ATP Media and Gearhouse Broadcast test 4k and 1080p HDR technology at Nitto ATP Finals

Stadium 2017 V1 _1

ATP Media, the broadcast arm of the ATP World Tour carried out a live 4K v 1080p HDR test at the Nitto ATP Finals, the season ending finale held in November 2017 at The O2, London. The test was designed to see side-by-side, the two production formats in a live tennis environment, as part of ATP Media’s commitment to trialling the latest technologies to advance its broadcast offering.

The ATP Media and Gearhouse team were able to combine the Sapphire HEVC system seamlessly with the main production, with all the outputs coming from one desk and one Director’s cut. This allowed them to compare their existing 1080i output with 4K SDR, 4K HDR and 1080p HDR. ATP Media were therefore able to see exactly how the formats compare.

ATP Media are now engaging with their rights-holders to gather feedback on when they will be ready to broadcast in 4K or 1080p HDR.

The demonstration room at The O2 was also an opportunity for ATP Media to test Dolby Atmos and compare it to Dolby Digital 5.1. As a globally travelling OB with a big variety of Stadia, the test was designed to understand the challenges of producing in Atmos and to experiment with what a “Tennis Atmos Soundscape” could sound like.

Shane Warden, ATP Media’s Director of Broadcast & Technology said:

“The test was an important step forward for ATP Media and the results showed that 1080p HDR could be a very attractive format for us in tennis that efficiently provides the huge benefits of HDR to our broadcasters and viewers.  We’ll need to do further tests to include delivery, and dialogue with our broadcasters around the world will be important in our next steps.”

Dominic Gresset, ATP Media’s Executive Producer added:

“4K might be the best option for a one-off football or cricket match, but covering an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event with up to four main televised courts has big implications when it comes to producing in 4K.  As host broadcasters we have to find the right balance between creating the best possible product with realistic production and delivery budgets, along with the capabilities and requirements of our rights-holders.”

Discussing the performance of the system, Gearhouse Broadcast’s Mathieu Rocton said:

“This is a real game-changer for us as we are now able to offer our clients world class 4K productions including wireless video with low-latency UHD. We look forward to working closely with the team at Broadcast Wireless Systems in order to roll-out this new technology into future productions.”

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Gearhouse Broadcast expands its portfolio of Wisycom’s forward-thinking RF technology

IAC 2017

Gearhouse Broadcast, a supplier of technical facilities, crew and services used to capture the world’s most watched content, has purchased multiple Wisycom MFL wideband optical link systems. The deal, which was handled by audio RF specialist and UK distributor Raycom, represents repeat business, as Gearhouse has already invested in the systems for its Australian division. These have been successfully deployed at high profile events in the country such as the V8 Supercars Championship. The systems are available for hire from Gearhouse now, and have been engineered to meet the most complex RF scenarios facing broadcasters and content makers.

The new units have been bought by Gearhouse Broadcast’s UK business and the first action they saw was at a major tennis event this summer in New York – one of the most challenging RF environments on earth. The systems are now in the Australian jungle for the new series of ITV Studios’ I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!

The 2017 production marks the tenth consecutive year that Gearhouse is providing the technical and broadcast equipment for the popular reality series. The Wisycom MFL systems enable the crew to send wireless radio microphone signals over distance without loss, making them ideally suited to supporting seamless audio from contestants and presenters anywhere within the 1.5km² jungle compound in New South Wales.

In total, there will be three transmitter sites linked by fibre that operate on the same radio frequency, providing multiple levels of redundancy. These will facilitate 36 fibre receive channels, and six IEM channels, in what will be the single largest deployment of the MFL system, anywhere in the world.

Ed Tischler, managing director at Gearhouse Broadcast UK said: “Customers’ expectations for faultless audio are higher than ever, but at the same time, there’s less spectrum space available to use. Being able to deploy Wisycom’s flexible MFL systems in challenging RF environments such as the Australian jungle, or middle of New York City, gives us the peace of mind that there won’t be a drop off in quality. We’re always at the forefront of creating solutions to our customer’s production challenges, and our decision to buy more of the Wisycom systems reflects how impressed we’ve been with their performance.”

Pyers Easton, managing director at Raycom, who will be on site in Australia supporting Gearhouse Broadcast, added: “We’re delighted to continue to work alongside Gearhouse Broadcast on these prestigious projects. The Wisycom MFL RF over fibre system offers a truly unique ‘plug and play’, flexible, fibre solution that performs in the harshest environments, making it ideal for an application like I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here! It can be installed quickly without the need for specialist knowledge and test equipment, which is important when having to rig such a large area as we do in the jungle.”

Now in its 17th series, ITV Studios’ I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here! is currently airing on ITV.

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Gearhouse Broadcast completes acquisition of Stranger Designs

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Gearhouse Broadcast now offers an end-to-end communications chain, with plans to expand into live events, sports and reality television

Gearhouse Broadcast has expanded its event communications division following the acquisition of Stranger Designs. According to Gearhouse Broadcast, this key acquisition positions Gearhouse Broadcast to be the only company in Australia that is capable of offering the entire end-to-end communications chain, particularly for live events, sports and reality television.

