Case Study – The Solheim Cup
The Solheim Cup was a challenging event from a technical and logistics point of view for many reasons. SSV had to create a signal network to cover the area of a small town with a variety of different video channels from multiple sources at the same time.
5 big screens and over 36 LCD TV’s as well as Kileen Castle’s own TV system required pictures from SSV. Members of the media on site required 2 different forms of coverage – from 2 different OB units. SSV created 5 unique channels: a channel for each of the 3 big screens on the course (due to the nature of the event screens out on the golf course needed to switch away from live play to a live scoreboard each time the golfers were playing that particular hole), a general channel showing live coverage and an integrated score board and ticker tape and advertising inserts and finally a “world feed” channel for media (clean feed – no adverts or scoring).
Following extensive meetings and site visits SSV decided create a technical hub inside Kileen Castle – this was a medieval castle ruins which were in the process of a major restoration project and effectively a building site. The castle had advantages of geographic position in the centre of the site and height – an essential ingredient for microwave transmission.
The outside broadcast compound where most of our TV coverage was originating from was on the edge of the golf course over 700m from the “village” and clubhouse at the centre of the course. The big screens were placed in strategic viewing positions at various points around the course. The area covered by various signals travelling to and from OB and screens covered over 2km2.
A combination of methods was employed to cater for the variety of logistics in getting the various signals around the course. Over 4km of fibre optic cable carrying 10 signals, 4.5km of microwave transmission using 6 links and over 2km of video and audio cable were deployed. One of the turrets of the castle became a links platform discreetly locating microwave, satellite and RF antenna. Two floors beneath the shell of a medieval room was transformed into a live production room incorporating graphics, video playback, monitoring and 5 vision mixers to switch the various channels. Video, audio and fibre distribution was also located in castle.
The installation of so many systems and screens took over 2 weeks to complete and the system was “live” for 4 days, with staff working around the clock to ensure everything was right for the prestigious event. Even a lighting storm and torrential down pour that created problems with the feed from the SKY OB satellite link to our hub was overcome as we had placed an addition dish in the castle – we regard redundancy planning is an essential part of any major event. In the end the hard work paid off and the event was a complete success with live coverage uninterrupted.