Articles Case study Distribution & Delivery Production & Post Production

Changing the Rules of the F1 Game

The 2017 Formula One season broke new ground in more ways than one. It wasn't just Lewis Hamilton who was shaking things up, Formula One Management Ltd (Formula One) decided 2017 was the year it would get 4K UHD and HDR ready.

By Matthew Zajicek, LiveTouch Product Manager at Grass Valley

Our solutions were at the heart of the new system, delivering new capabilities that allowed the production team to produce more creative and engaging content.

Formula One needed a fast and highly responsive system capable of handling high resolution signals with minimal latency. Formula One also wanted to give the production team a way to create richer content. However, given the ultra-fast turnaround environment, it was critical that no additional complexity or processes were added to the existing way of working. Additionally, a smooth transition path to 4K UHD (and HDR at a future date) was vital.

The biggest challenge was to deliver a system that could handle multiple processes in addition to replay — from delivering content to archive through to remote editing access. It also had to cope with the vast amount of content from over 60 cameras — located around the track, on board the cars and in the pit lane as well as the helicopter used for aerial shots.

Deployed from the first race in Melbourne, the new system had to be set up and torn down very rapidly, ready for transport to, and set up at, the next race location. With local operators brought in to cover every race, it was also crucial that they could get up to speed as quickly as possible.

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Grass Valley was chosen for our collaborative approach; we listened to the requirements that Formula One had and worked with them throughout the season to deliver the best results. We were able to understand their workflow and respond with a system that delivered the capability that Formula One wanted. We could also offer the flexibility to scale and add functionality as needed.

Unlike the previous workflow, the new system includes LiveTouch, which enables all replay operators to immediately access all the 60 plus cameras from every controller — without having to wait to access any media. This functionality delivers faster access to more angles and allows more flexibility and creativity than ever before

During a typical race weekend, Formula One operates heavy file-based workflows. Every clip created by the operators is transcoded and delivered to archive and other platforms, meaning a huge volume of data passes through the workflow during a race.

LiveTouch’s integrated editing functionality allows the production team to do timeline editing from any LiveTouch replay station, eliminating the need to move content between applications and delivering ultra-fast project sharing between replay and edit.

As a result, not only more, but better content can be created in the same timeframe, providing a highly compelling experience to viewers at home.

LiveTouch has the added advantage of being easy to learn and use, with familiar controls and an intuitive panel touchscreen. Local operators were given training on the first morning of the race weekend, ready to hit the ground running once the broadcast began.

Thanks to the LiveTouch workflow, the Formula One production team can tell a more in-depth story about race incidents to viewers, delivering much richer content and faster, more in-depth replays.

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