Jason Owen, manager, event communications, Gearhouse Broadcast, said: “We will support existing audio, production and broadcast facilitators with cost-effective technology solutions that meet their requirements.

“Stranger Designs has also been instrumental in developing motorsport accessories and solutions over many years. With access to this product range, we will now expand on our offering to become Australia’s leading motorsport communications solutions provider.”

Stranger Designs is led by Rod Stranger, a radio frequency (RF) communications engineer, who said: “I’m delighted that Stranger Designs has now been incorporated into Gearhouse Broadcast’s event communications division. There are great synergies between the two companies, and as a joint force, we can offer a total communications package.”

Besides motorsport, Stranger Designs have provided its communications solutions for productions including I’m a Celebrity Get Me Outta Here, and the Byron Bay Blues Festival.

Owen concluded: “With our size and scope, we can now offer the complete communications package to broadcast networks and producers, event production companies, movie houses, and new media companies. For instance, in motorsport alone, we have communications solutions for racetracks, race teams, federations, category managers, and companies that support motorsport such as catering, security and track options.

“By using our technology and engineering package, we will continue to disrupt the status quo of our competitors who often just tend to be single vendor-focused.”

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Gearhouse Broadcast unveils multi-purpose remote production unit

Remi Pic

Gearhouse Broadcast, a supplier of technical facilities, crew and services used to capture the world’s most watched content, has developed and integrated a brand-new multi-purpose mobile production unit named Skye. Built in a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van with flexibility in mind, users can easily operate a full six-camera live production or connect directly to a venue’s remote production network to connect to a broadcast center.

Skye has a powerful production infrastructure using a ViBox all in one production system from Simplylive. The ViBox is a unique production tool that boasts a space-saving footprint, 4RU chassis and 27” touchscreen. The unit is equipped with six Hitachi cameras, two robotic cameras and a Telex communications system. When used as part of a remote production infrastructure, the ViBox system can be operated as a recording and streaming device.

The video capabilities of Skye are paired with a powerful audio system comprised of a Calrec Brio 3- fader audio board with MADI and Hydra options. The heart of the audio system is the Direct Out Technologies’ M.1K2 MADI router which is connected to the Brio, RTS ADAM-M, Lawo V_Pro 8 and Lance commentary system as well as the tail board for third-party interconnectivity. The ADAM-M is loaded with four AIO-16’s, one RVON-16 and a MADI-16 PLUS with six TIF-2000 and multiple belt-packs around the edges.

“This innovative new production facility is part of Gearhouse’s continued commitment to adopting and deploying new technologies across North America,” said Gearhouse Broadcast COO, Kevin Moorhouse. “Having successfully run numerous remote productions, we’ve combined our extensive research and findings to design, integrate and build the perfect flexible mobile unit for this revolutionary application. Because it can also be deployed for smaller six-camera productions, Skye is advantageous in terms of resources, budget and operational efficiencies. This is where working with a trusted partner like Gearhouse proves invaluable.”

Although it has a smaller overall footprint Skye boasts four interior operational positions – audio and vision control, director and engineering. All personnel can work efficiently and comfortably with generous technological consideration and interior attributes.

This is the second production vehicle that Gearhouse Broadcast has introduced to serve the North American market in 2017, having unveiled Columbus, its 4K mobile unit at the 2017 NAB Show. Based in Los Angeles and with a crew-friendly lay out, Columbus brings new operational and technical advantages to productions, in a comfortable working environment for its crew and is the first mobile unit in the US to feature a full 4K monitor wall.

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Gearhouse Broadcast appoints Jo Adams as UK business development manager

Jo Adams

Gearhouse Broadcast, a supplier of technical facilities, crew and services used to capture the world’s most watched content, has appointed Jo Adams as its new Business Development Manager. Jo will work closely with managing director Ed Tischler to pursue new commercial opportunities across the projects, rental and systems integration divisions within the UK business.

Having been involved in the broadcast industry for the past 17 years, Jo has an impressive track record in bringing in new business. She has spent the past 11 years at NEP, working as client/commercial manager and more recently sales and new business manager. Before that she covered a range of roles at ITN over a six-year period including newsroom production coordinator, news desk assistant and sports desk production assistant. Jo is a member of Women in Film and TV and has served as a juror for its WFTV Awards for many years.

“With its established global presence, understanding of emerging technologies like remote production, 4K and IP, and close relationships with the leading manufacturers, Gearhouse delivers an unrivalled service to its customers,” said Jo. “This is why I’m so excited to have joined the team, and I look forward to helping content producers deliver more with their budgets.”

Ed Tischler, Managing Director of Gearhouse Broadcast UK added: “Jo has an impressive pedigree within the broadcast sector and will help us to reach new customers across our business. She joins at an exciting time as we continue to enhance our service offering within the ever-changing media landscape.”

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