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"Big Air in The City", the Snowboard in Milan

"For this event we employed on field our flagship van, a latest generation mobile unit cabled in 4K HDR, FlexIPvan and I think we are the first in Italy to use IP technology."

These are Bruno Midolo words, technical manager of the Roman DBW Communication, that we met at the international event, snowboarding in Milan.
The event was held on the outskirts of Milan in two rounds in mid November and is called "Big Air in The City".
Created within the Expo exhibition area near Milan, called "Parco Experience" and adjacent to famous Fiera Milano, it derives from the intelligent idea of re-proposing huge spaces of great attraction for many potential moments of great entertainment; areas that would otherwise be unused.


In fact, here the FIS World Cup Freeski and snowboarding were held at world level, bringing together athletes coming from many countries of the world.
The finals were held on November 11th and 18th and the headline of the event was "when mountain meets urban": 4 days of performance as the second edition of Big Air in The City.
Two weekends in which the artificial snow was taken near the roots of the famous "Albero della vita (Tree of Life)", a landmark symbol of Expo Milano, and after a descent on a custom-made ramp, the athletes on snowboard or skis projected into the sky with a spectacular leap and sensational evolutions in the air.
In the surrounding area a real alpine village was rebuilt which included food stalls and entertainment areas, shows, events and music, exhibition spaces and snowy slopes for children, all to attract a large audience of enthusiasts and 120 athletes worldwide with their spectacular tricks.
Determinant for the event is the entire scenographic frame and important technical installations starting from the huge ramp and the snow conditions produced, worked with art to make the performances of the "riders" perfect.
Needless to say, the audio-video dimension, the shooting and the technologies used also played a decisive role in contributing to the success of the event.
The arrival, right in front of the tree of life, recreated a very captivating scenery and the only - very fast - 15 seconds of descent engaged athletes with three descents each, starting at 20.40 until about 23H.

Bruno Midolo from DBW talks about the complexity of the AV system: "All the video signals of the gallery travel on IP technology, anticipating a little what the future of television production will be, which requires that each camera has its own unique and dedicated IP address . "
"Then, through the SAM matrix - which is central to this all IP project - we can manage all incoming video and audio signals in the different areas of the control room."
"To manage this event, DBW brought its mobile unit, OB14 FlexIPvan, well known because it was made in tandem with Betamedia, designed by Ing. Rosario Messina for the IP technology, and for the possible modularity of the onboard technical sections made of "technological bricks" that can be really customized, avoiding immobilizing equipments that are not really necessary and useful somewhere else."
"Specifically for snowboarding in Milan, 13 4K and HD cameras were used, also because the final airing was in HD, while two were micro-cameras in 4K."
"Then, given the importance of the event and the spectacularity it allows to add, a camera with an UltraMotion system was also used, precisely because the client had requested ultra slow motion shots."
"So we decided to bring on the field also a Sony 4300 camera of the latest generation, 4K, with Sony 4000 server that makes it possible to manage 8 video streams. In HD mode the system can work in Super Motion or Ultra Motion. "
"DBW owns ten Super Motion licenses, two of which can operate in UltraMotion with 400 frames per second."
"The workflow in the control room is managed by our proprietary system that allows to connect the cameras positioned far for the remote shooting at kilometers away to the mobile unit. Here it is enough to call up the unique IP addresses that allows each camera to be recognized and prepared for use inside the van."
"Currently the IP signals arrive in the luggage compartment and no customer, for now, has asked to work completely in IP technology, but we are experimenting with great success the whole system managing everything in IP even within the ob van control room."
"In fact, all we need is a LAN cable with 50 or 100 GB of available bandwidth (based on the number of cameras we have to carry) and then only the camera addresses."
"EVS XT4K slow motion was used for the replays, which are definitely unmissable in sports and especially in this event due to the high speed of the athletes."
"At the heart of the video system was the mobile unit OB14 FlexIPvan created by the partnership between the two well known companies Betamedia and DBW."
"The artificial snow was laid on a 40-meter high and 150-meter long hike set up in "Parco Esperienza" and the tv program was broadcast on Eurosport and on RAI Sport."
"Of the 13 cameras, only one was set up with a radio link and dedicated to follow the public and the athletes before the trial, in the parterre."
"At the jumping point of the trampoline, two cameras were shooting, one of which was the UltraMotion."
A Jimmy Jib was placed at about a half of the trampoline, a PoleCam at the start and two micro cameras placed at the beginning and end of the track in the athlete's descent."
"All the shots were in 4K even if the broadcast was then made in HD with a downgrade of the images."
"We are equipped, if needed, to simultaneously provide signals in HD, in 4K and in 4K HDR of the same event, with diversified streams."
"In fact, we are the only company in Italy to shoot with UltraMotion in HD and Super Motion in 4K with the latest generation EVS XD4K."
"To set up such an event it took a week, including the tests and lineups, in fact generally shooting a ski event means challenging wiring."
"However, in this case of snowboarding in the city the result is simpler, given the far smaller distances to cover."
"To make this production 25 technicians were deployed, including operators, cameramen, sound engineers, producers, boom operators, etc."
"Each camera had a microphone for audio cuts during the descent."
From the point of view of the director it is interesting to note, however, that being the trial so fast, using many cuts on several different cameras is practically impossible."
"It's not a case that the great number of camera images available here were used mainly only for replays".
"This aspect of the game is the most important because during the competition judges impose a certain way of telling the story: they must see the style and also the psychological preparation of the athlete."
"The event was therefore characterized by a rather functional and somewhat "repetitive" style, but only apparently less artistic, as the strong show was generated by the great dynamism of the event itself."

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