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EXCLUSIVE: Home match for MagentaTV

24/09/2021

EXCLUSIVE: Home match for MagentaTV posted: 18/10/2021

by Bernhard Herrmann, Kevin Reimuth

If you wanted to watch all 51 matches of the UEFA EURO 2020 on screen this summer, in Germany you had to turn to MagentaTV. All matches were offered there in UHD and Dolby 5.1. As the service provider, Plazamedia was responsible for the studio production. Bernhard Herrmann was there for our issue 9.2021 in the nerve-racking 2-2 between Germany and Hungary.

The German national soccer team met the team from Hungary in their last preliminary round match of the UEFA EURO 2020 in the arena in Munich on June 23, 2021. They needed at least a draw to advance to the round of 16.

Around noon, the Plazamedia studio complex in Ismaning, Bavaria, just outside the city limits of Munich, is covered in summery sunshine. At the compound of Plazamedia, a company of Sport1 Medien AG, three Covid-19 test stations have been set up at the main entrance to the building. Each of the up to 120 employees who are present every day must undergo a PCR or rapid test according to a scenario agreed with the health department. Anyone who has completed their test and received the negative result will receive a colored bracelet for that day, which allows access to certain studios.

Plazamedia was commissioned by Deutsche Telekom as the general contractor. A total of three studios with an area of around 2,600 square meters, four playouts and a content center are used for MagentaTV. The technical production of all 51 games took place on 22 live production days between June 11 and July 11 on two HD and two UHD channels. As a content-related program service provider, thinXpool TV GmbH was responsible for all editorial aspects of the project. Hardy Steinweg, COO of Plazamedia GmbH, welcomes us and we take a seat at a beer table set in the shady courtyard. He explains the workflows, the technology used and what Plazamedia has set up for a month on the occasion of the production for MagentaTV for EURO 2020.

Live production area in the Plazamedia-Compound in Ismaning

The arena in Munich-Fr ttmaning, where the team's last preliminary round match will take place that day, is less than three kilometers away from the studios. Unfortunately, the German Weather Service has already issued a severe weather warning with thunderstorms and heavy rain for the kick-off of the game, which is nowhere to be suspected with the Bavarian white-blue sky still prevailing. Gradually, the employees from the various trades arrive at Plazamedia.

Augmented Reality and 3D graphics in the studio

In Plazamedia Studio M, a 250 square meter action area was available for MagentaTV programs. A 60 square meter LED video wall in 32: 9 format served as backdrop and was feeded with a Pandoras box system from Christie as a media server. The curved, black presenters desk in front of the video wall with monitors embedded in a semicircle was based on the Telekom logo.

The U-shaped, light gray and silver-colored wall elements with various large curves at the corners were mainly kept in Deutsche Telekoms CI color magenta. Two white circumferential light strips indirectly illuminate the rear and side walls above and below. In addition to around two dozen spotlights, points the size of a tennis ball made of reflective film stand out on the ceiling of the studio. These belong to the Mo-Sys StarTracker system, where an LED sensor is attached to each of three studio cameras. This is used to calibrate the position and orientation of the camera. Rotation and lens data are determined exactly. This data is sent to a rendering engine so that a virtual 3D graphic can be integrated into the 2D TV image as an augmented reality element.

The central equipment room was housed in an external container

With the help of this system, VIZRT graphics could be faded into the TV image as an animated steel frame of the roof of the Munich arena in the studio image, giving the impression that you were actually there. The transition from the real studio wall to the virtual roof consisted of the familiar real, but now virtual, wall elements in magenta color. In some scenes of the program, the graphic designers had pushed the high-contrast combination of studio colors in the virtual representation a little too far, so that the complementary colors no longer matched each other. The reflection of the color yellow from the virtual German flag even gave the presenter and an expert a yellowish color in the TV picture.

All of UEFAs on-air graphics were produced by Deltatre in UHD, assigned to the live stadium feed and made available to broadcasters for their own superimpositions. The respective statistic datas were recorded and distributed by Deltatre in the stadiums.

Five cameras for MagentaTV

Five UHD-capable Sony HDC 3500 with Fujinon HD Boxed 24x and Fujinon EFP wide-angle 14x lenses were used in the MagentaTV studio. Three cameras were on pump tripods. This setup was supplemented by a camera crane and a steadicam. The moderators were equipped with headband microphones and in-ears.

The LED screen and AR control were particularly important for additional information and the virtual extension of the studio.

For the MagentaTV analysis on the Magic Wall , expert Jan Henkel used a 100-inch UHD touchscreen with a Piero Sport graphics analysis system from Ross Video. He used various graphic 3D elements and markings to explain game- and goal-deciding scenes with routes and positions on the field that had previously been selected for analysis from the live stadium feed and saved locally. This enabled for instance goals to be explained at half-time on a sport-professional level (that did not require a trainer seminar for viewers, as was sometimes necessary for other TV stations). The sports graphics and analysis engine also offered everything to display the actions in video scenes frame by frame
LINK: https://www.live-production.tv/news/sports/exclusive-home-match-magent...
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