World Cup Star Wars


Sure, there’s media attention on the World Cup in South Africa. The latest of Adidas is entertaining (above), and Nike broke viewing records with its spot…


Shaw Direct Satellite TV will be broadcasting the the CBC’s FIFA World Cup in 3D-TV throughout Canada. ESPN will be using an OC-12 fiber connection and use MPEG-4 encoding for their main feed from South Africa. This list goes on and on.

So who’s at the source of all this worldwide broadcasting? Host Broadcast Services, that’s who. And it’s complicated. With more cameras and tech than ever before. TV Technology gives us the detail

HBS crew at the IBC can browse the servers in the OB trucks, while also ingesting up to 18 live video feeds coming from the venues to the IBC. HBS packages the content into a fully formatted programme feed for wholesale delivery to Media Rights Licensees.

The EVS equipment tally at the HBS Production facility is 50 HD XT[2] servers, totaling 1900 hours @ 108 Mbps (DVCPro HD), plus another 1100 hours of hi-res media in an XStore[2] storage platform. 140 IPDirectors are for logging, browsing and content management. 6 XF[2] units are for removable storage. 32 Xedio Media Dispatchers are for P2 file selection, clipping and transfer.

3. IBC Johannesburg — MRL Production — this other half of the IBC comprises the studio and production facilities set up individually by each of the visiting broadcasters, as well the home broadcaster, SABC. Deemed “Media Rights Licensees”, the abbreviated form “MRL” is now the common term to describe the visiting broadcasters and those who stayed at home but nonetheless paid for the rights to rebroadcast the FIFA World Cup matches in their geographical zone.

Collectively, the MRL’s in the IBC will be making good use of 60 EVS HD XT[2] servers, 30 IPDirectors and 20 XF[2] sets of removable storage.

4. Distribution — now somewhat more complicated than it used to be due to the emergence of web and mobile video distribution pipelines in addition to the traditional terrestrial, satellite and cable outlets. Extremely fast turnaround of packaged clips is part of the system design. The HBS promise is to deliver craft edited clips for mobile devices within three minutes after the live action. 

Something to think about as you watch.