Blackmagic - Italian Women's Volleyball League - AMS

Several AMS mobile units equipped with Blackmagic URSA Broadcast G2 and Blackmagic Studio Camera 4K Pro cameras and the ATEM Television Studio Pro 4K mixer are responsible for the weekly production of the Italian women’s volleyball league (A1 series) matches.

Specifically, AMS broadcasts the matches in which four Piedmontese teams (Chieri, Cuneo, Pinerolo and Novara) play their home games, for which it usually needs three separate crews to broadcast simultaneously. Four cameras (URSA Broadcast G2 and Blackmagic Studio Camera 4K Pro) and ATEM Television Studio Pro 4K mixers are used for each match to switch between the different signals.

Blackmagic - Italian Women's Volleyball League - AMSThe workflow uses SDI connections and a shoulder-mounted URSA Broadcast G2 unit, whose images are transmitted wirelessly via a radio link. Before each match, as Gabriele Lusco, head of the AMS sports events department, explains, it is necessary to set up a broadcast booth in the stands. Space is limited, so the production company needed versatile cameras that didn’t take up too much space: “We have two 4K Studio Cameras located on the gantry. One follows the action by shooting long, while the second position provides ‘color.’ A third camera on the gantry provides a wide shot of the court and closeups of the net. We also use it for replays alongside a fourth shoulder mounted courtside position.”

The broadcast booth includes an ATEM Television Studio Pro 4K mixer, a model that Lusco says “perfectly suits” his needs, processing eight sources: “Four cameras, two key and fills, a replay system and the referee’s video referral feed.”

In addition to using a Blackmagic Video Assist 7″ 12G HDR recorder and monitor, the team members use both the vectorscope and histogram to test the signals when setting up the cameras.

Blackmagic - Italian Women's Volleyball League - AMS

Signal distribution

Once the Italian women’s volleyball league signal is produced, AMS transmits the mix to an encoder for playout and to a Blackmagic recorder. In addition, each of the isolated signals from each camera is recorded onto individual SSD drives with USB-C connections, which also powers the replay system, which is software-based rather than server-specific.

The final AMS programme is transmitted and distributed in 1080i format. In parallel, the encoder collects and distributes these signals, which are then de-interlaced and broadcast online in 1080p25 format.

Lusco is quick to point out that broadcasting the Italian women’s volleyball league involves significant “logistical challenges”. However, the company has found the partner it needed in Blackmagic to overcome these challenges. In their own words: “Flexibility was an absolute priority for us, as was the ability to get in and out quickly. The practicality of the flight case design, coupled with the plug and play nature of Blackmagic’s hardware, means we can be set up and packed away in less than two hours.”

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By • 8 May, 2023
• Section: Catchment, Study, Mobile TV