EVS solutions drive first-ever 4K coverage for the prestigious US Open
Each year the US Open showcases the world’s best golfers as part of the PGA and European Tour. Established in 1895, the prestigious event has produced memorable finishes and created legends overnight. Each year The Open hosts thousands of fans as well as millions of TV viewers. In 2016, the Open returned to Oakmont, PA with FOX Sports covering the action at what’s considered one of the toughest courses in golf.
FOX Sports looked to up its game coverage of the 2016 Open, producing the most sophisticated live operation to date, including first-ever 4K coverage of several key holes. This enabled the broadcaster to offer viewers at home the best possible vantage shots not seen anywhere else in real time and meet growing fan expectations for up-close, memorable experiences.
EVS’ latest-generation XT3 media production servers, with support for every SuperMotion camera on the market, were at the heart of the operation for each of two production facilities. Game Creek Video’s Glory production unit served as the base for 4K operations for the three key course holes produced in 4K: holes 3, 15, and 17. EVS’ 4K XT3 replay workflow offers the same LSM easy remote capabilities as for HD.
For FOX Sports’ primary show production at Game Creek’s state-of-the-art Encore remote production truck, 17 XT3 servers with 10Gig Ethernet supported DNxHD, 16 channels of audio and Super Slow Motion Phantom cameras. EVS’ MultiReview system, was also part of the production unit and official on-air operations, with 80 ISO records split between the front nine holes and the back nine. The system allowed for multiple channels of EVS replay for a given time code and event (say a hole in one) to be available to a director or operator so they could quickly create a playlist of clips related to the event.
Additional EVS solutions provided powerful, streamlined and agile live production. Eight IPDirector content management suites gave onsite and remote teams the ability to completely control and move assets, including network access for Sky Sports. IPDirector was also used for live streaming to FOX Sports and the USGA (United States Golf Association).
Dual XFile3 solutions quickly and easily moved files to and from on-site Avid editing systems equipped with ISIS storage, while XTAccess gateway software provided critical transcoding and archiving functions.
EVS also provided an archive workflow for the USGA, comprising 12-channel XT3 servers, IPDirector and other solutions for easy access to FOX Sports content as well as international feeds.
The EVS workflow delivered a streamlined, unified workflow that combined essential live production reliability with dynamic new capabilities like 4K and lightening-fast highlights creation.
“In golf, there are 18 or more stories happening at the same time on every hole; you can only cover so much. With MultiReview we can re-create key moments.”
Howard Feinberg - Head of Replay Operations
This year’s rights holders and contractors invested heavily to produce the most compelling coverage for golf’s most distinguished event,” said Quentin Grutman, SVP, the Americas for EVS. “It’s a massive production that showcases what’s possible for live sports coverage but not often deployed for golf, including for the first time, 4K.”
While the production’s workhouse, the XT3, delivered error-free replays it also enabled flawless 4K coverage. MultiReview, providing synchronous access of up to 16 camera angles, empowered operators with automated highlight creation, greatly enhancing and accelerating the production process.
“If there’s a camera shooting it, we can find and fix and edit it,” said Howard Feinberg, head of replay operations for the event. “MultiReview is an absolutely perfect tool for this application. In golf, there are 18 or more stories happening at the same time on every hole; you can only cover so much. With MultiReview we can re-create key moments.”
“The kind of workflow deployed by FOX Sports, from the very best live production tools to 4K highlights to aerial drones, shows a real commitment to using technology to provide the very best possible broadcast moments,” added Grutman. “It demonstrates an understanding of the desires and expectations of today’s sports fans who constantly push for ever more enhanced screen experiences.”