Optocore / BroaMan Network Control for World Figure Skating Championships

Optocore / BroaMan Network Control for World Figure Skating Championships

Optocore / BroaMan Network Control for World Figure Skating Championships

France – When the 2022 World Figure Skating Championships were held recently at the Sud de France Arena in Montpellier, technical solutions provider (and Optocore partner) GB4D, was called upon to provide an elaborate communication network for all technical elements . This included Optocore and BroaMan routing, designed in a star topology.

The event itself was organized by the French Federation of Ice Sports, and the integrators were contracted by Charles Gueydan, their technical production manager.

Under the direction of owner Gilles Bouvard, GB4D has a rich pedigree in this sector, having already worked on the European Championships in Lyon in 2006, then the 2012 World Championships in Nice. In addition, for almost two decades, they have participated in the televised gala Les Étoiles de la Glace, the skating gala of the French Federation.

This year, GB4D has been entrusted with the supply of the entire audiovisual network, as well as the intercom, sound system, sports and production lighting (including walkways), stage structure and video for four-sided LED screens. They worked alongside Patrice Burle of Concept-Group for the structure and the lighting accessories, while the lighting design was the responsibility of the director of photography, Tony Weber and the sound design of Titou Victor and François Iund.

GB4D turned to a combination of Optocore / BroaMan interfaces, as well as DiGiCo and L-Acoustics Kara / K2 PA digital mixers, as they have done for many large-scale events before.

The biggest challenges they faced were the limited assembly time (seven semi-trailers of equipment had to be installed and ready to go in 12 hours) and the trim height, with more than 80 engines at 22 m from height, to provide complete visual clearance.

Gilles Bouvard underlined that there was no room for improvisation, since once the editing was completed, and all the compliances met, access to the ice was prohibited.

The network was formatted and designed by François Iund. The entire video element was distributed by BroaMan interfaces, including Mux22 MADI and Mux22 IC444, as well as Repeat48 and Route66 devices. This ensured the broadcasting of the signals from the OB broadcast, as well as all the timing element and the insert capture camera, with video management under the direction of Emilien Vaast.

The Optocore network, which allowed 320 inputs and 384 outputs, was of a redundant five-point star design. Optocore M12 and DD4MR-FX interfaces provided all MADI connectivity, with X6R-FX and 16-channel TP converters at the heart of the system. For the BroaMan element, the network was configured as a non-redundant star.

The IP network was managed by redundant Gigacore Luminex PoE interfaces for, among other things, lighting and intercoms.

Sound sources included music for the skaters played by two MAC Mini players running Q Lab software, as well as commercials and other presentation background music or jingles processed by a Broady Solutions MT128 multitrack machine. This was output in MADI 128 I/O via Optocore M12s, allowing different streams to be routed to multiple simultaneous outputs. Other sources included video soundtracks, managed from the two video control rooms. Finally, there were the “official speaker” microphones for the ISU, as well as UHF microphones for interviews and presentations.

For mixing and managing audio streams, GB4D installed a DiGiCo SD12 for the main mix (including the broadcast) and an SD11 for the ‘player’ control room. Flow management in the Optocore network for broadcast was handled from FOH via the SD12.

The entire network was managed from the FOH control room. The distribution of streams from the star system included broadcast systems hung in the passageways with three distribution points, player management, the AMP Visual OB broadcast van and the press center. All of these locations received audio, video and IP.

The international signal was provided by Mondovision since it is a world championship, while France Television was the broadcaster for the national public.

As for the event itself, in a space as reverberating as an ice rink, the most difficult challenge was to guarantee an appropriate SPL and perfect listening, specifies Gilles Bouvard.

“The judges positioned at the edge of the track and the skaters who use the entire 60m x 30m ice, had to share the same listening experience. If a skater complained about the sound, it would become a very big problem, so everything had to be perfect.

“My audio technical team carried out a state-of-the-art acoustic study so that the sound is homogeneous from the center of the rink to the top of the stands. Titou Victor and François Iund implemented this plan to perfection.

The key to the technical success was the perfect functionality of the data distribution, he confirmed. “Optocore and BroaMan provided the essential tools to build a hub and spoke network; the Route66 and Optocore AutoRouter operated between the five different points, all of which received audio, video, data, intercom networks and 22 universes of DMX lighting.

He added that the network also needed to be robust enough to provide streams to other partners such as Swiss Timing for the competitive element and international TV shows.

“For these partners, we needed to be able to share data streams and we could do this easily thanks to the “hot” routing possibilities offered by Optocore MADI grids or BroaMan Route66 video routers. It gave everyone complete peace of mind.

Optocore / BroaMan Network Control for World Figure Skating ChampionshipsOptocore / BroaMan Network Control for World Figure Skating Championships

May 10, 2022

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