NEP UK and Ireland, the region’s leading provider of broadcast solutions and part of the NEP Group worldwide network, announced today that, through its continued partnership with Wimbledon Broadcast Services (WBS), The Championships, Wimbledon 2023 will feature more Ultra-High-Definition and High Dynamic Range (UHD-HDR) broadcast delivery options than ever before, bringing the richest, most vibrant viewing experience yet to the event’s global audience. Utilising NEP’s industry-leading IP technology, broadcast rights holders around the world can now showcase every match from Centre Court and No.1 Court in UHD-HDR with immersive 5.1 Sound. The 16 other courts will continue to be available in either 1080p HDR or 1080p SDR.
Initial planning for the expanded offering began more than a year ago with NEP UK’s Technical Projects & Engineering teams working closely with Wimbledon’s Broadcast Technical Manager, James Muir, to design a custom-built workflow, which underwent real-world testing in March. The new workflow includes additional UHD-HDR feeds while continuing to deliver the widely used HD SDR feeds to rights holders.
“We’re incredibly proud of our successful partnership with Wimbledon Broadcast Services and we’re excited to continue to deliver the very best broadcast technology, solutions and resources to their teams as they bring The Championships 2023 to life,” said Sam Broadfoot, Technical Project Manager, NEP UK. “Together, we’re moving the technology forward, now covering all of the action from the two most visible courts in Ultra-High-Definition and High Dynamic Range, giving rights holders around the world more opportunities to bring additional high-quality viewing experiences to their global audiences.”
Broadfoot adds: “With the need to continue to offer rights holders HD SDR feeds as we have in previous years, we’re now using 224 channels of conversion, and we’ve found that the quality of the converted SDR feeds have improved as well, since it is now being captured with a higher dynamic range. We’re very pleased with the solution our teams have been working on to support WBS and The Championships.”
Specialty Cameras, Connectivity, Media Asset Management and Live Display
The increase in UHD-HDR feeds is only part of NEP Group’s full global production ecosystem in play at The Championships. NEP’s full suite of solutions includes broadcast facilities and OB trucks, specialty camera systems, connectivity, media asset management, live display and other broadcast services supporting the world feed.
Fletcher, an NEP specialty capture division, is again providing its AI-driven automatic camera system, called Tr-Ace, capturing action on seven of the 18 courts in 1080p SDR. Fletcher’s Tr-Ace cameras use image recognition and LIDAR technologies to automatically track players on the court, meaning just one singular operator can control and manage the full camera system.
Mediabank, NEP’s award-winning media asset management solution, will be utilised for remote access to match highlights and other content to be ingested, managed and distributed for rights holders.
NEP Connect, the leading provider of media connectivity in the UK, is providing a 10G link to Oslo from IMG, with further support from NEP The Netherlands, which is supplying 1PB of onsite storage. Additional broadcast services from NEP include 36 EVS VIA machines, 58 host Sony cameras, 28 specialty cameras, 150 talkback panels and over 90 km of cable installed each year. More than 300 broadcast engineers, technicians and crew members are onsite supporting the host broadcast and other rights holders.
Creative Technology, an NEP Group Live Events company and trusted service provider to Wimbledon Broadcast Services, is delivering radio talkback and microphone facilities to ensure seamless capture by hosts, rights holders and other key personnel.
CT’s support of All England Club / Wimbledon Broadcast Services extends beyond broadcast solutions, having their visual display service recently renewed for a four-year period, which includes LED scoreboards, match information display screens and the Aorangi Terrace (Henman Hill) screen and content production. In addition, CT is managing the technical aspects of the All England Club IPTV network. This entails overseeing the transmission and management of 119 channels of television content over 2000 televisions around the Club, ensuring seamless delivery of camera feeds to the court commentary positions.
In 2022, WBS and NEP UK announced a long-term broadcast services partnership to deliver The Championships, which commenced in 2014. Play starts on Monday 3 July at The All England Lawn Tennis Club.
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