Canal Blau, La Xarxa and TV3 at unique Catalan Castellers events

A castell is a human tower built traditionally at festivals throughout Catalonia and the region of Valencia. Castells were first documented in 1712 and originated within Valls, Catalonia, near the city of Tarragona. Interest in castells grew in the 1960s and 1970s and in 2010, castells were declared a masterpiece of human heritage by UNESCO. In 2015 a festival hosted 99 groups of castellers, at which the tallest human tower was erected and safely dismantled, having 10 levels with four people in each level.

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The challenge:

This important Catalonian cultural event was to be filmed almost every week-end along the season from April to September by the regional TV companies belonging to la Xarxa group, like Canal Blau from Vilanova i la Geltrú. The footage was to be shared with fellow regional broadcasters La Xarxa (other 25 local TV stations) and TV3.

The three broadcast partners needed an efficient and simple to operate solution that guaranteed the low latency transport of the casteller action for live broadcast in news and current affairs programming. It was important that the solution could, with redundancy, transport high quality HD video over a FTTH network.

The solution:

In the event happening in Sant Joan, 24th June, Canal Blau cameramen captured footage at Valls, Catalonia, Spain. This was contributed as RAW HD video using a TVU One mobile unit in combination with the TVU Grid solution over a FTTH network to La Xarxa HQ in Maternitat-Barcelona. In turn, La Xarxa used TVU Grid to transport this footage to TV3 and back to Canal Blau studio. A second unit in Valls edited footage at a mobile unit, which was also contributed to La Xarxa for Broadcasting purposes through all their different channels.

The results:

TVU One delivers high-definition picture quality with industry leading bandwidth efficiency all within a flexible, ultra-compact and rugged hardware design. Through weighing just 2 kilograms, TVU One ensures that outside broadcast cameramen are able to get the shots unencumbered by wires or heavy and bulky equipment. TVU One enabled Canal Blau to contribute live video with the versatility of a small, lightweight, IP-based high-definition video field transmitter without sacrificing performance, features or picture quality. From the middle of crowded Valls square where castells were build, they were able to rely on TVU One to transmit at >9 Mbps with 1 second delay.

TVU ONE has the one button operation pioneered by TVU for portable live video streaming transmitters. The TVU ONE maximised ease of operation for Canal Blau cameramen through requiring no in-field configuration and a boot-up time of less than 20 seconds with just the push of a button.

TVU’s IP based video switching, routing and distribution solutions enable broadcasters to share a TVU One live video transmission with any other TVU Grid enabled station, operations center or physical location. The three broadcasters involved in the Valls Castellers project utilized the fully-integrated TVU ONE and TVU Grid solution to share both RAW HD video and a fully edited programme.

TVU Grid’s easy to use interface made sharing footage with Canal Blau and TV3 simple and user-friendly for La Xarxa.

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