Live transmission of the Grand Départ

From 29 June to 2 July, the Grand Départ of the Tour de France took place in Düsseldorf for the first time. Screen Visions was commissioned with planning for the LED installation, sound and live broadcasting and looks back on a highly successful event.

More than one million visitors

Every year, the Tour de France kick-off event attracts hundreds of thousands of sports enthusiasts. The premiere of the Grand Départ in Düsseldorf was eagerly awaited by organisers, residents and fans. More than a million spectators came to the metropolis to witness the beginning of the high-profile cycling race live. In order to be technically equipped for this high volume of visitors, Screen Visions, together with the city of Düsseldorf’s technical and logistical director Rainer Schüler and his colleague Thomas Krämer, analysed the sound and LED screen requirements for the hotspots. Additionally, it had to be considered how signaling would take place from distances of at times several kilometres. Another fundamental decision was whether a central or decentralised direction for image and information recording would be required. In the end, a central image direction was opted for, also taking into account the security concept.

 

A full-coverage live experience

The team of twenty experts in LED, sound, direction and signalling ensured that each and every fan was reached both visually and acoustically at the seven locations of the city district – from the Rheinwiese via the Hofgarten to Johannes-Rau-Platz. Considering the many road closures in the city, the logistics were especially challenging. Highly sophisticated time management, very close agreements among the many areas of expertise as well as open and friendly collaboration between all parties involved enabled the event to run smoothly and successfully.

Seven mobile LED systems between 15 and 50 m² were installed. Two technicians for sound and LEDs were responsible for supporting and managing the hotspots. A key element of the project was the central transmission onto all video walls. This took place via an internal and encrypted DVB-T network directly from the TV compound at the Messe Düsseldorf. A 50-metre-high climber with a central directional antenna was used. A DVB-T receiver plus a backup were placed on each video wall, so that each wall could be supplied with the live image for RT1, ARD and Saarländischer Rundfunk. Additionally, general information about the event as well as safety instructions were broadcast centrally or, as required, individually sent to the respective locations.

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