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Mon 30 Jan 2006 04:00 AM

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ERTU covers Africa Cup 2006

Egyptian state broadcaster, ERTU, recently deployed two large studio systems in Cairo stadiums to cover the Africa Cup of Nations 2006 football tournament. Sony Professional Services, Dubai, which handled the project, gives Digital Studio the lowdown.

I|~|ertbig.jpg|~|The ERTU project included the installation of 28 Sony BVP-E30 cameras.|~|In recent years, broadcasters and other media-oriented companies have reorganised and rebuilt their facilities to accommodate the growing volume of content they handle.
Egyptian state broadcaster, ERTU, recently deployed two large studio systems in Cairo for the coverage of the Africa Cup of Nations 2006 football tournament that was held in Egypt from January 20, 2006.

The two systems, which have been deployed at the Cairo stadium and the military stadium in conjunction with Sony Professional Services, will be reinstalled at ERTU’s facility after the tournament.

“These systems were installed specifically for the coverage of the tournament, which will go on for three weeks,” says Karl Hijazi, manager, professional services, Sony Professional Solutions Middle East & Africa. “After that, they will be redeployed at the ERTU facility for future electronic field production (EFP) and other general production. ERTU will also probably use it to upgrade some of its existing systems.” For Sony Professional Services in Dubai, this project marks a significant milestone as the studio systems were pre-built in Dubai at the company’s production facility in Jebel Ali.

“This was a multi-million dollar project and the entire system was managed and delivered locally by the Dubai office. The ERTU team came to our Dubai factory for the system acceptance. About five people from our team went on site for the installation and systems integration. This shows that the Dubai office is fully capable of handling such large scale projects,” explains Hijazi.

The entire project included the installation of 28 Sony BVP-E30 cameras with each studio system comprising 14 cameras. These systems include all of the equipment that comes with the Sony camera chain. Each of the two systems has, in addition, been equipped with one large Sony DVS 9000 3 1/2 ME (Mix effects) vision mixer. Each of these mixers come with four channels built-in DVE. All of the production monitoring for the tournament is also being done on Sony LMD LCD monitors. The only exceptions to this are the technical reference monitors, which are high specification Sony BVM CRT monitors. The order included a number of Sony DVW range VTRs. Likewise, the entire signal distribution for the tournament has also been done by Sony Professional Services.

||**||II|~||~||~|The project also saw a huge supply of Fujinon lenses to ERTU including 16 A42x9.7 BERD standard definition ENG-style lens that are reputed to have the world’s highest magnification; eight A22x7.8 BERD standard definition ENG hand-held lens and four A72x9.3BESM High Definition Telephoto lens. “These lenses are all designed for sports applications,” says Djamel Djadi, regional sales manager for Fujinon, Egypt. “The A42x9.7 lenses are ideal for applications requiring long focal length, low weight and high portability; while the XA72x lenses are suited for shooting sports, where extreme close ups and high-image quality are critical; and the A22x7.8 lenses have a high zoom ratio of 22x and the widest angle of view in its category,” he adds.

ERTU also purchased a mix of studio tripods and pedestals from Vinten for this project. Camera support systems from Vinten include the Vector 70 and 24 Vector 250 heads (V250-AP2S) with two-stage Aluminium Pozi-Loc tripods. The Vector 70 is designed to provide up to 120° of balanced tilt range for the latest digital studio and OB lenses. “The Vector 70 has a LF drag system, which is easily adjustable and provides smooth movement and consistent drag over a wide range of shots and whip pan. The heads also have extensive operating temperatures from -40°C to + 60°C and illuminated controls for ‘low-light’ situations,” says Mark Osborn, regional sales manager for Vinten.

“Likewise, the Vision 250 is designed to support the latest portable cameras complete with viewfinders, prompters and pan bar controls and is becoming the standard in new studio production as well as OB/EFP applications. They come with Pozi-Loc tripods, which provide minimal clearance with exceptional torsional rigidity,” adds Osborn.
ERTU has also added four six-channel, fully configured slo-mo servers from EVS Broadcast for this installation. Quartz has provided all of the video routing and Clear Com has provided Drake Easycom intercom systems for the project. The entire installation was project managed by Sony Professional Services in Dubai. Two teams from ERTU came down to Dubai to be trained on the systems including the cameras, the Sony Switchers, the EVS and Drake systems. “We provided them with training both in our factory in Dubai as well as on site,” explains Hijazi.

Although the studio systems that were supplied were standard, what makes this project challenging is the scale of the work involved and the short time within which it was put together.

“The main challenge was the tight deadline and the resources. The contract was awarded in Autumn last year and commissioning was completed in two months. Although they were carrying out test broadcasts earlier, they went live on January 20 and the whole project was very successful,” adds Hijazi.

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