Hungarian Stage Rental Group (HSRG) has been working on the production of Rákóczi Kupa, an international youth indoor soccer tournament since 2015. The event is broadcast to Facebook, YouTube, and embedded onto their own webpage.
The event is produced (with help from HSRG) by a team of 25 students specialising in IT, with an average age of just 18.5 years old. HSRG spends around 9 months in planning, preparation, and training to ensure a smooth production.
“People always ask us why we spend so much of our time on this production,” said Gergő Hegedűs, Hungarian Stage Rental Group’s CTO. “We do it because several members of our company used to be students at this school, and this is our way of giving back and helping further the skills base in Hungary.”
In 2020 the team decided to go with a Full NDI workflow using BirdDog equipment to broadcast and stream in 1080p50. This was the debut of the first end to end IP workflow based on Full Bandwidth NDI and gave the students the chance to learn one of the most cutting-edge workflows on the planet.
“Before 2020 we used to do things with analogue and SDI systems. Using BirdDog and Full NDI just made everything so much better and gave us a chance to teach the kids about IP workflows which is clearly the future of our industry” said Gergo.
The tournament takes place in local sports hall in a town called Kiskunhalas, located in the central region of Hungary. This is also the town where HSRG headquarters can be found.
There were two main locations for the broadcast. The indoor soccer pitch where the matches were played, and the studio where pre and post-game interviews were held with the players, coaches, fans, and organisers.
For the indoor soccer pitch, 2x Sony PMW-200 cameras were used with BirdDog Studio NDI encoders to convert the SDI output of the cameras into NDI. A Full NDI BirdDog P100 PTZ camera was also used.
The scoreboard was also powered by NDI using custom software developed in-house by HSRG, using an NDI output from a PC to a BirdDog Mini that decoded the NDI signal back to HDMI and onto the LED video wall.
“We were really excited about how NDI performed. It was so much easier to set up the cameras using Ethernet instead of long SDI runs” Said Gergo. “The latency was also incredible, and we could not see any difference than if we went with SDI.”
Inside the studio, 2x BirdDog P200 Full NDI PTZ cameras recorded close-ups and long shots. The P200 cameras were powered by PoE but were also plugged into the main power to provide a failover power source. They were mounted using special c-clamps to fasten the cameras to some aluminium truss and controlled over the NDI network using a BirdDog PTZ Keyboard.
The LED video wall in the studio was powered by a BirdDog Mini NDI Decoder with visuals fed from Resolume via NDI output.
“The Full NDI studio was so power and easy. Sending visuals from a computer running Resolume to the LED wall, controlling the P200 cameras over a single cable. It was just so powerful and elegant!” said Gergo.
The backbone of any IP workflow is the network and for this HSRG used a 10Gbps bandwidth optical system with switches from two main manufacturers, MikroTik and Ubiquiti. The network was full POE supported, so power to the BirdDog gear was all supplied through the network.
Central to the entire workflow was a high-end PC (i9-9700X, GTX 1660TI, M2 SSD, 10Gbps SFP+ NIC) running vMix software. vMix did the video mixing, graphics, and pushed out 4x NDI feeds. An NDI feed went to the main control, another to an LED video wall powered by a BirdDog Mini NDI to HDMI converter, and a third to a projector that was also powered by another BirdDog Mini to decode NDI to HDMI.
Downstream a second PC running OBS received the main output feed from vMix and pushed to the internet where Restream shared out to Facebook, YouTube, and created the stream to be embedded in the tournaments own website.
“Overall, we are extremely happy and impressed with the quality of the BirdDog NDI products. Extremely reliable, super-fast, great features, and low latency. NDI and BirdDog is our future!” concluded Gergo.
Watch the behind the scenes video here.
Special thanks to the Hungarian Stage Rentals Group:
Dezső Gál (systems)
Roland Balázs (audio)
Gergő Hegedűs (broadcast)
Géza Dávid (event)
Levente Jáger (production)