EI Towers relies on Imagine Communications technology to create the International Broadcast Center for the Italian Serie A soccer league

Italian communications and broadcast transmission specialist EI Towers’ has recently created a new International Broadcast Centre (IBC) to broadcast the 2022-23 season of Italy’s football Lega Serie A. The IBC has been built on IP technology from Imagine Communications. The broadcast hub centralises contribution and distribution of audio, video and data in Italy and around the world for broadcasters and rightsholders.

Located in Lissone, north of Milan, the IBC will collect 12 primary signals and 12 backups, from each stadium in the country for all matches in Serie A TIM, the Coppa Italia and the Supercoppa. Graphics, replays and branding will be added at the IBC before being distributed via fiber links to Italian broadcasters. EI Towers also provides international feeds, with commentary in English and Italian, as well as with Arabic language for international satellite and fiber distribution to all rightsholders spread all over the world.

To support the varying facilities at each stadium and the requirements for international and multiplatform distribution, EI Towers used a hybrid technology platform that could embrace legacy SDI content and IP signal processing using both SMPTE ST 2022-6 and ST 2110. The platform also needed to support 4K UHD and HDR, as well as 3G-SDI (1080p50), and deliver in different frame rates. They selected Imagine’s Selenio Network Processor (SNP).

The 1RU SNP is able to handle conversions between ST 2110 and SDI, including 12G SDI as required; up-, down- and cross-conversion between HD/UHD and SDR/HDR formats; and automatic changeovers to maintain on-air output. SNP also offers a low-latency, HDR-capable production multiviewer personality, SNP-MV, which enables content from different video formats and HDR systems to be integrated into a display environment.

Fabrizio Falcini, head of systems engineering at EI Towers, says, “Imagine Communications has provided us with signal routing and management for some time, but their Selenio Network Processor delivers a whole new level of elasticity and scalability that we needed to meet the complex requirements of EI Towers’ mission-critical sports content.”

Mathias Eckert, SVP & GM EMEA & APAC at Imagine Communications, said, “We are proud that our technology will support Lega Serie A coverage from EI Towers’ new IBC. Not only will the SNP help provide football fans across multiple geographies and delivery platforms the best possible viewing experience, it will also enable EI Towers to streamline operations and maximize ROI with a future-proof, open-standard solution that can be easily upgraded as technology continues to evolve.”

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