As 84 of the world’s most beautiful women converged this past week in Las Vegas to compete for the title of Miss Universe, the producers of the 2010 Miss Universe®
Pageant faced a competition of their own, transferring hours and hours worth of video content in preparation for a live show. Playback Innovations, LLC, a leading-edge technology company specializing in the area of video server control and tapeless workflow integration for television production, is proud to announce that its Pi Control System was once again selected by the Miss Universe® Pageant for the challenge.
The telecast, aired live across the globe to 180 countries from the Mandaly Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. After successful implementations of tapeless workflow at previous telecasts, the Miss Universe Production team once again sought the services of Playback Innovations for its flagship Miss Universe Pageant live broadcast.
Playback Innovations, through the use of its Pi Control and Media Management system, was responsible for both the live show playback elements and managing the integration to the Avid based post facility. Multiple Avid Symphony Nitris edit bays on Avid Unity shared storage system were connected via Avid's Transfer Manager application to EVS XT video servers. EVS has created a toolset which allows for native file transfer from the Avid systems to the EVS XT production servers with no transcoding required. This architecture maintains the pristine signal quality, which are core to both the Avid and EVS workflow models. As edited content was finalized for broadcast on the Avids throughout the week prior to the live broadcast, the finished sequences were delivered faster than real time to the EVS XT Production servers via fiber optic connectivity across the Atlantis Resort Property.
“The tapeless infrastructure we are using has given the creative Producers greater flexibility in terms of the screening process and delivery deadlines”, said Rachel Frimer Vice President of Production for the Miss Universe Organization. “We were able to send high definition Avid DNxHD® files bi-directionally between the live production truck and the on-site post facility faster than real time. This is a something we have been looking to accomplish for many years,” Ms. Frimer added. “The technology utilized by Playback Innovations shaved hours off the post production schedule and in turn saved money on both the post production and live production budgets for the show. Specifically, the ability to begin editing the pre-recorded elements of the show moments after shooting the contestants on stage, saved hours of digitizing time as well as many reels of tape stock.”
Due to the large international audience for this show, Spanish language content was produced for Telemundo’s simulcast with the English language broadcast. The Spanish content, which was also delivered as files from the post facility, played out synchronously with the English version under the control of the Pi Control system. The Pi operator in the production truck received a notification message on the control system whenever new content arrived, whether this content was sent before or during production rehearsals, or even when the show was actually on the air. Once the content was delivered to the EVS XT servers in the production truck, the playback operator used the Pi Control system to recall the file and play it out to air. Mitch Bryan who has been the show playback operator for many years stated, “It is a true pleasure to use a control product designed with the operator in mind. The ease of use and reliability of the Pi Control system really sets this control product apart from others.”
The EVS XT platform under the control of the Playback Innovations custom control solution has created a new level of reliability and flexibility for entertainment productions of this type. Through the visions of these Companies, new standards have been set in the emerging areas of tapeless workflow and media management.