AdVision TV: Editing... Live


Kieron Seth#
Glastonbury - it's on TV. Premier League Football? On TV. Not subscribing to the right satellite channel? Worried about missing a big event? Try Googling it, try YouTube.
You would have thought that live events would struggle to survive in the face of this wall of media coverage. But rock concerts, sports matches, conferences and venues across the country are reporting record audiences. Birmingham NEC's ticketing office has trebled its sales in the last three years, London's 02 arena was named most popular music venue in the world for the fourth consecutive year while music festivals across the country have seen their tickets snapped up in hours.
Live events are successfully prising us out of our comfy armchairs and off our sticky barstools by enhancing the live audiences' experience. They engage with their audience through Facebook, Twitter and Myspace while at the event itself, the emphasis is on total entertainment. Modern stadia and today's festival grounds are crammed with big screens and hundreds of LCD panels giving 360 degree information and entertainment. New venues such as Cardiff's Millenium Stadium boasts 400+ HD screens and two 90 square metre LEDs.
The challenge for our industry is how to feed these screens to keep the voracious audiences happy? Behind the scene are OB companies and AV teams ever-ready to provide instant TV facilities on behalf of the event organisers. They give the audiences a richer experience and allow the events to be broadcast and distributed worldwide.
However, today's audiences are media savvy and highly demanding. So live feeds controlled by a Grass Valley Indigo vision mixer is often not enough. Nowadays producers are not only tasked with producing live programming, but creating highlights packages for immediate playback to the fans. Matthew Titterton of OB company AdVision TV paints the picture:
"How many times have you missed a key moment or a crucial goal at a live event? It is our job to make sure that the audience doesn't miss any of the action. So we produce not just a live feed of the event but also provide edited highlights during the event. Managing a multi-cam HD production is always a challenge in itself. But it takes a whole new set of skills to record, edit and playout a fantastic-looking highlights package that captures the excitement of the occasion."
AdVision's use Grass Valley's EDIUS for fast-turn around editing. Titterton explains the reasons behind the choice of software:
"Fundamentally, EDIUS is robust, reliable and solid - it just doesn't fall over. Having confidence in your kit under the most testing conditions is vital. Whatever we throw at EDIUS, it copes. And believe me, the timeline can get filled with all manner of formats - XDCAM HD, Digi-beta, QuickTime, WMV, DV, AVCHD... When you're working to tight deadlines, glitchy software could be a killer."
For AdVision, one of the key advanced features of EdIUS is its support for multi-cam editing. Richard Payne, product specialist at Edius' distributor Holdan, explains: "Multi-cam mode is really intuitive and efficient and it now works with up to 16 cameras. The real-time multi-camera playback abilities can save hours of editing time."
For AdVision this is an essential feature allowing them to work quickly and accurately to hit their deadline - a deadline that may literally be minutes away.
Matthew Titterton comments: "We use a variety of cameras depending on the requirement of the client - we can be shooting with Sony, Ikegami, Panasonic or other cameras. The age old problem is that they record to different formats, adding complication to the post production work. If we have to edit and playout a highlights package, we just don't have time to transcode the content into an intermediate format as you have to with some editing systems. EDIUS can edit just about everything natively, with no need for time-consuming transcoding, even in multi-cam mode. So EDIUS allows us to get on with editing in real-time whether we are editing a single or multiple camera feeds."
Richard Payne says: "Editing on something like an industry-standard HP Z800 workstation, EDIUS could reliably edit as many as 10 HD tracks with mixed formats in realtime so it's an ideal solution for fast-turn-around broadcast environments."
In this industry reputation is everything and AdVision only employs tried and tested equipment. "In broadcast you have to deliver every time. Whether we're covering a political debate for the BBC, doing the OB for a Royal Event or Awards Ceremony, or providing screen feeds for Wembley Stadium, reliability has to be the watch word." Concludes Titterton.

Tags: youtube | advision | holdan | iss052 | ob | Grass Valley Indigo | EDIUS | XDCAM HD | Digi-beta | QuickTime | WMV | DV | AVCHD | Kieron Seth#
Contributing Author Kieron Seth#

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