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World Rugby Makes Technological Leaps With HBS And Lawo

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For Rugby World Cup 2023 in France, which started on 8 September and will run until 28 October, World Rugby, the sport's international governing body, once again partners with HBS, with whom German manufacturer Lawo holds a long-standing relationship.

A host broadcaster famous for its pristine productions of global event, HBS is also known for its relentless drive to innovate and for adopting technical innovations as soon as they are proven in operational conditions. The declared goals of both World Rugby and HBS for this event is to provide unforgettable moments with cutting-edge technology that has a smaller physical – and hence also carbon – footprint of the IBC infrastructure installed at Roland-Garros, in Paris.

Those goals are being met by a dedicated fiber-optic SMPTE ST2110 network architecture, which has been deployed to connect the arenas in Bordeaux, Lille, Lyon, Toulouse, Marseille, Nantes, Nice, Saint-Denis and Saint-Étienne to the (International Broadcast Centre) IBC. On-site OB trucks at these venues connect to the network via Lawo .edge hyper-density gateways, which are equipped with two processing blades and two rear I/O plates in a hot-spare redundant configuration.

The .edge units handle all the bidirectional stream traffic between the venues and the IBC over Orange's transport network, and integrate seamlessly with HBS’ existing IP core infrastructure.

As flexible and advanced technology is essential to ensure everything runs smoothly, HBS furthermore decided to take advantage of Lawo’s HOME Apps before their official launch at IBC on 15 September. The microservice-based HOME Apps run on 1U high standard servers and can be used in the most agile of combinations, while also allowing HBS to save space, weight and energy.

"Running in parallel with HBS’ existing vm_dmv solution, the HOME Multiviewer app with a freely configurable number of inputs and outputs is currently proving that it is ready to be released," said Karlheinz Amberg, Lawo’s Director Global Events. "The HOME UDX Converter app, which was already put through its paces in Australia and New Zealand, is being used for a host of format, color space and other conversion tasks."

"The beauty of the HOME Apps and .edge is that they are incredibly powerful and integrate seamlessly with our existing IP set-up," explained Bart Lucassen, the Director of Engineering at HBS. "They help us deliver on our promise to provide World Rugby with a unique viewing experience here in France."

And there is more: "In addition to providing cutting-edge technology, Lawo is second to none regarding outstanding services. Our decision to go with Lawo has always been based on the conviction that Lawo does not actually sell products – it provides HBS and its customer base with real-world solutions."

The impressive number of IP streams whizzing through France, often back and forth, are controlled by two separate VSM clusters, adding intuitive broadcast control to a unique technological offering.

"We are extremely proud of our long-standing partnership with HBS. It has spawned so many ideas and products that have helped our customers produce more content with increasingly agile and intuitive tools. It is a great benefit of this partnership to know that our HOME Apps will hit the ground running when they are released shortly after IBC 2023," said Karlheiz Amberg.

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