Australia’s Seven Network hosts Olympic games broadcasts from VR studio

Australian broadcaster Seven Network worked with Australia’s CT Group to create a virtual production environment to host broadcasts for Olympic games in Tokyo and Beijing.

CT Group, part of NEP Live Events, delivered a 1.8mm Unilumin LED videowall powered by Brompton Technology Tessera processing in the studio for Seven Network, the original broadcaster of Summer and Winter Olympic Games since 1956.  

Michael Judges, senior project manager for CT Australia and New Zealand, said: “CT provided LED backdrops for Seven Network’s sports hostings during the pandemic, when travelling to venues wasn’t possible.

“As a result of this positive experience, we built a template with the client which they were subsequently able to use on the Tokyo and Beijing host broadcasts.”

Judges said that for this project, Seven Network wanted the highest resolution LED panels available to provide the ultimate background for the broadcast. “This resulted in a high pixel density, so we used two 4K outputs from a media server into two Brompton Tessera SX40 processors to manage this,” he added.

CT installed a 19.5m by 2.5m Unilumin screen, curved around a 5m radius. Four active and four back up Tessera SX40 processors were deployed in redundancy mode, as well as eight Tessera XD 10G data distribution units.

Judges said: “Tessera processing is very robust, and the redundancy system works well. Additionally, Brompton processors are easy to use and provide powerful features for managing screen brightness and colour on camera. The panels were run in the specific Operating Mode that reduces panel brightness while still maintaining usable bit depth, which is essential for television.

“All high-quality images and videos looked great on the broadcast and the presenters were able to be very close to the screen without causing any moiré effect,” Judges concluded.

“Following the success of this project, Seven Network is going to utilise the entire system for other televised broadcasts during 2022. This speaks volumes about the high quality of all the elements within the system, including the industry renowned Brompton Tessera processors.”

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