The Olympic Torch on its Way to the Olympic Stadium
Secrecy surrounding Friday night's Opening Ceremony of the London Olympics meant that camera crews were called at short notice.
Outside Broadcast and studio facilities company, NEP Cymru, contacted BSI to provide radio cameras to film the sequence where a speedboat, driven by David Beckham, carries the Olympic flame up the river Thames.
BSI's Technical Director, Tony Valentino, explains: "We were very excited when NEPC contacted us 10 days before the Opening Ceremony to provide four RF Cameras and an HD receive point for a helicopter, for what we understood to be a critical part of the ceremony."
BSI used four radio camera systems including their own in house developed UHF camera control which allows the use of manufacturers' remote control panels (RCP). Cameras were located on HMS Belfast, Tower Bridge, Butler's Wharf and on the 87th (top) floor of the Shard - the first time the landmark location was used for broadcasting live pictures.
Tony Cahalane, Managing Director of NEPC, says both companies were set achallenge: "We had little run-up time to plan this ambitious broadcast which lasted only a few minutes but formed such an important part of the Opening Ceremony. We just couldn't afford to get it wrong. Technically it was risky and, due to the secrecy surrounding the late commission, it also proved to be an operational challenge. Working alongside the excellent BSI team, we pulled out all the stops and I think our images of Beckham driving a speedboat towards the Olympic Stadium were among the most memorable of the night for viewers around the world."
Tony Valentino, who has been with BSI UK since it opened its European office one year ago, lead BSI's engineering team who set up the RF equipment and operated the camera systems on the banks of the Thames.
"Working around the river was logistically interesting," says Valentino. "There was not much time to arrange frequencies and permits for the camera positions and the RF conditions were not ideal, however we have a great team at BSI UK, with exactly the right experience of outdoor productions. They had a superb night on the Thames, and delivered the solution for that stunning part of the ceremony."
NEPC has delivered the successful broadcast of numerous high profile events across the UK and abroad, with a fleet of OB and Studio facilities for HD, SD or 3D. Its credits range from high end arts performances, rock concerts and festivals to international sport and major live events. Last year NEPC was technically responsible for the award winning live Frankenstein's Wedding for BBC 3 which scooped awards at Broadcast, Broadcast Digital and the Banff World Media Festival. NEPC is part of the North American based NEP Broadcasting, one of the biggest international providers of outsourced broadcasting services.
About Broadcast Sports, Inc.
For over 25 years, Broadcast Sports, Inc., an L-3 Communications company, has been the leading provider of wireless technology and communications systems for television broadcasting. Headquartered in Hanover, MD, USA, BSI provides HD on-board cameras and wireless audio for a wide range of entertainment events around the world, including the NASCAR, NFL, the PGA Tour, the LPGA Tour, the Indy Racing League, the Breeders' Cup, the X-Games, the Kentucky Derby, the US Open, the MTV Video Music Awards, the US Presidential Debates, and the 2009 US Presidential Inauguration as well as other newsworthy events. BSI's cameras are also used by NASA in the astronauts' helmets. BSI UK office was opened in 2011 to expand its overseas operations.