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Back on the Olympic Games with Telestream Lightspeed K80 – The fast runner of video transcoding

Published on 21/09/2016

For this operation of capital importance, the France Télévisions Group selected VIDELIO-Cap'Ciné to install the setup of equipment and operation of a post-production platform at the Rio (Brazil) Olympic Games.

The needs requested by France Télévisions during the preliminary meetings convinced us that a Lightning K80 with a Vantage platform K80 Lightspeed by Telestream  would be required.

The on-site teams use the system all day to ingest the video rushes of the 12 ENG crews operating on site. The Vantage software allows to "encapsulate" the sources into another container (copy of the video essentials) thus allowing both a considerable gain in time but also no loss of quality for publication of the program in the Avid Interplay database.

The manager for post-production has estimated that this operational process is 7 to 9 times faster than using a Avid Media Composer in "Consolidate" mode with the added advantage of leaving editing stations free for other uses.

In Brazil, the Broadcast television standard used is PAl-M (525/60/3.57 MHz color subcarrier) a unique hybrid PAL/NTSC color TV standard. The standard used specifies 60 fields per second at HD resolution. The footage issued by the Sports archives of France Télévisions are in HD-50i or SD-25i formats. The Vantage software using the Cinnafilm Tachyon plug-in has allowed to produce real-time conversion to the Brazilian standard with optimal quality at dual data rates, thanks to the power of the 2 core GPUs of the LightSpeed processors.

The "Unknown workflow" feature of Vantage allows the ingest of all sorts of less known or so called "unidentified" files to make them into clips. Avid will then conform the files and publish them into Avid Inter Play.

The Telestream Vantage is also in charge of recording the image sources issued from the EVS IP Director connected to the OBS - (Olympic Broadcast Server) The documentalists retrieve the clips (often loops in AVC-Intra100@60) to then send them towards dedicated conversion workflows to the pivotal standardized XDCamHD 50@60i.

The platform also allows to retrieve the short finals, full event finals and display Podiums which were not recorded in Paris and which the video archives need to have.

Once the video footage is made available in the Avid database, the clips are compiled into sequences which are exported to a "Watch Folder" of the Vantage unit. This latter machine then normalizes the clip into a file formatted as a MXF Op1a version XDCamHD 50@50i in conformity with the broadcast specifications.

A very similar process allows the transmission to Paris of topics ready to air and of video interviews of the Sports department. Furthermore the FTP distribution is entirely automated as well as the notification by E-Mail of he concerned persons (really important because of the time zone differential).

On site, three editing teams are dedicated to the television News Programs. They use a custom workflow to transform the HD@60i files into SD@25i via a QuickTime capsule which is compatible with the Broadcast server used by the France2 and France3 News Services.

Another workflow allows french TV channel FranceÔ to send ready to air files to the Paris Broadcast center or to a remote site such as french Guyana.

A "Best Of" news report is created for each french sportsman receiving a medal. The Vantage unit transcodes the file into the x264 format and records it into a FTP repository to feed the Rio Club France organization.

After 10 days of sports events, the Vantage, whose performance has been boosted by the LightSpeed K80, has already processed over 5000 files. The quality of the video transcoded from 60i to 50i and vice-versa has been quoted as "outstanding" by the France Televisions technical teams.

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