Amsterdam, 07 September 2012 – One of the longest established technology suppliers to the broadcast system camera market, Hitachi Kokusai Electric Europe, has opened up IBC 2012 with an announcement that will sting many of its competitors. Hitachi has formed a strategic sales and market development agreement with international broadcast rental, project solutions, systems integration, equipment sales and outside broadcast company, Gearhouse Broadcast. The agreement provides Gearhouse Broadcast with prime distribution rights to all Hitachi broadcast cameras in many international territories.
Under the conditions of the agreement, Gearhouse Broadcast will enhance Hitachi customers’ pre- and post-sales experience by making available its market-leading engineering facilities and offering an extensive rental inventory of Hitachi camera systems. Hitachi believes that through this partnership, the two companies will improve the quality of ownership and enhance the perception of the Hitachi brand within the international broadcast market.
“Our stated intention is clear: we are determined to become regarded as the leading supplier of 3G and future camera technologies. New ventures, such as our relationship with Gearhouse Broadcast are fundamental to support our growing presence in world broadcasting,” commented Masahiko Kato, General Manager, Global Business Division of Hitachi Kokusai Electric Inc.
“This is an ambitious goal and one that we will achieve,” continued Kato. “If we wish to become perceived as the best in the market, then we need support in key markets from the best company in the business. This is why we have selected Gearhouse Broadcast.”
A leading international broadcast solution provider, Gearhouse Broadcast has well established project solutions, outside broadcast, rental and systems integration operations and was previously one of Europe’s biggest and long-standing users of Sony camera technology. This agreement sees Gearhouse Broadcast moving to offer the market a fresh option in the form of these new Hitachi cameras.
“Hitachi’s pedigree in the broadcast camera market is outstanding and in developing their new family of HD and 3G systems cameras they have demonstrated that they have lost none of their skills and experience. The new Hitachi cameras are well engineered, robust and reliable,” reported Eamonn Dowdall, Business Development Director at Gravity Media Group, the parent company of Gearhouse Broadcast. “Our relationship with Hitachi is both practical and strategic. The facilities and services that we provide at Gearhouse Broadcast offer the level of support that Hitachi broadcast customers, and indeed all broadcast camera users expect and demand.”
“We’ve been using the Hitachi cameras in our rental fleet and on numerous major sports projects for some time and we are tremendously impressed by their build quality and technical sophistication. We predict a great deal of interest in the coming months and years,” Dowdall concluded.
Hitachi SK-HD1200 cameras offer extended choice and cost efficiency to company’s rental customers
International broadcast rental, project solutions, systems integration and equipment sales company, Gearhouse Broadcast, has awarded a multi-million pound contract for system cameras to Hitachi Kokusai Electric Europe GmbH. The contract includes 22 SK-HD 1200 high-end multi-format 1080p/3G production cameras as well as three SK-HD 1500 HD Supermotion system cameras.
Launched last year, Hitachi’s SK-HD1200 represents a high-performance portable 16 bit A/D HDTV studio and EFP camera with three 2.3 million pixel 1080p IT-CCDs (which are 1080i switchable). The new Hitachi cameras provide a higher performance and more affordable alternative to Gearhouse Broadcast’s existing Sony camera fleet. The company will take delivery of the new cameras in August and will immediately introduce them into its general inventory, making them available to rent by existing and new customers.
“This contract represents a major capital investment and a significant strategic development for Gearhouse Broadcast: the contract was awarded to Hitachi after extensive evaluation of the various system cameras that are available today,” reported John Newton, Chief Executive Officer at Gearhouse Broadcast. “We want to offer our rental clients wider choice and to be more competitive whilst maintaining the quality of our cameras in terms of specification and performance.
“We have put the Hitachi cameras through all their paces and what we have discovered is a rugged and reliable product that offers real choice to our studio, OB and rental customers. Furthermore, these cameras are supported by one of the market’s most experienced camera manufacturers that has all the necessary technical and operational support measures in place and has developed a long-term product roadmap,” Newton continued.
Hitachi Kokusai Electric Europe has a broadcast camera heritage extending over 40 years. The company has stated its intention to expand its camera product range, thereby increasing share in this demanding market. It believes that strategic deals with key customers such as Gearhouse Broadcast will enable it to generate the all-important user feedback and momentum that will enable it to drive this business forwards.
“We have worked hard with Gearhouse Broadcast in negotiating this purchase and we are delighted to announce this strategic contract with them today,” commented Paddy Roache, Director and General Manager at Hitachi Kokusai Electric Europe. “This order communicates a clear message to broadcast camera users in the UK and Europe. It will be one of many that confirm Hitachi as a leading supplier to the international broadcast technology market.”
