22nd June 2018
Magnificent live images of the World Cup are currently being watched in nearly all countries worldwide. The live video networks conceptualized and operated by the VIDI experts in Russia guarantee precise and high-quality signal transmissions.
To ensure that it all works, the VIDI team installed and thoroughly tested the adaption technology in advance in all twelve match venues as well as in the International Broadcast Centre (IBC) in Moscow.
Find out everything about the live video and data network connecting all 12 World Cup stadiums across enormous distances in Russia with the IBC in Moscow. For example, Sochi all the way to the south, Yekaterinburg in the East, Saint Petersburg to the North or Kaliningrad in the West.
After more than two years of intensive planning and meticulous preparations, the VIDI advance party made its way to Moscow in early May to begin with the construction and operation of the contribution network for live broadcasts of the Soccer World Cup. Engineers reported the enormous network "Ready for service" only two weeks later. And since July 14, the live broadcasts of the World Cup matches have been transmitted via this system. Even more, in addition to the transport of live video signals, the network also provides an abundance of additional data options and services.
The carrier connections have been realized via the network of the Russian telecommunications company, MegaFon. The local cooperation and contract partner for handling the entire project is CSJC Synterra Media.
The installation and set-up of the network was once again a mammoth task. A complex network topology with the provision of double signal paths was set up as a fail-safe. This means that in the event of problems, it will be possible to switch to the backup channels using hitless switching technology without the viewers noticing anything.
VIDI TRANSMITTING – FROM VENUE TO THE IBC
Audio and video data of the cameras is received, processed and forwarded at the IBC which is located in the Crocus Expo International Exhibition Centre in Moscow. In other words: Every goal, every pass and every save goes through the IBC. Moreover, extensive file services are also being realized via these connections. This is a challenging task for the VIDI engineers, who are tasked with handling the signal transmissions sent from the individual stadiums to the IBC and forwarding them around the globe to the many rights holders.
The video and data adaption technology set up in the IBC consists of 20 MD8000 and 12 MDP3020 Media Links devices with a total of 804 video ports and 128 1G data ports. The video signals are broadcast in the formats 1080p (3G), UHD (4K) and sporadically even in Super Hi-Vision (8K). The network is integrated via 104 redundant 10G connections. All video signals are compressed with hitless protection and as JPEG2000. The 10G data services are also hitless protected.
ALSO PART OF THE NETWORK CONCEPT: IMAGES, SOUNDS AND DATA FROM THE RED SQUARE
Furthermore, the VIDI specialists also support additional contribution and service paths to the IBC. For example, to the Red Square in Moscow, which is home to several outside presentation studios. This integration for video and data applications has been realized as 9x 10G connection. And the path is run redundantly which means that a total of 18x 10G are available. To this end, the broadcasters are provided with protected 10G and 1G services.
VIDI TRANSMITTING – FROM TECHNOLOGY TO HAPPENING
The teams at the 12 venues consist of a technician of the local network operator and partner CSJC Synterra Media as well as two VIDI engineers each. At each venue, 140 ports for video in all formats as well as 10x 1G data services are available to the broadcasters. The connection to the IBC in Moscow is established via 6 redundant 10G network lines. All services were thoroughly tested beforehand. For example, complex power-down scenarios, during which the power for the adaption technology had to be supplied from an internal UPS system for at least 15 minutes, had to be mastered.
VIDI TRANSMITTING – FROM INNOVATION TO RELIABILITY
As always, quality and security of the solution was the focus in this network design. That is why the Network Management System (NMS) from VIDI also serves as the central tool in Russia for monitoring all signal connections and ensuring transmission quality. The detailed evaluations and network analyses of the system were a great help even during the network set-up phase, and this will be the case even more so during the “action-packed” phases of the live transmissions. In the IBC in Moscow and the network monitoring rooms at the game venues, access to the NMS monitoring system was set up. The VIDI engineers thus have access to the monitoring results from each of these locations and can also manage the network via this access.