Article Overview

Harris Goes on European Tour with Italy’s L’Opera

L'Opera's HD OBVan is ready for action

L’Opera Broadcast Video Service (BVS) is a leading company in the sector of communications technology and specializes in the live broadcasting of sports events and concerts, as well as the commercial production of film and television ads. For more than 20 years, L’Opera has been active in the arena of broadcast production, and its team of skilled engineers and high-quality fleet of outside broadcast (OB) units enable a service offering of the highest quality and completion of assignments for clients quickly and within budget constraints.

Business Challenge

L’Opera Broadcast Video Service sought to upgrade its fleet of OB units by adding a brand-new HD OB van — “OB 5 HD.” The goal of the new van was to better compete in the outside broadcast market, as demands increase for DTV and HDTV. A key requirement for the new truck was the ability to handle HD production in every environment, especially live sports. The main components of the truck were to include routers, multiviewers, signal processing technology, graphics and test and measurement equipment. L’Opera required a cost-effective, fully integrated broadcast solution — with all equipment being robust and reliable, interoperable and offering an easy path to future upgrades/expansion. The broadcast teams in the truck also required a great deal of flexibility when working with multiple camera positions on the video monitors, and the interior design of the truck must be designed to maximize the comfort of the crew. The timely completion of “OB 5 HD” was key, as the truck was to embark on a busy European tour, with a 2009/2010 schedule to include the Spanish GT Championship, the FIA Formula Two Championship and the European F3 Open Championship.

Technology Solution

The “OB 5 HD” van incorporates several HD cameras that interface with a Thomson video production switcher. A 256x256 Harris® Platinum™ router is at the center of the new HD OB van and enables L’OPERA to handle 3 Gb/s signals. Integrated within the router is a Harris CENTRIO™ multiviewer generating a composite of multiple videos, tally, UMD and audio metering. The space-saving router and multiviewer solution drives 14 LCD monitors throughout the OB van. Leveraging the Platinum signal routing capabilities, CENTRIO can access all of the video or audio inputs in the router frame. Two Harris X75™ all-in-one processors perform up-/down-/ and cross-conversion, and multiple 6800+™ advanced core processing platform modules perform auto-sensing SD/HD audio multiplexing. The Harris Inscriber® TitleOne™ broadcast production and graphics system is used to create sophisticated titles, graphics and high-level digital effects. L’Opera is also running Harris Videotek® VTM-4100 advanced audio/HD video test tools to perform broadcast quality control. The Harris CCS Navigator™ is used for centralized equipment configuration and setup. All Harris signal processing products are compatible with the CCS Navigator monitoring and control system.


Business Value

High definition is increasingly demanded in mobile production, and L’Opera required versatile, scalable and reliable technology to meet the rigorous demands of mobile environments — exactly the type of interoperable solutions that Harris delivers. The Harris equipment, including modular products such as CENTRIO and 6800+, were easy to incorporate, resulting in a very short learning curve for operators and enabling significant time and cost savings for L’Opera. The core of the new van — the space-saving Platinum router and CENTRIO multiviewer — provides integrated monitoring and control. The Platinum/CENTRIO solution also provides the broadcast teams with a great deal of flexibility when working with multiple camera positions on the video monitors. Furthermore, as CENTRIO is in the router, it uses the existing router fabric to connect to all signals in the system, so cabling requirements are reduced. This in egrated design, together with the low power consumption of the Platinum router, drastically reduces the overall power consumption of the truck. Users also get not only unmatched multi-image processing, but also an unsurpassed level of confidence that comes with using a world-class router. The CCS Navigator software allows for an easy setup of the whole system. All Harris components, as well as the third-party equipment, can be monitored and controlled by Navigator using Harris CCS™ network monitoring and control or SNMP. Complete setups can be stored and recalled when needed so the time required to adapt the truck for different venues can be drastically reduced. All Harris products installed in OB 5 HD are also extremely robust and ideally suited to space-constrained environments — key elements for equipment installed on a vehicle often required to travel long distances and perform dependably during highprofile, live broadcasts, such as sporting events.

L'Opera's busy European tour includes coverage of the FIA Formula Two Championship in 2010