Interview to Paul Francis, Chief Technical Office at CTV OB

Part of the vehicles used by CTV OB

What is the current situation of your company? What makes you different from your competitors?

CTV is known to be at the forefront of technical development and deploying the right option for our clients. We have an extremely gifted pool of staff and we try and maintain their training and technical abilities in the best ways. We continually strive to deliver the best solutions for the budgets our clients give us without compromising on quality.

What has been your recent evolution? What milestones of your company would you like to highlight?

CTV has in the last 18 months upgraded 3 of its XL OB’s to UHD – this has assisted us in being more flexible with the expectations of customers and their needs in the future. Outside the true OB market we are also deploying reality / fixed rig system using traditional OB technology making the rigs quicker and easier and giving the high quality experience people have become to expect form CTV on a day to day basis. This year we go into our 30th Open Championships with 116 cameras on-site.

Headshot of Paul Francis, Chief Technical Office of CTV OBWhat recent projects would you highlight, for their interest? What specific challenges did they pose? How did you resolve them?

Recent projects at CTV include the Open Championship and Isle of Wight Festival.

At the Open Championship, CTV is the facilities provider for the entire broadcast compound. This includes everything from planning where each cabin is placed to organizing installation of fiber optic cable around the course. For this annual major event there are over 100 cabins, 50 trucks, 21KM of fiber cable, 120 cameras and 10 purpose built building structures including the 40 by 30 meter Broadcast Centre.

The Isle of Wight Festival presented the challenge of being Ultra High Definition across two stage coverage, but also with a live and time-shifted transmission. A disk server that could record, edit and playback in UHD with zero transfer times was sort, found and integrated with five craft edit suites providing additional content. The three day event was also recorded onsite to 96TB of storage for later editing and archive.

Are you up to date on the latest innovations that manufacturers are designing to equip OB trucks? Would you highlight any of them that you consider especially relevant?

CTV, along with our Group companies, have ongoing projects to identify the relevance, significance and potential application of new technologies. Systems including IP, AI and VR are all in development. This would not be possible without our inclusion in the development stages from the manufacturers, something that has changed for the better within the last few years. We also have a commitment to bring IP interfaces to our existing OB Vans enabling them to interface with future systems.

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