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Broadcast Solutions Designs Remote Production Environment

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Broadcast Solutions has designed and implemented a complex and innovative remote production environment for the new sports network Dyn Media.

NEP Germany will operate it as a managed service for Dyn.

Dyn Media is the brainchild of Christian Seifert, former CEO of the Bundesliga (German football league), who runs it as a joint venture with major publisher Axel Springer. The goal was to create a new media home for the German fans of the leagues and sports beyond soccer. Basketball, handball, volleyball and table tennis are among the games on its initial roster, under the banner “No frills; no pretence; just the power of sport”. The new streaming platform aims to enhance awareness and appreciation for these sports with high-quality production standards. NEP Germany is the production service provider of all games for the German basketball and handball league at Dyn.

The coverage relies primarily on remote production. Working with NEP Germany, Broadcast Solutions has built six units it calls venue kits. Each has a core rack in a flight case with three stage boxes, connected over fibre. Typically six cameras plus minicams feed into the core rack, along with microphones and other audio sources, all using SMPTE ST 2110 standard equipment.

This compact set-up means the entire system for an outside broadcast can get to site in a single VW Crafter van, and be set up and run by just a few people onsite. The result is not only very cost-effective coverage, but it also hugely reduces the carbon footprint of the operation.

All signals are routed to NEP Germany’s headquarters in Munich, where Broadcast Solutions has built two large control rooms around Grass Valley Kula switchers, a central equipment room, and a network operation centre (NOC) handling the central management of signal transmission from all arenas, to and from Cologne, as well as to the cloud and OTT platforms.

The NOC allows flexible allocation of venue kits to the production control rooms in Cologne and Munich, and several Riedel Simplylive Production Suites serve as production control systems for smaller productions or can be used as replay facilities.

Audio in the venues is controlled remotely from sound quality control (SQC) rooms and the normalised signals are then dispatched to the production control rooms. Dyn is free to send commentators to the event, or there are voiceover rooms as part of the new facilities for off-the-tube commentary. Audio mixing largely uses the Prodigy from DirectOut Technologies.

Dyn Media is based in Cologne, and NEP Germany and Broadcast Solutions have also designed and built one large gallery and three small control rooms in its headquarters, plus the associated audio facilities. These share the hardware installed in Munich, so Dyn is free to place its editorial team in either city and have exactly the same functionality, while controlling capital costs and minimising energy consumption.

NEP Germany and Broadcast Solutions worked together to design the entire system. Broadcast Solutions then took complete responsibility for installation and commissioning in both Munich and Cologne, covering not just the audio and video equipment but the whole facility, including air conditioning, fire protection, and UPS and backup generators. The six venue kits were built in Broadcast Solutions’ workshops in Bingen.

"Dyn Media was eager to begin distributing its live sports content using an innovative, fresh approach," said Zlatan Gavran, managing director of NEP Germany. "They entrusted us with their entire technical operations, and we needed to work with a systems integrator that understood these complex and forward-looking requirements.

"Broadcast Solutions proved to be the perfect partner and we collaborated on a design that was practical, resilient and cost-effective," Gavran explained. "They had the resources to design and build everything, from the venue kits to the flexible control room architectures, delivering a complete solution."

"A big thank you to the great team at Broadcast Solutions! Their active support in setting up the production infrastructure for Dyn Media was an important building block in the development of our channel," said Andreas Heyden, CEO of Dyn Media GmbH. "The smooth cooperation and high level of commitment has been instrumental in enabling us to build one of the most advanced production environments in Europe in just a few months. We are very grateful for this partnership and we are looking forward to many more successes in the future together."

Rainer Kampe, CTO of Broadcast Solutions added: "This was a very exciting project, with the added challenge of a very tight timescale. We had our first conversations at IBC in 2022, and we knew that we had to design and build a completely fresh approach to remote production, and have it ready to go on air in the summer of 2023. NEP Germany is an excellent partner, and we are very proud indeed to have played our part in the launch of Dyn Media."

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