in May 2015, with 10 parks already online and two more to be completed by the end of the year.

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“This project really showcases the technical expertise of our engineers and their understanding of what the customer wanted to accomplish,” noted Said Bacho, senior vice president, EMEA, Grass Valley. “It’s a unique application that combines the extremely high quality of our cameras and control systems with a cutting-edge remote network architecture to enable the customer to enhance the viewing experience for these racing events.”

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