What is in this article?:
TNDV technicians monitor multiple in-house, live streaming and recording feeds on-board the Aspiration truck using Harris HView SX Hybrid multiviewers.
Audio was perhaps the greatest challenge, from the sports desk commentary to the multilingual web streams. All of these mixes were switched at the truck and routed with their respective video feeds to their destinations.
The RTS Intercom system supports a total of 14 IFB feeds, each with a dedicated mix-minus feed, to the English, Chinese and Russian commentary desk. All commentators used Sennheiser headsets and talent boxes from Studio Technologies complete with microphones and talkback buttons.
TNDV ran four DT12 audio cable runs between the truck and the commentator desks, spanning from 100ft to 750ft. Analysts would typically go on the air for 20 to 30 minutes between brackets as the next teams prepared to compete. The English broadcast comprised four analysts in the lobby, with two additional analysts offering color commentary from the other side of the venue.
One of the Russian commentators, unable to gain access to the United States, remained home. A T1 phone line connection between the truck and the commentator’s home allowed him to contribute to the live discussion. TNDV delivered the main program audio mix over this line, which the venue provided.
A second phone line was used for Chinese-to-English closed captioning. An on-site Chinese translator monitored the broadcast and translated the discussions to English. Meanwhile, an off-site closed caption operator monitored the phone line and typed captions using a special proprietary modem. This allowed TNDV to add captioning tags onto the screen.
Back on the truck, audio engineers used Aspiration’s Soundcraft Vi4 console to pair auxiliary feeds and deliver the separate multi-lingual mixes as separate stereo auxiliary feeds. The Soundcraft design allows engineers to hear auxiliary solo mixes in stereo to ensure that the mixes arrive at their destination sounding great — an ideal confidence monitoring tool for live production. Most sends and some receives were distributed as embedded audio via the Platinum router.
Overall, this layered production was a unique marriage of HD production and live streaming with broadcast integrity — and an innovative presentation of a gaming tournament within a traditional sports coverage model. The combined efforts of Valve, Trifilm, Graystone Media and TNDV turned a challenging and unusual production situation into an example from which we and others can learn and grow.
- Valve Corporation: Dota 2 game developer
- Trifilm: Event producer
- Graystone Media: Sports-style TV production
- TNDV: Aspiration 40ft mobile production truck
Technology at work
- AJA: Ki Pro video recorders; FiDO conversion bricks
- Barco: ImagePRO-3G signal processors
- Blackmagic Design: Converters
- Chyron: HyperX systems
- DSC Labs: ChromaDuMonde color calibration charts
- Final Cut Pro: Editing systems
- Harris: Platinum routing solution with integrated multiviewers; HView SX hybrid multiviewers
- Hitachi: HD5000 cameras
- Mac: Laptops with Thunderbolt connectivity
- Newtek: 3Play instant replay servers
- Panasonic: AW-HE120 robotic cameras
- Ross Video: Vision production switcher
- RTS: Intercom system
- Sennheiser: Headsets
- Sony: EX3 cameras, HXR-MC1 POV cameras, PVM-1741 OLED monitors
- Soundcraft: Vi4 audio console
- Studio Technologies: Talent boxes
—Nic Dugger is president of TNDV. Josh Echo-Hawk, vice president of business development for Graystone Media, contributed to this story.