Bexel ESS Deploys Self-Contained Crewless Studio Solution

Live Coverage.
Bexel built, tested and installed 30 self-contained, crewless home studios for top sports commentators.

With thousands of hours of live event, news and original programming annually, Fox Sports 1 and the Big Ten Network needed a flexible way to easily contribute remote interview into their broadcasts. Traditional methods, like satellite links, would take too long to commission and would be costly. Networks needed a more nimble way to get remote talent on-air in no time, and turned to Bexel ESS for a solution.

By the Numbers:

  • 7,000 miles driven in 1 week
  • 4,800 feet of T1 line used for Fox
  • 30 total systems deployed across 17 states
  • 16 build for Fox Sports 1
  • 14 build for Big Ten Network
  • 7 days for 3 engineers to complete 14 installs
  • 1 hour to complete install of one remote kit

With the goal of enhancing story telling with more live coverage of sports events around the world, Bexel ESS built, tested, and installed a total of 30 self-contained, crewless home studios for some of the network’s top talent; 16 systems for Fox Sports 1, and an additional 14 systems for the Big Ten Network. The innovative systems are permanently installed in the analysts’ homes, allowing them to go on-air immediately when something pertaining to their specialty occurs. In tandem with Haivision HD encoders, Bexel ESS brings cost effective and efficient solutions to broadcasters, helping them gather interview content quickly, with more flexibility, than typical satellite options. 

Bexel ESS’s crewless home studio “analyst kits” are permanently installed in the commentator’s homes and connected to a private or public IP network, removing the need for satellite transmission. Whenever a relevant sports news or event takes place that calls for their expertise, the commentator can go on air immediately from the comfort of their own home, without having to drive to the nearest studio or having the network send over a satellite truck. 

The Bexel ESS studio units feature Haivision’s HD encoders, making it possible to stream bi-directional, low latency video over a private or public network from the remote commentator to the studio during a broadcast. Encoding up to 1080p video and designed for interactive communications, the Haivision encoders deliver extremely low end-to-end latency and make interviews possible between the remote commentator and the studio. 

The systems also include AW-HE60SN Panasonic cameras that can be manned remotely from the control room in any location, allowing the client to pan, tilt, zoom or adjust color and saturation. Litepanels 1×1 Bi-Color panels are used to provide key light, fill light, and back light on stands, and can also be controlled remotely. 

Rack mounted cases, approximately 48-by-24-by-30 inches, are at the core of the systems. Their contents include a UPS that controls power, an IP Power Switch which allows the system to be turned on and off remotely, a network switch that keeps the circuit open, and audio and video support that provides the IFB and camera feeds.

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