Broadcast News

Bookmark and Share

EI Towers Next-Gen Broadcast Centre Raises the Game

News Image
The 2022-23 season of Italy’s football Lega Serie A, which began on August 13, is broadcasting from Italian communications and broadcast transmission specialist EI Towers' new International Broadcast Centre (IBC).

Built on next-generation IP technology from Imagine Communications, the leading-edge broadcast hub provides centralized contribution and distribution of audio, video and data in Italy and around the world for broadcasters and rightsholders — ensuring significant scalability and operational efficiencies, while delivering the best viewing experience for football fans over multiple platforms.

Fabrizio Falcini, head of systems engineering at EI Towers, said: "Imagine Communications has provided us with signal routing and management for some time, but their Selenio Network Processor delivers a whole new level of elasticity and scalability that we needed to meet the complex requirements of EI Towers’ mission-critical sports content."

Located in Lissone, north of Milan, the IBC will collect 12 primary signals and 12 backups, from each stadium in the country for all matches in Serie A TIM, the Coppa Italia and the Supercoppa. Graphics, replays and branding will be added at the IBC before being distributed via fiber links to Italian broadcasters. EI Towers also provides international feeds, with commentary in English and Italian, as well as with Arabic language for international satellite and fiber distribution to all rightsholders spread all over the world.

To support the varying facilities at each stadium and the requirements for international and multiplatform distribution from the new IBC, EI Towers needed a powerful, hybrid technology platform that could embrace legacy SDI content and IP signal processing using both SMPTE ST 2022-6 and ST 2110. The platform also needed to support 4K UHD and HDR, as well as 3G-SDI (1080p50), and deliver in different frame rates to meet the needs of international customers. With its broad range of processing functions and unique, open-standard design, Imagine’s Selenio™ Network Processor (SNP) perfectly matched EI Towers requirements.

The powerful 1RU SNP is able to handle conversions between ST 2110 and SDI, including 12G SDI as required; up-, down- and cross-conversion between HD/UHD and SDR/HDR formats; and seamless automatic changeovers to maintain a consistent on-air output. SNP also offers a low-latency, HDR-capable production multiviewer personality, SNP-MV, which enables content from different video formats and HDR systems to be integrated into a consistent display environment — making it ideal for the large network of multiviewers deployed at EI Towers. The unique SNP design enables it to be easily reconfigured with different personalities and upgraded in the field with new functionality.

Falcini continued: "What impressed us in Imagine’s approach to this project was the open-standard and flexible architecture of the SNP, which we can use for format, resolution and color space conversion, as well as a bridge between SDI and IP.

"Imagine demonstrated to us that we would be able to reliably manage complex routing and workflows and efficiently meet all our operational requirements — without costly over-provisioning of equipment today and into the future."

During the Serie A season, the IBC is tasked with providing outputs from simultaneous matches — managing, routing and converting a multitude of signal types — and returning video feeds to the stadium. Each control room requires a different monitor setup, so the ability to drive multiple multiviewers from a single SNP is a huge boost to the system’s practicality and efficiency.

Mathias Eckert, SVP & GM EMEA & APAC at Imagine Communications, said: "We are proud that our technology will support Lega Serie A coverage from EI Towers’ new IBC. Not only will the SNP help provide football fans across multiple geographies and delivery platforms the best possible viewing experience, it will also enable EI Towers to streamline operations and maximize ROI with a future-proof, open-standard solution that can be easily upgraded as technology continues to evolve."

The entire asset management, signal processing and distribution network at the IBC, including third-party products, operates under the control of the Magellan™ Control System, incorporating Magellan Touch, Imagine’s new operator-centric operational control framework, which allows operators to tailor their own control user interface. Imagine also provided a Platinum™ IP3 router for SDI signals at the input and output.

Top Related Stories
Click here for the latest broadcast news stories.

Videosys Broadcast Teams Up With Broadcast Rental
Videosys Broadcast has partnered with Dutch company Broadcast Rental to create a new camera control system that allows broadcasters to easily integrat
PlayBox Expands Broadcast Channel Management And Playout Infrastructure
PlayBox Neo has expanded the broadcast channel management and playout infrastructure at the Cairo headquarters of Nilesat, one of the largest telecomm
Ikegami To Unveil Range Of Production Cameras At Broadcast Asia 2024
Ikegami is to introduce recent additions to its wide range of broadcast production cameras, monitors and related equipment on stand 6D3-1 (Hall 6) at
Actus Digital To Bring Its Technology To CABSAT And Broadcast Asia
Actus Digital is to bring its cutting-edge technology to CABSAT in Dubai and Broadcast Asia in Singapore later this month. Actus Digital will showcase
CVP To Bring Exclusive Broadcast Solutions To MPTS 2024
CVP is to exhibit at The Media Production & Technology Show (MPTS), held on 15th and 16th May, at stand C45 located on the main strip of London Olympi
Broadcast Electronics Launches MDCL+
Broadcast Electronics, part of the Elenos Group, has launched MDCL+, a simplified solution to help AM broadcasters. Unveiled at the 2024 NAB Show, MDC
Imagine To Introduce SNP-XL At IBC 2023
Imagine Communications is adding all-new capability and capacity to its acclaimed Selenio™ Network Processor (SNP), the media industry's most flexible
Hitomi Ensures Scottish Parliament Broadcast Quality
Hitomi Broadcast has announced that The Scottish Parliament has used the MatchBox system to calibrate their broadcasting operations, ensuring flawless
IBC2024 Now Open For Registration
IBC2024 is now open for registration, with the global media and entertainment (M&E) industry set to converge on the RAI Amsterdam on 13-16 September.
BBC Broadcast transmits first HD broadcast in Mpeg 4 to IBC
BBC Broadcast will be transmitting a specially crafted HD test channel simultaneously in Mpeg 2 and Mpeg 4 from its Broadcast Centre in West London to
Hawthorns Light Up The Sky At Alton Towers
Leicestershire based Hawthorns recently provided lighting to the Alton Towers 'Electric Towers' Firework spectacular. Lighting designer and the park's
AG Video purchase high speed DVD-R towers
Hertfordshire-based AG Video, whose services include VHS video duplication, editing, and CD and DVD duplication have recently purchased twin banks of
A STUDY intended to lay the foundations of the new communications regulators OFCOM has been published. Produced by consultants Towers Perrin the study
VideoSys Broadcast To Showcase Latest Innovations At IBC 2023
Videosys Broadcast is to showcase its latest innovations in wireless and camera control technology at IBC 2023 with a range of products that are desig
Broadcast Solutions To Bring OB Trucks To IBC 2023
Broadcast Solutions will bring two of its recently completed outside broadcast trucks to IBC2023 (15 – 18 September, RAI Amsterdam, outside exhibit ar