The Collectv helps ensure Dancing on Ice’s smooth return to UK screens

New series of ITV’s primetime hit uses The Collectv’s kit and expertise to ensure successful live broadcasts.

The Collectv, the Emmy award-winning broadcast solutions and workflows consultancy, will be playing an instrumental part in ensuring that ITV Studios Entertainment’s smash hit Dancing on Ice reaches a live audience of millions when it returns to UK screens on 17 January.

Shot at a purpose-built facility at Bovingdon Airfield, just south of Hemel Hempstead, the show has been remotely produced at ITN Productions in London since the 2019 season. The Collectv ensures this process runs smoothly by providing media management, integration, and support on location at Bovingdon, helping to ensure not only that the right material gets into the main broadcast OB, but is also supplied back to the production team in London to provide content for ongoing social media clips, VTs, and more.

The workflow sees The Collectv provide an Avid station on location, for ingest, QC, and rapid editing in case of changes during the live broadcast. Alongside this, it provides Avid Nexis storage for handling VTs from the edits and to stream onto when the show is on air. This is linked in turn to multiple EVS units running IPDirector and XTAccess provided by host Outside Broadcast provider Telegenic. Connectivity between Bovingdon and London is provided by NEP Connect via a 10GB pipe.

“This set up gives us the ability to schedule and control the exact feeds the production will need,” explains Chris Sarson, Managing Director of The Collectv. “We have the ability to stream or clip up the clean or dirty TX streams on any number of the camera feeds. When on-site, we remain in constant communication with the post production supervisor for Dancing On Ice, Daniel Searle, and ensure we have the correct version of each VT. If they’re being edited close to transmission, we liaise with production and the EVS operators on-site to help ensure the right content gets to air.”

This workflow also operates the other way. Once the show is on air the team in London watches the live output and can flag up specific incidents that might help tell a story that has been developing outside of the main show, for instance. Then The Collectv team can simply find and clip up the specific ISO (ISOlated camera feed) featuring the footage and get it into the edit. Careful planning is needed with Telegenic to ensure the EVS servers can handle all that is being asked of them from both the live broadcast and The Collectv’s post teams.

“We have been involved with Dancing on Ice since we were ITV staff back in 2006,” comments Soraya Robertson, Commercial Director at The Collectv. “A lot has changed since, the production moving to its current purpose-built home after a hiatus and then implementing a remote production workflow, which is happily making it easier to deal with any Covid-related issues this season. Live TV is always challenging, but it is a great team we work with and we’re looking forward to the first broadcasts going out later this week.”

Dancing On Ice returns to UK screens on ITV1 every Sunday.