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Keeping Gordon Ramsay's "Next Level Chef" Cooking: Viatel Technology Group and BiggerStage Case Study

Updated: Mar 21

The world of television production is a whirlwind of activity, demanding seamless coordination and reliable technology. Robust connectivity is the backbone of operations, ensuring smooth communication and the instant transfer of massive amounts of data. BiggerStage productions, the Dublin-based media and entertainment company behind FOX's hit cooking series Next Level Chef, partnered with Viatel Technology Group to meet these needs when filming in Ashford Studios in Wicklow.


The challenge: delivering connectivity across a sprawling site

BiggerStage faced considerable challenges when filming seasons three and four of Next Level Chef at the National Media Centre (Ashford Studios - Phase 2) in Wicklow, Ireland. The production site encompassed a vast 2km² area containing not only the studio itself, but also technical and administrative cabins, talent and contestant areas, the culinary team's space, and more.  The site presented one significant hurdle in particular: there was no pre-existing connectivity infrastructure to support the demands of a modern television production.


Viatel steps up: delivering a comprehensive solution

Viatel's expertise in network design and architecture proved invaluable. The team designed and deployed a robust network that catered to diverse needs across the vast site. This included:

  • Establishing a secure connection: Working with NBI (National Broadband Ireland), Viatel delivered a secure SES (Symmetric Ethernet Service) connection at the site, effectively bridging the gap in pre-existing broadband infrastructure.

  • Distribution: The network was strategically distributed through numerous switches, ensuring connectivity across all production areas, from the studio to the talent areas and beyond.

  • Supporting over one hundred access points: Viatel's solution catered to the massive number of access points (APs) crucial for facilitating seamless communication and data transfer across the large production site.

Meeting the needs of modern broadcasting

NEP, the broadcast company working on Next Level Chef, had very specific requirements for sending daily rushes to Los Angeles. Viatel's solution seamlessly addressed these needs, providing:

 

  • Powerful bandwidth: Viatel delivered a dedicated, high-capacity connection in partnership with in with NBI to ensure the high-speed transfer of large video files.

  • Functionality: additional RJ45 (1GB x2) and SFP cages provided flexibility for NEP to connect their streaming engines and utilise their own DAC cables.

Exceptional service and reliability

Ronan Murphy, Operations Manager at BiggerStage, highlights the exceptional service and reliability Viatel delivered.


"Considering the size of the infrastructure on site I was surprised at just how few call outs were required."

When a technical issue did arise, the on-site technician, Kacper Maliszewski, is commended for his swift response, minimising downtime and ensuring smooth production.

"[S]pecial mention for Kacper Maliszewski. He was the technician who came to site on the very few occasions where we experienced issues that could not be dealt with remotely."

 

Looking ahead: a trusted partner for future productions

BiggerStage's experience with Viatel on Next Level Chef is a testament to the company's expertise in delivering robust remote internet solutions for even the most demanding operational environments. Ronan Murphy's concluding remarks express BiggerStage's confidence in Viatel as a trusted partner for reliable connectivity in future productions.


"I would hope to use Viatel on any future productions such is their reliability with such a vital part of modern life in this industry or any other."

 

What the customer says

"Viatel provided remote internet across a 2km sq site for Seasons 3 and 4 of FOX’s Next Level Chef which was filmed at the National Media Centre (Ashford Studios - Phase 2) in October 2023 and February 2024. They covered numerous on-site locations such as the studio itself, Technical and Administrative Production cabins, Talent area, Contestant Area, Culinary Team, etc, etc.


These required ingest to a site with no pre-existing broadband infrastructure. The network then had to be distributed through numerous switches in the aforementioned areas and finally on to the well over 100 hundred APs we had on site.


NEP, the broadcast company, had additional requests as they sent daily rushes to LA which were massive files. Their requirements were:10 GB on single-mode fibre. There will also be streaming engines connected via RJ45 (1GB x2) and 2-3 SFP cages that we can put our own DAC cables in.


So in essence a 6 port 10 gig switch, with 2 x 1GB RJ45 SFPs and 1 x 10GB single mode fibre SFP.


Finally, special mention for Kacper Maliszewski. He was the technician who came to site on the very few occasions where we experienced issues that could not be dealt with remotely. Considering the size of the infrastructure on site I was surprised at just how few call outs were required.


I would hope to use Viatel on any future productions such is their reliability with such a vital part of modern life in this industry or any other.”


Ronan Murphy

Operations Manager, BiggerStage


Connect with Viatel

Viatel Technology Group is Ireland’s leading independent comms and digital services group. Viatel provides best-in-class business networks and connectivity, cybersecurity, cloud and Microsoft services to thousands of enterprises. To explore your organisation’s connectivity or other services, please contact our team on 1800 930 860 or email hello@viatel.com

3 Σχόλια


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