FA Cup Final Makes Freeview HD Debut in UK

The FA Cup Final takes place tomorrow at Wembley Stadium and will be available for the first time in high definition on the Freeview platform. The last big competition of the season, with new Premier League champions Chelsea hoping to retain the trophy against 2008 winners Portsmouth, will also be in HD on cable and satellite television.

Last year’s Final was shot in HD for broadcasters on the Sky and Freesat satellite platforms and the Virgin cable network. The technology has only just begun to roll out on the Freeview digital terrestrial service and ITV1 HD will have full coverage of the match.

SIS LIVE is providing facilities for ITV1, having taken over the contract when it bought the OB fleet and business of O21 Television in January this year. The company is also supplying trucks, cameras and post-production equipment to Al Jazeera +3 for its SD presentation of the Final.

Four HD remote production trucks will be on site in north London, with a total of 43 cameras provided for the two broadcasters. Special units include five wireless cameras, two Steadicams, five Sony 3300 super slo-motion systems, two ACS Netcams and an Arri Hypermotion.

In addition to the OB trucks SIS LIVE is equipping two studios at Wembley. An EVS network comprising 18 XT[2] media servers, running with the Apple Pro Res codec, will be used by 20 operators for replays and editing. Features, highlights and the closing sequence will be assembled on Apple Final Cut Pro workstations, while the action will be analysed using the Red Bee Media Piero graphics system.

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