NEP UK and Imagine team for live premium sports coverage | Infrastructure | News | Rapid TV News
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Looking to capitalise on the demand for high-quality live sports coverage, in particular high-definition output, NEP UK has entered into a technology partnership with Imagine Communications to deliver this increased level of quality to viewers.
NEP Imagine 12 Nov 2021
NEP UK provides facilities for the leading sports broadcasters in the UK, who are increasingly offering Ultra HD coverage as an option for subscribers and at the same time having to maintain the highest quality HD output possible to serve the majority of viewers.

Imagine noted that in the high-pressure, live environment of premium sports, it is vital to have a simple and automated workflow to provide multiple outputs from the truck with a minimum of user intervention. To that end, the new arrangement sees Imagine supplying the has supplied multiple Selenio Network Processor (SNP) appliances to NEP UK which has installed the units in four of its largest outside broadcast trucks, in order to provide what the provider says is a “a seamless, automated workflow for delivering 4K and UHD, HD, standard (SDR) and high dynamic range (HDR) signals.

The SNP is a software-defined IP and SDI signal processing device. Each 1RU device features four independent processing blocks, each of which can adopt personalities defined by the software. Applications are available on individual licenses, so users can define the exact functionality they require and reconfigure their SNPs as tasks demand. This quality is said to make them particularly suited to outside broadcast work.

NEP UK has ordered a mix of licenses for signal format conversion including HD, 3G, and 4K, as well as dynamic range conversion between SDR, HLG, PQ and Slog3. “We have adopted the use of the SNP as a high-density signal conversion engine,” said Chris Cannon, director of technical operations at NEP in the UK.

“Given the tight confines of an outside broadcast truck, we really appreciate we can get eight UHD conversion channels in just 1RU, and that includes signal format conversion, as well as SDR-HDR conversion ― the latter through the built-in conversion pipeline or through customer-defined LUTs. We set and forget the SNPs: they perform well, take up little rack space, consume less power, and deliver the full variety of HD, UHD, SDR and HDR outputs we need.”

“SNP is an incredibly adaptable platform, with new personalities continuing to be added,” added Mathias Eckert, SVP & GM EMEA and APAC for Imagine Communications. “Because it is so compact and flexible, it is ideal for outside broadcast operators like NEP, who need to be able to reconfigure their trucks on site, day to day, as they move between different sports and entertainment productions. In the long run, the software-based design of SNP guarantees quick adoption of future requirements, for example, 8K video.”