Hitachi SKHD 1200 broadcast system camera
The SK-HD1200 camera provides superior performance delivering sharper and cleaner HD images thanks to its 14bit A/D converters and Hitachi’s implementation of the latest digital processing technology. Like the other cameras in the SK HD range, the SK-HD1200 provides high sensitivity and a horizontal resolution performance of 1100 TV lines – delivering exceptional picture quality with low noise and ultra low vertical smear.
The SK HD family represent versatile dockable HD TV cameras, which enable multiple configurations thanks to their fibre optic, digital Triax cable and wireless transmission adapters. The SK HD range offers the choice of native 1080i or 720p CCD options as well as the new multi format 1080p SK HD1200. It also features a solid state HDTV recorder option utilising the Panasonic P2 format and a large lens studio adapter.
For ease of set up and operation, the SK-HD1200 camera is complemented by a range of accessories including a full studio adapter which enables the use of both hanger type and bayonet type lenses without removing the camera from the adapter, an intuitive camera control unit and a digital triax system. Also, a new remote control unit has all the commonly used functions of the camera as well as touch screen panel operation.
Gearhouse Broadcast has been involved in the Euro 2012 tournament once again. The sheer volume and demand for broadcast equipment meant Gearhouse Broadcast had to make significant investments in broadcast equipment to ensure all projects ran smoothly and to its deadlines.
Some of the equipment bought specifically for the Euro 2012 includes Fujinon HD Lenses, Sony and Panasonic HD Monitors, Tektronix WFM-7120 Waveform monitors, Evertz Multiviewers, Snell 128×128 7RU Sirius Routers and Draka Broadcast Cables to name a few.
Who will survive and reach the finals of Euro 2012? Who will be crowned champions of Europe 2012? One thing we do know is when the tournament does come to an end and the equipment heads back to our Watford headquarters, our in house engineers will be on hand to fully check and service the equipment before making it available for sale at discounted prices.
For more information and to see what is available you can download the full list at
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After competing in a fully competitive tendering process, Gearhouse Broadcast’s Projects Solutions division was awarded the contract to build a series of interconnecting Flyaway Pods for satellite broadcaster British Sky Broadcasting for their coverage of Formula 1 motor racing. Since the award of the contract in late October 2011, the design, build and integration of the Pods took four months to complete.
Sky Sports are broadcasting Formula 1 races for the first time in a deal which started in March 2012 and will run until 2018. Sky Sports are broadcasting all the races, qualifying and practice sessions live and uninterrupted on their dedicated HD satellite channel Sky Sports F1 HD. All races are being produced in HD and 5.1 audio which has added a new dimension to Sky Sports coverage.
Sky Sports full onsite broadcast specification is a mixture of portacabins linked into the Flyaway Pods which contain the servers, audio facilities and all the technical equipment needed to support the production. The portacabins house the main production gallery, on air EVS, editing, logging and the production office.
The bespoke Flyaways, built and integrated by Gearhouse Broadcast, comprise of four 17 tonne interconnecting airline Pods that are standard Q6 construction with aviation bases. They are made up of a MCR Pod housing all the distribution, routing and camera control, a Server Pod housing all the EVS, Avid and SAN storage, an Audio Pod which houses the 5.1 audio control room and a Stowage Pod which is used to store all the loose equipment.
When the F1 races are in Europe the Pods will travel on flatbed trucks and when the races are taking place outside of Europe they will fly as cargo on Boeing 747’s.
An overview of the equipment chosen for the project includes EVS XT3 Servers, Omneon MediaGrid storage, Avid, Harris Glue, Pro-Bel Routers, Grass Valley Kayenne Mixer, Grass Valley Karrera HD Vision Mixer, Lawo Audio Console, Riedel Communications System, a mixture of Panasonic 3100 and Sony HDC-1500’s Cameras and Fujinon Lenses.
“Gearhouse Broadcast’s Flyaway Pods are the perfect solution for Sky Sports F1 needs; the Sky team will have an identical production facility at all 20 races. This is vitally important to the success of their broadcast as the production team can focus on their roles without having to find their way around different facilities around the globe” explained Kevin Moorhouse, Chief Operating Officer at Gearhouse Broadcast.
Darren Long, Sky Director of Operations said “We chose Gearhouse Broadcast because we needed a very specialist facility company that had the experience to understand the complexity of how to build and then deploy one of the most complex broadcast systems to 20 racetracks around the world”.
