PBH work with BBC Sport to capture Formula One around the world

PBH work with BBC Sport to capture Formula One around the world

BBC Sport turned to Presteigne Broadcast Hire for a quick rig flyaway solution to on-location coverage of Formula One races around the world. Firstly, the production, editing and delivery systems had to be packaged in airline cargo containers and flown to their location.

The BBC were given the UK rights to broadcast 10 Formula One races live, with the other nine covered in extensive highlight programmes with footage of practice days. For the live events, there were five presenters and two commentators on site and PBH was there to support all of their technical worries.

Presteigne Broadcast Hire supplied their flyaway kit, which includes production control facilities that created the BBC’s unilateral coverage and switched 15 feeds from the host broadcaster with three wireless cameras, covering the presenters in the pits and paddock. Live production equipment included radio microphones, wireless in-ear monitoring for presenters and six edit suites.

PBH also provided a technical crew to support the BBC team at each location, with 13 people for every live event and 10 people for the pre-recorded races.

The biggest challenge for the team at Presteigne Broadcast Hire was shipping the kit from race to race and finding space on the cargo planes because the planes used by the Formula One circus were in short supply and so the volume and weight had to be kept down. We commissioned three lightweight pods, fitted out with air conditioning and power distribution. The design then depended on packing in all the functionality BBC Sport wanted, based on the latest technology for light weight. Fibre was used wherever possible, along with advanced RF equipment to minimise the amount of cabling.

The latest wireless technology helped in a busy RF environment with many other users of wireless cameras and microphones. With each race in a different country with different frequency allocations, the system had to be very fast to assemble and dissemble. Back-to-back races and events on consecutive Sundays in different countries meant that de-rigging and loading as soon as the race was finished was essential. With thorough planning and a quick and efficient team, every Formula One event ran smoothly and overall the project was a success for the PBH team. All content is available on a server network for replays and collaborative editing.

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