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The 101st running of the Tour de France covers a total distance of 3,664 kilometers through 21 stages. For the riders, the physical and mental challenges are hard to imagine. For Euro Media Group, the firm responsible for the overall wireless coverage, production challenges are also incredible. This year, to address the challenge, the company is using five brand-new LDX WorldCam cameras from Grass Valley, a Belden Brand, to provide up-close footage from five motorcycles that follow the action throughout each stage.
Bruno Gallais, Euro Media Group international business development head for wireless production facilities, says that the use of Grass Valley LDX Series cameras on the five motorcycles tracking the race is one of the primary changes to its RF configuration this year. “Each year, the pressure to provide higher quality, ‘heat-of-the-action’ coverage increases. The LDX Series cameras are very powerful, very high quality; we are very happy with their performance.”
To optimize connectivity of the new cameras, Grass Valley also developed a custom-made adapter kit which enables Euro Media’s RF affiliate, Livetools, to easily integrate its wireless transmitter solution for motorcycle use. Grass Valley developed the LDX RF docking interface and LDX adapter housing to allow RF vendors to integrate their own solutions. The outstanding image quality of the LDX Series, along with the custom wireless integration of Livetools, have been designed to deliver the best possible performance for these kinds of live events.
Gallais, who has been involved in broadcasting the Tour de France for nearly 30 years, has seen a lot of change. “Technology drives our ability to cover these kinds of events. As the cameras and the ways we transfer our signals improve, our coverage gets better and better. We are able to help viewing audiences around the world feel as if they are right there on the course with the riders.”
Grass Valley’s LDX WorldCam is the pinnacle of the broadcast chain and the ideal solution for any production, under any condition. Its core technology is based on the Grass Valley Xensium-FT CMOS imager, which enables the camera to deliver superb picture quality even in low-light conditions.
“This solution for Euro Media Group is ideal for covering such a high-profile event,” said Marcel Koutstaal, vice president and general manager of camera systems, Grass Valley. “We design our solutions to be scalable and adaptable, giving users the ability to integrate the technology in a way that best meets their needs. It’s important for them to be able to leverage the latest technology in a competitive way.”