Broadcasting the G20 Summit from New Delhi was a challenge of scale and complexity, met and delivered with Grass Valley devices and software deployed using the AMPP SaaS platform.

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World leaders met in New Delhi, India for the G20 Summit on 9-10 September 2023. From several venues across the city, live and recorded statements, events and ceremonies were captured and delivered to news viewers worldwide.

The government of India established an International Media Centre (IMC) for the event, equipped with a comprehensive broadcast infrastructure. To make sure that everything taking place at the summit’s venues would be captured and integrated directly into this infrastructure, the IMC staff worked with Grass Valley to scale up the IMC. Event locations ranged from the Bharat Mandapam International Exhibition-Convention Centre and Raj Ghat memorial complex to the Palam Airport and Hindon Airbase.

Centralised Hub

The set-up encompassed Grass Valley cameras, switchers, elastic recorders, media asset management and other digital video devices and software – all connected and controlled using Grass Valley’s Agile Media Processing Platform (AMPP), and overseen by Grass Valley’s support staff.

As a SaaS platform, AMPP integrates hardware, software and services from Grass Valley and other manufacturers into a coherent, scalable, production infrastructure, based in a cloud environment and/or on-premises. Supported by AMPP, the IMC achieved its purpose as the centralised, coordinated hub for the large-scale media-related requirements of a complex, high-profile event. AMPP Edge, a turnkey Linux server that uses on-premises I/O and compute resources to achieve the lowest possible latency, was also incorporated into the IMC for signal contribution and transmission in and out of the AMPP SaaS platform. It also hosts various AMPP applications such as multiviewers, master control, replay and others.

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The SaaS model also means that the team could use AMPP to launch further capacity within a few minutes if needed. Equally important, the costs associated with their custom, premium video network came to an end when the G20 Summit concluded.

Cameras and Ingest

To capture the event and support the associated reporting needs of news media around the world, 99 Grass Valley cameras were deployed. At the Bharat Mandapam, 29 LDX 135 cameras were outputting native IP, SMPTE ST 2110 streams, directly from camera. Seventy LDX 92 and LDX 98 cameras, which have options to extend image quality up to 4K, were operating at Raj Ghat, Palam Airport and Hindon Airbase.

To make sure that feeds from all locations were ingested smoothly, Grass Valley’s Elastic Recorder X captures any format to any available storage, including cloud storage, which gave global broadcasters real-time access to content. The recorder is separated from input sources. This made recording more flexible for the IMC by allowing them to control the recording resolution and frame rate independently from the incoming sources.

Asset Storage and Management

For the huge amounts of footage that were generated during the summit, which had to be both stored securely and accessed rapidly, the IMC used GV AMS Pro Storage. AMS stores content in a single namespace and scales capacity and performance in a linear manner - that is, every node adds processing, memory, cache and storage. It also allowed the IMC to configure the system capabilities as needed – high-speed for editing and lower-speed, less expensive capacity for longer-term archival use.

Grass Valley’s Mync software was used for ingest of the XDCAM files that were also coming in from cameras outside the AMPP network. Mync made it simpler to capture, catalogue and convert the ingested video files, making them ready for post-production or immediate broadcast alongside the IMC’s networked feeds.

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Framelight X Asset Management

To handle demands from so many different news organisations, all requiring immediate access to the G20 video, the IMC deployed Grass Valley’s Framelight X Asset Management, which is integrated with Elastic Recorder X and was controlled via 10 client workstations. All recorded video was accessible, editable and shareable in real time, and meanwhile proxy versions were also pushed to Amazon S3, which made them available online to the location of each broadcaster.

Framelight X is about efficiency – making content creation more efficient, allowing collaboration between distributed teams, and building systems that adapt to demand. Teams can set up distributed, fast turnaround production workflows from a single, global asset management system that supports content sharing and reduces duplication. The Framelight X workflow also enabled the team to automate their own operations.

Official HD Feed

While international broadcasters with AMPP accounts could access and use any or all of the recorded video assets to produce their own reporting, an official HD feed produced by the G20 was also available. This was created using 10 Grass Valley K-Frame XP switchers. One 4 M/E K-Frame model was installed at Bharat Mandapam, and nine 3 M/E K-Frames were distributed among the other venues.

The Indian government was intent on not only capturing content from the G20 Summit but also polishing it to meet high broadcast standards. Consequently, AMPP was integrated with instances of Adobe Premiere Pro for real-time edits and creative finishes suitable for the broadcast market.

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Because the IMC was using on AMPP’s elastic compute capabilities and adaptability, Grass Valley’s Playout X delivered the G20’s transmission while taking in stride any sudden viewership spikes during the summit. Using microservices architecture and processing, high-density channel deployments could be achieved. By centralising orchestration to create a single point of truth, and integrating Framelight X for playout asset management, channels were managed and monitored from anywhere in the world to serve diverse purposes. Functionality included QC with generated proxies, federated search and drag-and-drop to playout.

Adaptable Signal Processing

The ability to readily transition between HDR and SDR was a key aspect of signal processing within the IMC. It was important that every broadcaster was able to deliver to viewers the best possible visual and auditory experience, irrespective of the location.

Therefore, Grass Valley’s KudosPro UHD1200 12G Video and Audio Processor was added to the system, which includes high dynamic range (HDR) and BT2020 wide colour gamut (WCG) mapping as well as converting to or from 4K UHD and 3G/HD/SD. The processor features 16-channel embedded audio processing and PCM channel-based audio delay compensation.

The core hardware supplied to the IMC included Grass Valley Densité modular signal processors and Sirius routers. The Densité platform carries out adaptable, scalable, high density signal processing, allowing operations to transition smoothly as demands changed and yielding consistent signal quality. This was essential to meet the G20 summit’s varied requirements.

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Centralised orchestration

The complexity of routing numerous feeds across multiple venues meant the robust design and reliability of the Sirius routers also played a role in the overall success of the live broadcasting from the different G20 event locations.

Finally, to avoid any chance of technical issues or failures during the summit, the IMC deployed on-premises backup hardware, above and beyond the failover redundancy features built into AMPP.

The complexity and importance of presenting the G20 Summit, New Delhi, to the world without technical issues was a broadcasting challenge of enormous scale and significance. However, the challenges were met and the IMC delivered as designed with over 105 major pieces of equipment from Grass Valley strategically deployed across venues.