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Commonwealth Games 2022: Timeline TV on helping host broadcaster Sunset+Vine create the most spectacular Commonwealth Games yet

28/07/2022

Birmingham 2022: Timeline TV on helping host broadcaster Sunset Vine create the most spectacular Commonwealth Games yet By Heather McLean, Editor

Thursday, July 28, 2022 - 14:04

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Dan McDonnell, CEO at Timeline TV, at the IBC based at Birmingham's NEC on day one of the 2022 Commonwealth Games

As the Commonwealth Games opens its doors to an excitedly awaiting public, host broadcaster Sunset Vine is now able to admire all the hard work that has gone into bringing this huge event together over the last two years.

Working closely with its technical services partners and the organising committee, Sunset Vine is pulling off a spectacular event starting with the opening ceremony, taking place on 28 July. One of its key partners in the Commonwealth Games 2022 is Timeline TV, which is working on everything happening at the NEC, which is the location of the IBC, the host broadcast operation, and several sporting events.

It's quite a large operation at the NEC, because it's handling every single sport, every single recording, every single clip that's made for social media editing. It's all going through that hub. It's very big operation

Timeline TV is also helping to connect all the sports venues involved in this production to the IBC so the other technical services providers can share their content with Sunset Vine, and from there out to the rights-holding broadcasters across the world.

Speaking to SVG Europe two days before the opening ceremony, Dan McDonnell, CEO at Timeline TV comments on where the team and set up is in terms of being ready to roll: On the IBC side, that's handed over. There's always going to be niggles that people find, but 99% is finished and working, and people are in the building operating. The OBs started rigging today. We've got a couple of days to rig those, but that's more traditional; that's trucks rolling up with cable.

The challenge is that it's quite a big area. We've had to cable all of the NEC halls back to NEC Hall 2 [where the host broadcast operation is running]. There's quite a lot of cable and infrastructure to put in so we've had a large rig team there, flying cables over all of the rooftops of the NEC. That's now pretty much in. We've had artic trucks of equipment turning up with all the cameras and lenses and cable. It's been a large logistical exercise, but we are two days to go and should be ready.

Inside Timeline's UHD1 truck, stationed inside the NEC to cover the boxing at the Commonwealth Games 2022

Games of two halves

McDonnell says Timeline TV has been working with Sunset Vine for almost two years on the project. He comments: There are two halves of it; the IBC and the sports we're covering. We've built the IBC area for the organising committee and host broadcasters, so that's a large area in Hall 2 at the NEC. It was an empty hall a month ago! We've built all the rooms with floors and false raised access flooring, and then installed all of the bays for all the equipment, and then we've got all the normal rooms that you'd see at an IBC, so a big master control room (MCR) operation, 20 loggers logging all the sports, 20 editors making clips for social media, lots of edit suites, a big IP director system, and all of the production staff working there.

We're making [Sunset Vine's] Games Channel, which is a channel for broadcasters who aren't going to take a produced feed. We're doing six other produced feeds as well. So there's six multi-channel services going out which broadcasters can take.

We've set up a broadcast transmission operations centre (BTOC) at every venue. So at every venue there's a cabin where we get the feeds from whoever's doing the OB [for that venue], and then we've installed 10 gig fibre back to the IBC, and all of the feeds come back to the IBC.

Inside the MCR on the first day of the Commonwealth Games

McDonnell continues: So Hall 2 at the NEC is the hub of everything and for all of the feeds from all the sports [for the Games]. [The network spans] the country, because the velodrome is in London, and that feed is coming into the NEC, and then things like beauty cameras are on four buildings around Birmingham. They're all coming into the NEC, and that is the heart of it.

We've built and staffed that, and we've also built for any rights holder broadcasters who have come [to Birmingham] like the BBC or Channel 7 and have requested space, all the rooms that they want. We have cabled them up to our central facility so they can get all the feeds and all their talkbacks. So it's quite a large operation at the NEC, because it's handling every single sport, every single recording, every single clip that's made for social media editing. It's all going through that hub. It's very big operation.

Read more Commonwealth Games 2022: Inside the host broadcast set-up for the Commonwealth Games with Sunset Vine

Also, Sunset Vine has created specific solutions for remote coverage for broadcast rights holders that are not on site. Its partner Timeline TV has helped design and deliver these solutions.

Says McDonnell: We've given rights holders that aren't on site the ability to switch their own feeds remotely so they can still get into everything. They can access multi viewers over the internet showing all the feeds, and then they can remotely switch destinations at the IBC, so rather than having to send a large amount of equipment and do it all themselves, we've built a remote solution for them so they're able to remotely get all of their feed and what that they want. They can still see all of the sports, but they don't have to come to site and take them all into their own set up and do it. We've done it for them
LINK: https://www.svgeurope.org/blog/headlines/birmingham-2022-timeline-tv-o...
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