Case Study

SyncBac PRO proves even flying robots can be synced

Man vs Robots is an AI-based arena gameshow that sees teams of families compete against robots in a series of hi-tech physical challenges. In each episode, four family teams challenge life-size, gaming robots (for example, a disco dancing droid and a laser armed drone) in a “battle for supremacy.”

The show, a collaboration between U.S. broadcaster Fox and British production company Tuesday’s Child, was filmed at Cardington Studios in Bedfordshire – one of Europe’s largest TV production spaces.


SyncBac PRO for GoPro HERO6 cameras

To ensure every moment of competition was captured across the sprawling 588ft wide arena, in addition to static OB cameras, GoPro cameras were mounted on competitors and robots to capture dramatic and POV angles not possible with the large broadcast cameras. With GoPros capturing some of the most crucial content for every episode, finding a sync solution was essential to create an efficient and workable production workflow for the project.

Using SyncBac PRO on Man vs Robots eliminated the need to manually sync footage in postproduction. Every day, the edit team volutionceived SD cards with frame-accurate timecode embedded into the MP4 file. This allowed GoPro media to be effortlessly searched and aligned in the edit timeline, significantly reducing the time and cost of postproduction for every episode.

In addition, by introducing a :pulse to their sync network, the crew were able to connect the SyncBac PROs to the BLINK Hub app. The app enabled the team to remotely status monitor and control multiple GoPros from a single screen.

“GoPro cameras make the style of filming the crew were aiming for with Man vs Robots possible, at a relatively low-cost, but the prospect of handing endless hours of GoPro footage in the edit, was a huge concern for the production team. Using SyncBac PRO to embed timecode into all onboard video footage was absolutely essential, as it allowed them to sync GoPros so they could be instantly utilised in a professional postproduction environment.“

Olivia Allen, global sales manager for Timecode Systems Limited

SyncBac PRO is the only wireless sync solution available for GoPro cameras. Attaching a SyncBac PRO to a GoPro camera enables it to generate frame-accurate timecode. This creates the capability to timecode sync multiple cameras over long-range RF.


“Without SyncBac PRO, the GoPro technician would have to manually start and stop each GoPro camera, which on a large-scale set-up like this would have been virtually impossible due to the locations of some of the cameras. Being able to remotely control all the GoPro cameras from the BLINK Hub allowed the crew to power on and off, and start and stop recording of groups of cameras simultaneously from the app, including those on robots and mounted in-flight on drones.”

Olivia Allen, global sales manager for Timecode Systems Limited

Making a great show depended on the ability of the Man vs Robots’ production team to capture the full action of the live event, from the details of the challenges, to the reactions and emotions of the competitors. By taking away the time and hassle of syncing and controlling large numbers of GoPro cameras, SyncBac PRO gave the team more time to devote to capturing this content and then to use this footage more creatively in the edit.


SyncBac PRO and GoPro HERO6 camera