Olympic TruceOn February 11th, 2010, the eve of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games, V-4 and V-8 video mixers helped award-winning producer/director Shawn Lam deliver the Olympic Truce Youth Dialogue to 178 viewing sites across Canada.
As part of the British Columbia Ministry of Education’s Sharing the Dream webcast series, the Olympic Truce Youth Dialogue: Promoting Mutual Understanding brought over 500 Canadian youth leaders together along with the world’s heads of states and other dignitaries, to discuss Olympic values of peace, intercultural exchange and cooperation. Her Excellency, Michaëlle Jean, the Governor General of Canada hosted the event.
The Youth Dialogue was staged within the glass atrium of Vancouver Public Library’s roman coliseum styled central branch, which Lam describes as a “tricky venue, because it‘s very long, skinny, and bow-shaped.”
The room was divided into quadrants, each assigned a hand-held microphone. The four live camera shots (3 Sony HVR-Z7U and 1 Sony HVR-Z5U), plus two DVD player outputs, went into the V-8, and Lam communicated with his team using Clear-Com headsets.
The V-8 outputs went to a Sony 23” HDTV program monitor; a Datavideo VP-299 distribution amplifier, feeding four webcast encoders – two for English, two for French; a Sony HVRM15U record deck; and a second video mixer, the V-4, used for a downstream mix.
The webcast required different pre-roll content than the in-house feed so the V-4 was an important part of the pre-event video roll, and when shown, was accompanied by a live D.J. The V4’s output was used for both the in-house displays, five large HDTVs, as well as the video feed for the real-time language translators. Lam and team employed a pair of Behringer SHARK DSP110 signal processors as a audio delay device to ensure A/V sync and nine Sony DVP-FX930 DVD players, with video inputs, to monitor each input and output.
When initially purchasing the V-4 mixer, Lam wanted a mixer that had, multiple inputs, plus clean output. We didn’t want to see a drop in signal quality. The V-4 was clearly the answer for early one- and two-camera productions, with a single DVD video roll, but Lam needed more functionality for larger productions that arose because of the success of initial webcasts.
They choose the V-8 mixer for the Olympic Truce Youth Dialogue because the requirements were more complex. Lam states, “in addition to four more inputs, we required live preview outputs to monitor each input. The V-8 has a preview monitor output on each channel which is critical for calling camera operator instructions and making more complicated live video switching decisions.”
Lam likes using the V-8 mixer, especially with the built-in scan converter for VGA input, “as video productions often require computer generated content,” but explains that he now plans on making the new LVS-800, with downstream keyer, his go-to video mixer. Overall, Lam appreciates the video quality of the entire line of Roland video mixers, which he states, “far exceeds that of any of the older video switchers I’ve used. It’s closer to lossless.” “Roland makes well designed switchers,” he says. “They are intuitive and understandable, so fewer mistakes are made. That, plus the V-8’s other attributes, mark huge improvements in the field of video switching.”
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