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Ferrari Challenge: entire system 4K HDR ready, 4 cameras on board, new live telemetry from cars and real-time AR

August 1, 2020.

The world renowned Ferrari Challenge, single-brand championship organized by Ferrari Corse Clienti, certainly does not require any presentation, and runs the third championship race on the first weekend of August, on days 1 and 2, in Portugal, in Portimao.

The other two races took place, the first in Imola, Italy, and the second in Barcelona.

The championship includes seven races in Europe and the final one, which is held in the context of the World Finals, will take place in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, on November 7th.

These races are still broadcast in HD but they are totally 4K UHD HDR ready. 

Aired on various SKY Italia channels, the international feed is distributed in several world countries.

Covid-19 epidemic changed first of all the race calendar and, after the three-month stop, the restart was on 4th July on the Imola circuit in Italy, originally not on the calendar.

Then three races were concentrated in a month span and a new stage is scheduled in Misano, Italy, 26-27 September.

The TV production host broadcaster servicing in all the events is the Italian NVP which covers all the events with its own vehicles and crews.

All races are held behind closed doors without audiences and even the drivers are less due to complexity in travels.

 

Ivan Pintabona, CTO of NVP, says: “Regarding Covid-19 we have launched very rigid protocols and decided to use very large vehicles to proper distance the staff on board and make use of bulkheads, masks, ozonators, sanitizing gels and even extra protocols for security."

 

NVPoB64K ready and fiber backbones

For the Ferrari Challenge, one of the two flagship twin vehicles of NVP is engaged, OB6 with triple expansion, with 34 Grass Valley LDX86 4K HDR WCG cameras, Dolby E audio, 12 replay stations, 6 producer stations.

The setup of the different circuits is particularly interesting and is managed with passive fiber for the camera signals with an important matrix system, internally engineered by the research and development department of NVP.

The connections, made with 24 fibers in full passive mode and up to 10 hubs placed on the circuit, allow to control all cameras from the gallery and move them to follow the action.

Each camera is managed on two fibers through CWDM multiplexing which allows 4K UHD shooting.

 

Ivan Pintabona says: “The fiber system we use for all circuits is very light and this makes installation, management and all connections very fast, cheap and functional.

We have already tested the system in the first few races and it allows to halve the set-up time by laying down fiber backbones that also allow to manage the signals of the reception system of the radio cameras on board and those on the track.

The fibers are then "exploded" with a branching through the hubs that allow to reach every useful point and manage flows at 12Gb in 4K.

The heart is the bi-directional passive fiber made in cooperation with Link Italy which followed us in the construction of the hybrid connectors on the MTP connection and then with the Grass Valley 12 Gb Teleport systems.

At the moment the filming is aired in HD but it is expected to move to 4K even before the end of the current championship, despite the general slowdown of the whole set-up due to Covid-19."

 

Ferrari6Augmented Reality: real time sponsors, adverts, logos

Another very interesting feature of this system is that NVP has implemented some robotic cameras that pilot an Augmented Reality system for graphic insertions, sponsors, logos and advertisements.

 

Ivan Pintabona specifies: “Since the first test in the championship, the new virtual frontier that we are traveling with Ferrari has led us to complete tests on the two previous circuits.

Our system allows to carry out the insertion of live advertising in AR, an activity that is usually quite difficult to manage in the filming of motorsport because fo fast movements of the cars to follow.

Thanks to a partnership with Movicom, on the live signals of the robotic cameras we generate some abscissa and ordinate references that allow a graphic reconstruction of the concerned scenario.

Then all optical aberrations are corrected and inserted logos or graphics or any graphic element Ferrari requires.

In football or more geometric sports situations, this tracking procedure is much simpler, while here the non-linear environment creates objective difficulties.

The hardware tracking generated by the robotic cameras allows real-time interaction between the cam movements and advertising inserts that are perceived by the specator at home as if they were real on the circuit.

The operator on board the OBVan works on remote panels and performs the camera movements requested by the director, with pan, tilt and zoom.

The live signals enter the video mixer, where the logos, advertisements and sponsors are inserted seemlessly into the action.”

 

tettoAntenneRadio cameras on board

The radio system used in this single-brand championship is particularly intriguing.

The NVP, in addition to the optical fibers of the backbone and related hubs that make it possible to manage all the signals, heavily involves several radio frequency special devices.

In addition to the two Grass Valley LDK 86 cameras equipped with a Vislink radio link that operate in the pit and pit lane areas, some Marshall mini cameras are installed in some cars, each managing particular shots.

After testing on MotoGP and Formula1, this system was used for the first time on the Ferrari Challenge championship.

The on-board system, Vislink's top quality, provides on the reception side several MDU modules interconnected in fiber with the whole system by means of special splitters and decoders.

The truly innovative part is transmission with a proprietary Vislink protocol based on a more directional telemetry between the transmitters and the reception.

On board, each transmitter can manage up to 4 cameras, including remote pan & tilt movement.

On board the OB-Van, a touch screen software panel allows to command the mechanical heads movements of the cameras and to select, by means of an internal matrix inside the transmitter, the camera that provides the useful shot and the relative signal.

 

visLinkTelemetry for the first time live

The same transmitter, again in bidirectional transmission to and from the racing car, allows to manage the communications detected by the car's control units.

This experimentation that NVP is carrying out in cooperation with Ferrari allows to have a firts hand set of telemetry data available. 

The control unit in fact detects a lot of data, such as speed, number of laps, braking, G force, etc., which become available in real time in the control room and in the pits. 

This unique information, which until now was only downloaded from the cars after the race and therefore only available in deferred mode, becomes very useful because it is received live and can be transformed into real-time graphics for enriching feed broadcasts.

These extremely useful data travel via radio in a bi-directional ink, therefore the race master direction can also use this communication channel towards the cars to send alert signals or important data for immediate feedback from the driver.

Vislink's sophisticated radio system has been designed, implemented and managed by NVP for each grand prix, with the aforementioned fiber management and sorting system, in order to reach the various points where the 16 reception antennas are mounted along the circuit

###

© robertolandini presspool.it svgeurope.org

All images are copyright Ferrari.

https://www.svgeurope.org/blog/headlines/ferrari-challenge-4k-hdr-on-board-cameras-live-telemetry-and-real-time-ar-added-to-host-coverage/

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