Ski World Cup 2018 in Sölden/Austria

BNC supports the ORF (Austrian Public Broadcaster) and demonstrates VAR-Technology

At this year’s Ski World Cup season opener in Sölden, Austria, BNC Austria was once again asked by the ORF to cover the ingest and post-production area. We were responsible for recording up to 6 streams in Apple® ProRes HD 120, which were created via an EVS® XT3® server and an EVS® IPDirector® and streamed in real time to an Elements® CUBE®.
Two MacPro-based Adobe Premiere editing suites also provided by BNC Austria were able to access the Elements Cube NAS storage via a 1GigE Ethernet connection and thus use the latest images for reporting in real time.
In order to provide the editors with an uncomplicated and effective access to the recorded material, IPBrowse, a browsing client application from EVS, was made available for the first time. These applications, installed on standard Windows laptops, provide access to the central IPDirector database, allowing editors to access any stream or clip that resides on the Elements NAS. This was also true for the XDCAM EB material (interviews, intermediate images, etc …) which was ingested on the NAS immediately after being submitted by the respective cameraman. This workflow was received very positively by the ORF sports editorial department, as a cumbersome handling with multiple software players was eliminated and there was only one central platform for viewing the entire material.

But we were not only involved in the improved workflow of this production, we also helped with a completely new chapter in skiing: the VAR (Video Assistant Referee) technology.
In good cooperation with the Belgian manufacturer EVS and its VAR system “XEEBRA” ®, the FIS and the ÖSV were presented for the first time with a solution, with the help of which possible errors of the drivers / competitors can be easily and precisely detected and analyzed. This system is already in use worldwide, both in football and in other sports, in Sölden, however, its premiere took place in winter sports.
Both winter sports organizations were impressed by the speed and simplicity of the system, after a short introduction it was already firmly integrated in the production and was used with every descent of a competitor. Even if it was only meant as a test run, some mistakes made by the competitors were discovered by XEEBRA which were not perceived by the judges, so the system showed how valuable it will be when used regularly in the future.
The additional possibility of exporting the evidence-rich footage in seconds in a compact yet high-quality H264 codec and to be able to give it to the respective organizations – for example on a USB stick – is also a big step forward: the competitor’s mistake can be shown on any software player, discussions about possible wrong decisions are eliminated and the judges’ judgments are understandable for everyone, even long after the respective event has already ended.
Once again we would like to thank EVS for providing technical support for the XEEBRA system, which will certainly set a worldwide standard for VAR systems in the future.