Systems Integrators Gearhouse Broadcast today announces its successful completion of the design and build of two new high definition outside broadcast vans for the Turkish state broadcaster Turkish Radio and Television Corporation, also known as TRT.
A competitive tender saw the London based Mobile Broadcasting solutions provider awarded the contract to supply two state-of the-art HD Outside Broadcast vans which are the most up to date and the largest HD OB units in Turkey.
The two custom built 13.95m long single expanding HD Outside Broadcast vans have the capacity for a production crew of sixteen and each climate controlled vehicle has a standalone 5.1 Audio Mixing Area, Production Gallery and Engineering Control Room.
Each of the vans were fully equipped with 9 x Sony HDC-1450R/U connected to 9 x Sony HDCU-1500/U CCU’s using HDFX-100/UF Triax Fibre Converters and 2 Sony HDC-3300R Super Slow Motion Cameras connected to 2 Sony HDCU-3300R CCU’s, 4 Canon HJ40X10B IASD-V 10-400mm HDTV Zoom Lens, 2 Canon HJ75xs EDFS Box Lens, 6 Canon HJ22EX7.6BIASE Lens, 3 HJ14x4.3BIASE HD Lens, 3 EVS XT2+ Broadcast Servers, 3 SRW-5800 Series HDCAM-SR VTR’s, Snell Kahuna 32 Button Compact, 64 Input, Multi-Format Video Switcher, Studer Vista 5 Digital Mixing Audio Console, Sony LCD Monitors, Harris Balanced AES Platinum Audio Router (192 x 160), Harris Platinum Video Router (176 x 256) and Harris Neo glue products.
Gearhouse Broadcast’s Systems Integration division provided TRT with broadcast systems expertise ranging from planning and project management through to design, engineering, installation, commissioning, training and ongoing aftercare and support.
Eamonn Dowdall, Managing Director at Gearhouse Broadcast said “We are delighted to have been selected by TRT to undertake the design and build of two new outside broadcast vans. This is a key project for our Systems Integration division and I believe we were selected for this project because of our proven and demonstrable experience in the provision of HD outside broadcast installations”.
The Australian Open is one of the largest and most complex annual events that Gearhouse Broadcast covers. Drawing on previous ATP Tennis Masters Series experience, the Gearhouse Broadcast technical set-up has been expanded to accommodate the size and magnitude of the event.
This year the tournament was bigger than ever before with Gearhouse Broadcast providing Channel 7 with a comprehensive package of technical facilities and crewing across the entire event. The Broadcast Centre was built into a large double story temporary building that housed all the technical facilities including the Production Control, Audio Control, Logging & Archiving, Edit suites and production offices.
Gearhouse’s Engineers installed all the technical host facilities within ten days then fully tested them before handing them over to Channel 7 for their coverage of the event. During the event support was provided by audio, video and communications engineers who worked in shifts to ensure that the facility ran smoothly.
Broadcast equipment supplied for the championship included 57 x EVS XT 3s, 50 x IP Directors with a range of EVS XFile and X Store units and these systems where linked into Avid ISIS servers and edit suites. A range of vision desks were supplied to cover the courts and uni-laterals including the Kahuna 4ME, Kayak 2.5ME, MFS 2000 1.5ME, Sony MVS 8400 4ME, Sony MVS 7000 4ME and Kayenne 4ME. All the cameras used at the tournament were Sony with a total of 65 x HDC1500’s and 6 x HDC 3300 Super Motion’s with a wide variety of Canon XJ and HJ type lenses.
Gearhouse Broadcast where also awarded a multi-year contract for an international broadcaster for their coverage of the Australian Open. The contract was to provide uni-lateral facilities consisting of two large production and audio control rooms, an MCR area with an EVS system for Ingest and on air playback that integrated with an Avid ISIS and Nitris Edit suites. They also provided the production facilities for Tennis Australia which was an MCR, Ingest, playout and Editing facility that provided the feeds for the various broadcast platforms to which Tennis Australia were delivering content.
For this year’s Championships, Gearhouse Broadcast made a significant investment including the new Grass Valley Kayenne Switcher and two new Sony MVS 7000X-Series Switchers, 52 Bel Digital Audio 3G HD compatible BM-A1-2SHD audio monitors and a state-of-the-art NAC Hi-Motion II Ultra Slow Motion HDTV Camera which made its world-wide debut at the Australian Open. This camera was used extensively on the two main courts and delivered some exceptional slow motion action.
The Hi-Motion II™ camera is able to shoot at up to 1,000 frames per second at 1080p using three CMOS sensors and provides simultaneous output of live real time video and ultra slow motion replay video.
