NEP serves up HDR coverage for Wimbledon 2024

By NewscastStudio

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As the 2024 Wimbledon Championships unfold, broadcast technology takes center stage alongside tennis stars. NEP Group and Wimbledon Broadcast Services (WBS) have partnered to deliver more High Dynamic Range (HDR) content than ever before.

NEP UK has deployed its advanced Outside Broadcast trucks — Ceres, Venus, and Pacific — which are equipped with IP technology capable of handling high-definition and HDR broadcasts at 50 frames per second (50p).

The technical scope of the NEP and WBS partnership is substantial.

Over 90 kilometers of cable have been installed across the Wimbledon grounds, along with 150 talkback panels for crew communication. 93 Sony cameras, including models such as the HDC-3500 and HDC-5500, manage visual capture with 4K and HDR capabilities.

For replay and highlights production, 50 EVS XT-VIA servers have been deployed. These servers can process multiple HDR and SDR feeds simultaneously, facilitating quick turnaround of content in both formats.

NEP’s subsidiary Fletcher is utilizing its proprietary AI-powered camera system, TR-ACE (Totally Realtime Automated Camera Engine), on seven courts.

This system employs advanced image recognition algorithms and LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) technology to track players autonomously. LIDAR allows for precise depth perception and player positioning, even in challenging lighting conditions. This setup enables a single operator to manage multiple cameras simultaneously, significantly improving operational efficiency.

NEP’s Mediabank asset management tool streamlines content management and distribution. This cloud-based system provides remote access to match highlights, press conferences, and other video clips. It supports high-speed ingest, management, and distribution to rights holders via a robust 10G link to Mediabank’s servers in Oslo, facilitated by NEP Connect.

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Creative Technology, another NEP Group company, manages 106 LED displays across the Wimbledon grounds. These include large screens for public viewing areas like “Henman Hill” and the new Southern Village. An immersive projection experience in the players’ tunnel adds to the tournament’s atmosphere. The company also oversees an extensive in-house IPTV system for 2,000 televisions around the venue, ensuring that spectators never miss a moment of the action.

For the Qualifying Competition, Creative Technology is working with SMT to stream all 18 courts using UHD cameras and court microphones. These feeds include scoring graphics and are distributed both locally and to the main Wimbledon estate.

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