VIDI successfully completed the winter sports season 2020/2021

The trend towards remote production of TV winter sports events and the associated increased demand for broadcasting services raised new challenges to all involved in the CORONA winter 2020/21. VIDI has mastered these challenges and, with the successful finalization of the Nordic World Ski Championships in Oberstdorf, has delivered the winter sports season with 100% overall availability.

ZDF, for example, has relied more than ever on centralised production ("remote production") for the 2020/21 winter sports season. Usually, the Mainz-based broadcaster has its own OB van at the scene of such prestigious events and picks up the signals directly from the host broadcaster.


Not so this year: "It was clear to us in advance that we would move the ZDF OB van to Mainz," reports Jörg Bößendörfer, technical director at ZDF. This applied equally to the Four Hills Tournament, the Biathlon World Cup and the World Ski Championships. For the Nordic World Ski Championships in Oberstdorf, ZDF also set up the National Broadcast Centre (NBC) in the Mainz Broadcast Centre II.

High demand for capacity

Here, the service provider VIDI came into the game for the contribution links. For the World Ski Championships in Oberstdorf alone, the video specialist from Darmstadt realised

  • 32 transmission lines, 8 return lines, 1 MADI line and various data lines.

The large number of transmission lines can be explained by the different venues that naturally characterise such a World Championships with the cross-country skiing and ski jumping competitions. "And the editorial pre-reporting also makes this necessary", explains Bößendörfer.

Reliable support

VIDI enables terrestrial transmission via optical fibre with low latency, high bandwidths, return lines and very good technical performance. In view of the growing importance of remote productions, the trend is towards even more bandwidth in the 10 Gpbs range, as Robert Oszvald, Director of Event Services at VIDI, outlined in the SVG Europe panel discussion „Vendor Perspectives: Winter Sports Challenges and Opportunities“.

VIDI engineers provide reliable on-site support. In addition to staffing at the VIDI "Network Operation Centre" in Darmstadt, VIDI engineers are directly on site during the broadcasts. In Oberstdorf, VIDI was represented by its own staff, its own technology and its own OB van, and the counterpart in Mainz at ZDF was also manned by VIDI staff during the transmissions.


In the winter sports season 2020/21, VIDI realised a total of around 90 TV transmission lines in HD and UHD, the transmission time added up to more than 5,000 transmission hours. In addition, VIDI provided various audio and data connections. All transmissions ran flawlessly and to the complete satisfaction of the customers. VIDI was on site at all locations with its own OB van and staff, and VISI NMS 2.0 was used for central monitoring of the technology in use.

We would like to thank our customers for the trust they have placed in us and look forward to the challenges ahead!


+++ For more info see also the article in the FKT Edition 03/ 2021.




Image copyright: All image rights by VIDI / Dominik Berchtold