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17/06/2009

Wimbledon 2009 Goes HD With SIS LIVE

SIS LIVE, Europe's largest outside broadcast (OB) and uplink supplier, is providing the technical facilities to BBC Sport for its high definition (HD) coverage of The Championships, Wimbledon 2009. This is the first year the entire event is being covered in HD, offering fantastic quality pictures for UK and worldwide broadcast.
SIS LIVE is providing all the HD facilities for host broadcaster BBC Sport to cover tennis matches on nine courts, so all games at The Championships will be recorded in HD. It means a complete upgrade of all the vision equipment covering the Tournament. SIS LIVE is providing four OB units, including the new-generation OB 3 truck, launched last year, and the brand new OB 7, which gets it first outing at Wimbledon. Both new trucks offer the latest audio and video recording and routing technologies, giving clients complete flexibility and reliability in a comfortable, spacious and stylish environment.
Paul Davies, Executive Producer, Wimbledon, BBC Sport, said: "BBC Sport is hugely excited to be offering the entire coverage of Wimbledon 2009 in high definition. As host broadcaster, we have offered Centre Court and Court 1 in HD in recent years, but for the first time we will not only be producing all nine courts in HD but also delivering our full BBC domestic output in high definition. This will allow the BBC HD Channel to effectively simulcast what we are transmitting on either BBC One or BBC Two. This is clearly a huge technical challenge and much work has gone on behind the scenes with our partners at SIS LIVE to pull this project off. With HD all the way, the new roof on Centre Court together with a new Court 2, this year's Wimbledon should prove to be a stunner, in more ways than one!"
David Meynell, Managing Director, SIS LIVE, said: "Wimbledon 2009 is the world's most prestigious tennis tournament and it is extremely important that the broadcast facilities match the occasion. It is a landmark decision by BBC Sport and the All England Club to upgrade all courts to high definition and at SIS LIVE we are working incredibly hard with BBC Sport to make sure this year's event is the best ever."
Adrian Kingston, Engineering Manager, SIS LIVE, said: "With all the events we cover - from Formula One to Wimbledon - everyone at SIS LIVE is committed to providing the best service and support to our customers. The launch of our latest high definition truck, OB 7, to sit alongside OB 3, OB 12 and Unit 2 at Wimbledon, demonstrates that SIS LIVE can offer clients the most sophisticated, unrivalled outside broadcast facilities in Europe."
As well as four OB trucks, SIS LIVE is providing a total of at least 70 fully-specified high definition cameras across the site, including 53 Sony HDC-1500 and HDC-950 cameras, 8 SuperMotion three-times slow-motion cameras, 6 HDC-950s working in "split head mode" and 2 HD radio cameras, one Steadicam and one hand-held. In addition, SIS LIVE will supply 31 HD VTR recorders and 20 networked EVS recorders, allowing slow motion replays to be accessed by any user on the system. A 47TB SAN server with four FCP editing positions plus ingest is also being supplied. With the move to full HD coverage, a total of 80 kilometres - 50 miles - of cabling has to be laid across the site.
SIS LIVE, which is the largest uplink provider in Europe, is providing all the outgoing circuits from Wimbledon for BBC Sport. There are eight outgoing circuits from the site being relayed to Television Centre for the Domestic and Interactive operations, plus international circuits. For added security, SIS LIVE is providing two completely separate paths for the transmissions, one using microwave links to the Crystal Palace transmitter, the other using a local fibre provider.
Meynell said: "Our absolute priority is to make sure BBC Sport is able to capture the tennis at the best quality and deliver stunning HD pictures into people's homes in the UK and throughout the world."
(KMcA/JM)
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