Advanced Television

TVN upgrades HDR/SDR live sports capabilities with Sony

March 30, 2021

Sony has delivered a total solution that enables one of Europe’s leading production services providers to meet rapidly growing demand for premium 4K HDR content from broadcasters and TV viewers.

TVN MOBILE PRODUCTION has equipped its newly refurbished OB3 vehicle with ten HDC-5500 camera systems to strengthen its sports and live events production capabilities. Capable of outputting 4K UHD & HDR, the latest-generation cameras are configured with Sony’s HDCU-5000 Camera Control Unit supporting Ultra High Bitrate transmission and as such enabling 4K 2x slow motion or simultaneous transmission of two 4K pictures.

A further key factor for TVN’s camera choice was Sony’s advanced Global Shutter technology that captures the entire frame in a single instant, eliminating the rolling shutter or ‘jello’ effect that makes rapidly moving subjects look unnaturally distorted. Currently unique to Sony, this innovative technology featured on the HDC-5500 ensures accurate reproduction of live sports. Global Shutter also opens up other exciting creative applications – including virtual production – that are impractical without this technology.

The 18-metre long vehicle additionally hosts a Sony XVS-8000 multiformat production switcher at its heart as already featured in TVN’s OB5 and OB6 vehicles. The UHD native switcher is equipped with Sony’s recently introduced Mix Effect Processing boards that bring even more power to UHD productions and creative flexibility. This combination of HDC-5500/HDCU-5000 and XVS-8000 supports a simultaneous HDR/SDR production workflow developed in collaboration with Sony. This allows TVN to deliver independent High Dynamic Range and SDR signals to meet broadcasters’ distribution requirements without requiring dual crews and duplication of production hardware.

“Today we’re seeing strong demand from broadcasters and rights owners for HDR content that delivers more detail, peak brightness, contrast and colour depth for viewers” says Christoph Moll, Technical Director, TVN MOBILE PRODUCTION. “Based on Sony technology, we have created a robust, cost effective HDR/SDR workflow that assures consistently high-quality signals to meet all our customers’ distribution requirements.”

“We’ve had a very good relationship with Sony for many years” adds Christoph. “In addition to the high product reliability, we appreciate the very close cooperation with the Sony service, development and engineering, with both the European and Japanese teams. In the end, this helped us a lot with the implementation of efficient new production workflows.”

The strategies jointly developed include training on the part of Sony in the area of service as well as the permanent knowledge transfer between the two companies during the establishment of new processes – such as the current HDR workflows.

“We are proud to have supported TVN with a number of live production firsts, including coverage of Bundesliga and UEFA Champions League football matches in 4K HDR for Sportcast (DFL), as well as one of the first live concert productions in 4K HDR for Sky” says Norbert Paquet, Head of Media Solutions, Sony Professional Solutions. “As one of Europe’s most forward-looking production services specialists, TVN is consistently focused on delivering more compelling viewing experiences for TV audiences. Their investment in our HDC-5500 camera with Global Shutter technology demonstrates TVN’s commitment to expand the possibilities of live production with even better image quality and innovative new workflows.”

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