TVU Networks is updating plans to its Winter Games support based largely on customer experience during the Summer Games in Tokyo. Depending on further COVID spread, potentially stricter travel parameters in China, and mountainous terrain surrounding venue locations Yanqing and Zhangjiakou, broadcast coverage of the Winter Games could prove even more challenging than conditions faced in Tokyo. Anticipated restrictions in Beijing include: limited availability of 5G SIM cards, three-week visitor quarantine, rules on equipment transport, and limited visitor access to the Great Wall.
With offices in Beijing and Shanghai for over 15 years, TVU Networks has the largest local team on the ground when compared to others providing similar services. TVU staff will be on site 24/7 to assist not only with live transmission and remote production technology, but also any translation, logistical and cultural challenges.
“We’ve got a solid support network in place,” says Paul Shen, CEO, TVU Networks. “Our TVU team will take care of any issues our customers face, so they can focus on producing the best possible coverage in Beijing. While we provided a host of services on the ground in Tokyo, our support will be even more extensive in China based on our lessons learned, and because we believe that conditions in Beijing could make remote coverage there even more challenging. Given our successes in Tokyo, we’re confident in our ability to help broadcasters navigate the complexities of next year’s Winter Games.”
With staff safety and COVID-related production restrictions in place, remote production technology won gold in Tokyo. When compared against the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, TVU saw a 100x increase in the use of TVU Grid for IP-based video switching routing and distribution and 10x higher adoption of the TVU Anywhere mobile app in Tokyo. With the pandemic creating uncertainty in the host country with regard to live coverage of and access to the Summer Games, TVU was prepared to help its customers adapt to changing workflows with extensive support services. Throughout Tokyo, TVU provided quick turnaround on equipment exchange requests, as well as timely equipment pickup and delivery, despite local restrictions.
Live 24/7 beauty shots from multiple cameras of Tokyo locations before and during the Summer Games were popular for bumpers and other interstitial content. TVU also offered a rental inventory of TVU One mobile transmitters and had professional ENG camera crews at the ready. Plus, the company offered studio space in downtown Tokyo equipped with TVU Grid for broadcast-quality video transmission.
“There wasn’t the ability to send a crew to different locations at any time in Tokyo, as there’d been in the past,” adds Shen. “Without on-location resources, broadcasters had to get creative to produce quality interviews, beauty shots and cover stories with a local flavor. That’s where cloud- and IP-based solutions provided the flexibility needed to produce compelling coverage without the typical on-site access.”
In Beijing this February, the number of broadcasters covering the games combined with the rugged terrain surrounding Yanqing and Zhangjiakou and potentially restrictive in-country travel, will require maximum flexibility with minimal to no coverage disruption.
TVU One mobile transmitters available for rent in Beijing will feature:
- 5G transmission with unlimited 5G data
- 4K HDR or 1080p HDR picture quality
- Sub-second latency
- The aggregation of all available data connections – cellular, 5G, WiFi, Ethernet, and satellite – to transmit broadcast-quality video from any location
Among the services TVU will provide in Beijing:
- Equipment delivery, pick up, set up, technical assistance and exchanges within two to four hours from notification subject to COVID regulations
- Zero risk booking ensures a full refund if Games are cancelled
- 24×7 live pool feeds from Beijing
- Watch Party Solution to easily and cost effectively share live moments between athletes and friends and family remotely
- Professional Remote Reporting Solution, which provides reporters and producers the ability to conduct remote interviews from their home or studio
- Complimentary office space in the TVU Beijing office with free high-speed internet access and language assistance
- All-in-One Interview Kit for mobile journalists that enable high quality live shots from anywhere
During the Summer Games, TVU Networks was on-site, supporting more than 100 broadcasters, including beIN Sports, Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS), Shanghai Media Group (SMG), Joongang Tongyang Broadcasting Company (JTBC) in South Korea, China Global Television Networks (CGTN), and 7NEWS Australia. Sports Video Group