Sports & News Broadcast

The European Handball Championships live streaming thanks to CONI.

Faenza (in the province of Ravenna) and the palaCattani last 10th April hosted the match between the Italy-Slovakia National Team, valid for the Euro 2020 qualifying Group 7.

The meeting was broadcast on the major Italian and European television networks with SKY Italy who made the filming for Sky Sport airing, Sport Italia, for the retransmission of the Youtube channel and also on the website of the Handball Federation

The matches of the handball championship take place on Saturdays in various arenas scattered throughout Italy and even in these cases the images of the matches are streamed on Pallamano TV and on the federation website.
To film the matches, up until last season, each team entered in both the male and female championships had equipped themselves in a personal way, without following common rules, using professional esuipments, some amateur, some even with mobile phones, but all had however taken steps to film events for live streaming.

The turn point with CONI
From this season, instead, the National Federation CONI has decided to adopt a common line based on a homogeneous platform and, consequently, equipped all the teams with a camcorder camera, using a limited budget.
The choice fell on the JVC GY-HM250ESB camcorder, Sport Version, given that there is also a version dedicated to the electronic news gathering.
Its peculiarity is that it avoids the use of other external devices, that is to say it makes up for the use of a PC, a GC generator and external encoders for streaming the images.
All these normally external devices are grouped together within the single camera that allows one-camera shooting and immediately send out a complete feed in streaming and moreover it also allows you to make a simultaneous recording on an SD card.

Traditional or innovative
The mentioned camera can be used to all intents and purposes as a traditional camera, with HD-SDI and HDMI output, IP connectivity and on-board encoder and is -obviously- physically connectable to a video mixer.
It is therefore manageable with a wide range, integrated with other similar or third-party products like a shooting system in a traditional video service with ob-van or flight case, it can be remotely managed in remote production configuration, or it can be used as a complete single-camera streamer and simultaneous backup recording on MicroSD.
The versatility of such a stand alone system is maximum and, for example, it can be positioned on a crane and connected in Wifi, peer-to-peer to a mobile phone or a tablet or a PC and driven remotely via browser, avoiding altogether the wiring. In another configuration it is possible to remote it and integrate it in a classic wired video direction.

The opinion of JVC KENWOOD
Galileo Girotto of JVC Kenwood Italia states that "cameras so powerful as to allow superimposed graphics are not present in competing models, although there are other shooting solutions, including Panasonic and Sony, which use a single RTSP format for streaming, where the camera is like a server that is recalled remotely with strings. JVC allows in camera RTSP, UDP, USTREAM, Zixi and Wowza Streaming Engine generation to go live directly on social media."

All in Wifi ...
The camera has been chosen by CONI first of all for the various possibilities of network connection and in fact in the building where the handball matches are held a Wifi router is used with a 3G LTE card that serves as a backup. The WiFi router is connected via LAN to the external satellite uplink, or to the fiber connection present in many buildings, and the camera connects to it with a Wifi dongle.
Each camera is managed by an operator with a tripod and follows the actions.
Then, inside it, in the menu section dedicated to live streaming, it is set in Full HD at 3MB and the streaming addressing is directed so that the feed arrives at the CONI technical center in Rome.
Here all the streams over IP of the various cameras at the various sports arenas are received and are broadcast on the official channel
Then - always from Rome - each video flow is redistributed on the individual Facebook or Youtube pages of each sports clubs.

... and also the graphics
Every sports company that uses this system must first download an "SDP Generator" software that allows you to prepare graphics for sports, or for news, and set the format to work on (full HD or other). In the meantime, with a graphic generation program we can create the graphic contributions respecting the format chosen for the overlay with the key signal and save the project.
With SDP Generator, then, we will have to import into the camera, via an SDHC / SDXC card, the graphic files saved in the template depending on the occasion, for football, soccer basket, baseball, hockey, and the team's logos, of the federation of else.
At this point, thanks to a tablet, you can connect to the Wifi camera and from the menu you can change the graphic inserts and scores, stop the time, broadcast the graphics and then manage everything as if operating on a small video mixer.
In "slow" sports, a person alone is able to manage graphic inserts, while in faster sports, such as basketball where scores are complex, a two-person configuration is preferable.
In addition to the SDP files for scores, the camera is also able to upload Jpeg or PNG images on board, respecting the output format, thus allowing sponsors images to be broadcast, for example in an interval, replacing the entire use of the PC or an external source.
Some teams have replaced the logo with a series of rotating sponsor images every 5 seconds. Thus the spectator sees at the same time the action, the score, the timing, the sponsors or even anything else.

In Faenza with the National Men's Team
Stefano Pastori of Bluelight 4K passes us other details: "We are a small production company in Cremona that deals with television production services and we only use JVC cameras. We tested the first models of these cameras on field in a long series of events in order to understand all the potentials.
In the case of Faenza in the National Handball match, official competition valid for European Championship qualifiers, many "classic" video contents have been created without having to use other external devices or other operator, with obvious savings in material transport and operators in the field costs.
In practice, the use of the JVC GY-HM250ESB camcorder has made it possible to simplify the work that in this case included a mix of "normal" contents, such as the pre-game and some clips of the game edited on site and portions of images sent in streaming - not the whole match that was broadcast on SKY which holds the rights.
In addition to the ability to operate in 4K, to count on a very high transfer rate output and excellent sensitivity even in low light, it allows a great optimization of technical structures and personnel.
We can control and set the technical parameters of the camera and retrieve everything via browser.
The half-inch mono CCD sensor with 12X optics works in multi formats, in SD 16: 9 in HD, in HDW, and 4K and it is an evolution of models released about 5 years ago born precisely for direct streaming on CDN platforms, Youtube, Facebook, Youstream and alike. Moreover it allows to transfer the files of the filming, through a net on FTP protocol, to a server.
The connections are made via USB 2.0 to which you can apply a Wifi dongle with which you can easily cover about 80/90 mt or use a USB LAN."

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