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Production of the Canadian Olympics Hall of Fame Gala

COW Library : AJA Video Systems : Mathieu Marano : Production of the Canadian Olympics Hall of Fame Gala
CreativeCOW presents Production of the Canadian Olympics Hall of Fame Gala -- AJA Video Systems Review


ilovehue
Montreal Quebec Canada
CreativeCOW.net. All rights reserved.


Being a Final Cut User group administrator and in a small video community like Montreal's always bring surprising opportunities. On our trip to the NAB Show this year, I heard Dominic Bourget, a good friend of mine -- who also happens to be the video account manager for Inso Media -- talk about a big show being recorded completely on KiPro, the new hard drive video recorder manufactured by AJA. I got back to him and offered to give a hand. I had heard great things about the device and thought it would be a good opportunity to work with it and push it hard...and we pushed it.

A month later, the biggest Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame event ever organized was about to begin. Vancouver had hosted the games, Canada had won a record number of medals and Canadians were in love with their athletes. Musical performances by top Canadian artists like Sarah Mclachlan, Ginette Renaud, Simple Plan and the Canadian Tenors were also part of the program.

The Hall of Fame Induction Gala was sold to both private channels that owned the rights to broadcast the Olympics in Canada: the English-speaking CTV channel and the new French-speaking V Tele channel.

Since both networks had very tight schedules, they could not afford to air the show without knowing how long it would last, given that some nominees, when offered an open mike, take more time than they are allowed. The show had to be cut down to a two-hour long master including commercial breaks, subtitles and packaging in both official languages. The show had to be on air 24 hours only after the event took place.

The gala was to take place at the Montreal Bell Centre, home of the Montreal Canadians. The day before, two mobile video and audio units were settled to capture sound and images during the event. Mobile recording and equipment supplier Karisma was in charge of audio recording and mixing. As for video, Dome had provided its amazingly well equipped Tribute HD video mobile, which includes a CCU desk for two, a deck room seating four and a huge control room able to welcome a ten people production team. Director Jean Lamoureux, known for his work on Celine Dion's Las Vegas and "Taking Chances" tour DVDs, was chosen to call the shots.

Early in the production process, it was decided to record all 10 camera feeds and programs using 12 KiPros. There were two reasons for this. Renting 14 KiPros (including 2 for backup) for two days is way cheaper than renting 12 HDCAM SR decks. Also, recording on swappable hard drives enables the production assistant to leave for post-production with the drives to transfer the ProRes files as soon as the show is finished, which saves a lot of time. Using the EVS requires to transfer all files (36 hours of ProRes) to a hard drive and then to transfer them a second time to the post-production SAN. Recording to tape was not even considered.

The rehearsal began at 9 a.m. on the day of the show. Dominic Bourget from Inso Media had provided most of the KiPro and was supervising the recording. Even though the KiPros were configured the day before, we went through all units once more before launching a 3-hour long record test. Every unit had house sync, timecode and HD-SDI from the patch. All 12 KiPros were plugged in a SMC GigE switch along with two laptops. The KiPro Web interface made it easy to monitor 6 devices per laptop via Firefox.The one thing that was missing at that time was an all-for-one-record function to start the recording of all the KiPros at the same time.

For two hours, everything ran smoothly until a window popped up on one of the laptops. One of the KiPros had stopped recording. It did not take long for Dominic to discover that it was burning hot. Since the KiPros were stacked 3 by 3 on a shelf, the ones at the bottom did not have enough air to cool down the drive. Its drive was removed quickly: no response. Dead!


KiPro before heating
KiPro before heating.


Turning the KiPros on their sides to cool.
Turning the KiPros on their sides to cool. All Photos are credited to Dominic Bourget.



Comments

Re: Production of the Canadian Olympics Hall of Fame Gala
by Mathieu Marano
Thanks everybody. And don't hesitate if you have any questions. Cheers!

Mathieu Marano
online editor - motion graphics - Post-prod director
Directeur technique de post-production
Le Bureau de post production

Administrator of the Montreal Final Cut User Group
http://www.finalcutmtl.org
Re: Production of the Canadian Olympics Hall of Fame Gala
by Chuck Pullen
Great article Mathieu, thanks for writing it. I do have a question regarding the overheating issue you experienced. I currently have one rack mounted Ki Pro and am thinking of getting a second. After reading your article I am having concerns about the spacing of the two, but since space is at a premium in my flypack, I think I will only be able to have one RU or so between them. I am wondering if you adjusted the fan's speed settings at all while you were setting up, and if you did, do you think it really made a big difference?

Thanks,

Chuck
Re: Production of the Canadian Olympics Hall of Fame Gala
by Mathieu Marano
At first the KiPros were stacked 3 by 3 without any space between them. The one tha overheated was under two other KiPros and between two other stacks of KiPros. After the incident we placed them on their side with 1 to 2 inches between them and all was fine for the 6 hours that followed without ever getting close to the heat they were first producing. I don't remembering messing with fan speed. They must have been at MAX.



Mathieu Marano
online editor - motion graphics - Post-prod director
Directeur technique de post-production
Le Bureau de post production

Administrator of the Montreal Final Cut User Group
http://www.finalcutmtl.org
Re: Production of the Canadian Olympics Hall of Fame Gala
by AJA Sales Department
The AJA Ki Pro features a fan which has various speed settings that can be user configured. The default state is to have the fan spinning at a consistent speed, Normal, but a Quiet Record mode and even a Quiet Auto mode that spins the fan down during recording for silent operation, are also offered.

An important thing to note about the Ki Pro is that it was designed to dissipate heat. Therefore, stacking units directly on top of each other is not recommended, as Mathieu discovered. The best choice is to place one unit per rack shelf or place the Ki Pros in dedicated rackmounts such as those produced by FEC or Markertek. This assures proper ventilation of the units. The Ki Pro draws air from the left hand side of the unit - if you are looking at the front panel buttons - and moves it across the unit, expelling it out the right hand side next to the power supply connection. The Ki Pro Storage Module on the top of the unit is finned to draw heat away from the harddrive or SSD housed inside of it, so it can feel warm to the touch.

The best practice is to provide adequate ventilation to the Ki Pro with respect to the sides and top of the unit.


--
AJA Video Systems
+1 (530) 274-2048 Intl.
(800) 251-4224 US
sales@aja.com
Re: Production of the Canadian Olympics Hall of Fame Gala
by Hilal Suhaib
Thank you for sharing this amazing experience with us.
Re: Production of the Canadian Olympics Hall of Fame Gala
by Tisha Carper Long
What an amazing story! Well done, all.

Tisha
Re: Production of the Canadian Olympics Hall of Fame Gala
by Kim Rowley
Fascinating! I saw the program and it's cool to be taken "backstage". Thank you

Dual 3 GHz Dual Core Intel, 4GB RAM, ATI Radeon X1900, Xserve RAID, AJA IO, 2 20" Cinema Display, FCP Studio 2 (6.0.6), OS X10.4.11


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