TAG Video Systems Unveils New Platform for FOX Sports’ Marquee Events Ahead
The TAG monitoring and visualization platform is an integral part of a ground-breaking live-production system built in a totally different form factor. Built as two separate and redundant systems, FOX Sports’ joint event system is the world’s largest transportable SMPTE ST 2110 live production flypack, able to be quickly flown and setup between major events. Speaking at the Sports Video Group’s Remote Production Forum, Kevin Callahan, VP, Field Operations and Engineering at FOX Sports, said “The key is the monitoring, being able to see everything coming in and going out and being able to QC it – that’s really the goal of the IBC as the central hub. It connects to the studio location; it connects to all the venues; it connects to our Los Angeles broadcast facility as well as our Tempe broadcast facility.” Leveraging IP and SMPTE ST 2110 technology, the system was able to move to all fiber, reducing the size and weight of the kit significantly. With a full control room, 40 tech core racks, and 10 venue racks, the system travels fully pre-wired and ready to go on arrival in Doha. The 8-foot-tall tech core racks were built on top of shock-mounted airplane pallets. To fit in an airplane cargo hold, Kevin Callahan and Douglas McGee, Consulting Engineer for system design, came up with the idea to have custom racks that fold in half while fully wired to fit under the cargo hold height restrictions. This first-of-its-kind flypack system enables FOX Sports to bypass intermodal transport by container ships and quickly move the system from event to event. “This was an amazing example of vendors working together towards the goal of delivering a successful and ground-breaking project for a customer, on so many levels,” explained Peter Wharton, Chief Strategy Officer at TAG Video Systems. “TAG’s proven interoperability with all other equipment gave FOX Sports the freedom and agility to buy best-of-breed systems from multiple vendors versus a single vendor lock in, and the system’s ability to run on COTS servers allowed them to really avoid a lot of the supply chain issues that other vendors were experiencing, providing an additional measure of peace-of-mind.” The TAG multiviewer and monitoring platform enables FOX Sports operators to see everything in the ST-2110 IP workflow as well as JPEG-XS and UHD, the formats FOX Sports are using for transmission between the IBC and studio, venues and FOX Sports operations centers in Tempe and Los Angeles. In addition, the entire network will be managed by a remote IT team located remotely. As technology advances and new formats emerge, the system provides built-in room for growth to allow FOX Sports to keep pace with rapid changes in the industry.