Four Hills Tournament 2016 – The Event in Oberstdorf

The Vierschanzentournee presented by Audi was carried out between 28 December and 6 January in Oberstdorf, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Innsbruck and Bischofshofen. In addition to Audi as Presenter, BAUHAUS (workshop, house and garden specialist), Generali (insurance), Intersport (sporting goods retailer) and Veltins (brewery) were involved as Main Sponsors.

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Severin Freund won the opening event of the 64th 4-Hills-Tournament in Oberstdorf. With jumps on 126 m and 137.5 m and a total of 307.2 points the World Champion moved up from 6th after the first round and took his first win in a 4-Hills competition. The second and third place went to Michael Hayboeck and Peter Prevc.

Michael Hayboeck, Severin Freund and Peter Prevc

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The good performances of the German team around Severin Freund also showed in the ratings of the 4-Hills-Tournament on German television.

So far a cumulative 17.45 million viewers followed the competitions on ARD and ZDF, this is almost two million more than last season and equates an increase of almost 12 per cent. The increase was very significant for the competition in Innsbruck, the 6.09 million viewers on ZDF were a million more than last year.

Host Broadcast Compound in Oberstdorf

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The fans not only followed the 4-Hills-Tournament on TV, but also in the stadiums. The four competitions in Oberstdorf (25.500), Garmisch-Partenkirchen (25.000), Innsbruck (22.000) and Bischofshofen (25.00) were all sold-out.

On behalf of Deutscher Ski Verband (DSV) TV Skyline produced the opening competition of the four hills tournament in Oberstdorf.

The TV live production of a ski jumping event demands meticulous preparation with special focus on all athletic and emotional aspects and the complete capture of every move of the top athletes. Furthermore a detailed planning of the optimal camera positions are required including the decision of the optimum focal length of each lens at the camera positions.

Camera Plan Oberstdorf

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A short statement of Thomas Strobl (Director):
 "We must prepare our ‘tools', our cameras, so that everything fits perfectly and the "team" is active – like a clockwork . Then we are clocked by all the contents, the events and the stories. But we must always be one step ahead, knowing what may come. All of us! Otherwise it is not possible to maintain the team spirit. If I sense that the current leader now freaks out, fiddling us an emotional storm, my camera guys have to be already there and catch it. Simultaneously we have to be with the leader and the looser, because all the athletes are fighting for the ranking and for points – these people are real lunatics.

Thomas Strobl surrounded by his team in TV Skyline's Ü7

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And when we then come from craft to composition, when the colors shine, when our technical installations work one-thousand percent, when every cameraman, the graphics artist and the SloMotion operators are painting the picture altogether, a lightness rises and sports presents itself as impressive as it is - then everything runs smoothly, then the kitten purrs like on the warm stove bench."

"The Team has to paint the Picture together."

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TV Skyline headquartered in Mainz (Germany) was responsible for the live-production. Their OBVan Ü7 was used to produce the world signal. The Ikegami cameras HDC 97A/HDC 970A are characterized by their brilliant pictures especially regarding the ambitious capturing of a floodlighted ski jumping.

SloMo Control in TV Skyline's Ü7

TV Skyline equipment list
28 cameras, including
4 wireless cameras
2x cranes (as an innovation: one with superslomo)
1x PoleCam
2x triple superslomos
1x sixfold superslomo
1x Ikegami high speed camera
HTTV camera system provided by Hai TV
Dolby 5.1 production with Sennheiser Esfera
7x EVS XT3

Two of the Camera Positions at the Oberstdorf Event

During the production period from 25 to 29 December 2015 20 people from TV Skyline were on-site, however the cabling for the camera positions took place already before Christmas.

Sennheiser’s new Esfera 5.1 surround system
TV Skyline used the opening competition of the 4-Hills-Tournament to test the new Sennheiser Esfera Dolby 5.1 system extensively.

Esfera Installation in the Sound Area of TV Skyline's Ü7

ESFERA enabled TV Skyline to generate and broadcast 5.1 surround sound using two ordinary standard audio cables. ESFERA consisted of two SPM 8000 microphones on location and the SBP 8000 basic unit in the OBVan. Surprisingly compact and easy to set up the SPM 8000 actually consists of two RF condenser mics in an XY-array.

Sound Area in TV Skyline's Ü7

One of the two microphones was installed on the hanging HTTV camera system of Hai TV. It was located central to the outrun to catch the "spectator’s backdrop" optimally and to be able to give the TV viewers the feeling of being in the center of the stadium.

The HTTV Camera System and the ESFERA Microphone

Hai TV’s HTTV camera system
However the real highlight of the broadcast was the HTTV camera system itself: Two cameras were positioned 4 meters high on center position of the athletes landing area. One camera (Grass Valley LDK-86) was equipped with a 86x zoom lens and operated in 6x SuperMotion mode while the other was using a wide angle lens. The cameras were operated remotely via tripod control. For vision control and SloMo control Hai TV delivers a separate operating van. From here the unique image sections for the flight and the landing of the athletes were transferred to the host broadcast OBVan from TV Skyline where director Thomas Strobl was able to include the emotional images of flight and landing into the host broadcast signal.

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