Cobalt Digital Gives VER Assist for French Open Coverage

The French Open winds down this weekend and with it Cobalt Digital’s role as a key provider of 3Gbps-capable openGear digital processing and distribution equipment for VER (Video Equipment Rentals), the provider of production facilities for the U.S. broadcasters on site at Rolland Garros in Paris.

“The Cobalt Digital team is proud to be VERs go to provider for their expanding fleet of video processing and distribution equipment,” says Jesse Foster, product manager for Cobalt Digital. “We look forward to working alongside VER as they continue to raise the bar with next generation approaches to top-tier sports and entertainment production.”

While host broadcaster France Télévisions operates out of traditional OB units, the U.S. operations are housed in a cabin located in the compound. Beck and Associates helped by preconfiguring the router and DA equipment, including the Cobalt Digital equipment as all incoming video signals are converted, synchronized, and color corrected by Cobalt’s Fusion 9901UDX and 9921FS cards. Audio racks house Cobalt 9242 analog audio DAs, AES DAs, and Cobalt 9257 MADI DAs. While video racks have 20 9003 dual 3Gbps reclocking DAs, providing 40 distribution paths per two rack units. VER is also using Cobalt OGCP9000 color corrector control panels to deploy Ethernet-based access to Cobalt RGB color corrector-enabled 9921-FS cards. All cards are housed in the Cobalt HFP-9000 frames.

“We are extremely proud to have provided Cobalt signal processing equipment to VER for this prestigious and world-wide sports event” says Bob McAlpine, Cobalt Digital, SVP of sales. “The ability to provide space efficient solutions with quality performance in a fly pack configuration were key objectives for the French Open TOC ”

Howie Rosenthal, VER, director of broadcast, says the biggest trick is there are three networks, Tennis Channel, ESPN, and NBC, sharing two control rooms. VER has also updated a lot of the equipment, including 19 EVS XT3 replay servers networked together in a way that mimics those of the other Grand Slam tennis championships. Also new are two Kayenne production switchers with K-Frame and 112 inputs and 96 outputs, an Evertz EQX router with 544 inputs and 1,128 outputs, an Evertz EMR audio router providing 2,048×2,048 MADI inputs and outputs with AES and an analog layer, and Calrec Artemis consoles.

“Cobalt has been supplying VER with terminal & signal processing gear that we rent every day with confidence” says Rosenthal. “That testimonial and their continual support of VER made the decision to utilize Cobalt for the French Open an easy one.”