Turner Sports taps CTV OB1 for British Open

By Ken Kerschbaumer

Turner Sports is gearing up for its British Open coverage from Carnoustie, Scotland with the help of CTV Outside Broadcasts and its OB1 vehicle. Turner will complement the host broadcast feed that will be produced by the BBC in 16:9 PAL. “There are no big changes as far as what we do on our end,” says Tom Sahara, Turner Sports, Senior Director, IT and Remote Operations. “We’ll bring the widescreen PAL signal back to Atlanta and then upconvert it to HD to take advantage of the 625-lines [of resolution in PAL.”

The BBC, which has experimented with HD at Wimbledon, is hopeful that next year’s British Open will make the jump to HD.

Working in PAL requires Turner to prep and convert all graphics to PAL resolution. “We do all the graphics in native PAL by operating our Avid Deko in PAL mode,” adds Sahara.

A crew of 15 will head over to handle Turner’s production that includes live coverage on Thursday, Friday, and early on Saturday and Sunday morning before ABC begins its broadcast. Sahara says the broadcast will also be done in stereo. “We’re still somewhat beholden to the BBC feed and Europe is still catching up when it comes to Surround Sound,” he adds.

The CTV OB1 vehicle has a Sony DVS 7350 production switcher and a complement of up to 20 Sony BVP 550/570/950 SD cameras. A Pro-bel routing switcher, 216 color monitors, and a a Soundcraft B800 audio mixer with 44 channels are also onboard.

In terms of the BBC’s host production (more details next week) 52 cameras will be used (with the majority being Sony models) and the Segway will once again make a return, helping gather smooth shots as Tiger Woods and company walk down the fairways in an attempt to capture the 2007 British Open.