According to Gearhouse Broadcast’s Chief Operating Officer, Kevin Moorhouse “Being appointed to deliver broadcast solutions for the Australian Open is testament to the confidence Channel 7 and other international broadcasts have in Gearhouse Broadcast based on track record of working on projects of this size and complexity”
“The event has its challenges both in terms of logistics and technology, but having delivered the broadcast facilities for the Australian Open for the past eight years we have an in-depth understanding of the project”.
The event ended with a Nadal v Djokovic showdown in the final, which saw the World’s No.1 Djokovic capture his third Australian Open crown by defeating Nadal 5-7 6-4 6-2 6-7 7-5.
The purchase was driven to meet the demand from Gearhouse Broadcasts clients for forthcoming global sports events such as the European Football Championship, Tennis, Motor Racing and other major sporting events this summer.
The Australian Open Tennis Championship, which took place in Melbourne between 16 and 29 January 2012, marked the world’s first use of the Hi-Motion II Camera in sports broadcasting.
The Hi-Motion II™ cameras use a unique three chip (CMOS) sensor capable of capturing more than 10X high speed images in Full HD and provide simultaneous output of live real time video AND ultra slow motion replay video. The three chip NAC Hi-Motion II™ cameras provide unparalleled clarity and detail enhancement along with superb light sensitivity while fitting seamlessly into the workflow of sports broadcast environments.
Kevin Moorhouse, Gearhouse Broadcast’s Chief Operating Officer said “The debut of the Hi-Motion II™ camera at this year’s Australian Open Tennis Championship significantly enhanced the host broadcaster’s ultra-slow-motion action which was captured in crystal clarity and ultra fine detail”.
“The camera was used extensively on the two main courts and delivered some exceptional slow motion action, enabling us to capture the dramatic court action at this year’s tournament”.
“The new Hi-Motion II camera is a dual-format 1080i/720p system that can provide simultaneous output of live normal-speed video and ultra-slow-motion replay video. The camera can work alongside other HD cameras to deliver the exceptional imagery today’s HDTV sports broadcasters and viewers demand”.
Andy Hayford, Nac Image Technology’s International Sales Manager commented “As I’ve traveled with the NAC Camera in Europe, Asia and the USA, the response to the Hi-Motion II™ is overwhelmingly positive! Everyone from Engineering, VT and Production is ‘over the moon’ that the camera works straight out of the box and integrates like a normal camera – and the live and replay pictures are stunning! It’s great to hear the positive response one of the Broadcasting Industry’s leading Facility and Rental Suppliers is getting to Hi-Motion II™ in Australia. NAC look forward to working more with Gearhouse Broadcast in the future.”
Gearhouse Broadcast recently purchased 52 Bel Digital Audio 3G HD compatible BM-A1-2SHD audio monitors/de-embedders and used them in their HD coverage of the 2012 Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne.
Gearhouse Broadcast provides the technical facilities as the Host Broadcaster for Channel 7 which includes TV coverage from seven courts plus the World Feed and Channel 7’s unilateral facilities. They also provide uni-lateral facilities to ESPN and Tennis Channel from the USA and facilities to tennis Australia for their delivery to various platforms. The newly purchased 1RU units where used together with their current stock of the 2RU Bel boxes to provide all the audio monitoring in the entire facility.
The BM-A1-2SHD is a 1U high quality 2 channel audio monitor that de-embeds and permits the monitoring of the audio content of 3G, HD and SD SDI bitstreams but crucially maintains the simplest of control surfaces on the front panel. The unit was particularly suited to Gearhouse Broadcast’s requirements for this project because of its compact 1U size.
The BM-A1-2SHD accepts 2 x SDI sources and automatically detects between 3G, HD and SD SDI bitstreams, extracting the audio content appropriately. This automatic operation results in a very simple setup procedure and a very uncluttered and self explanatory front panel.
All available functions were accessible directly from the front panel via rotary controls, making operation extremely simple. A single 8-position rotary control enables the operator to monitor any channel pair from the selected SDI source. Two buffered loop-through outputs are provided for the SDI inputs.
The BM-A1-2SHD is suited to operation within Master Control Rooms, Outside Broadcast Vehicles, or indeed anywhere where audio monitoring of SD, HD and 3G SDI sources is required, especially when within a space conscious environment.
Gearhouse’s production vehicle HD3 now has increased capabilities and a fresh look, after an upgrade performed by Sony and Gearhouse Broadcast’s engineering team.
Refurbished with the Gearhouse colour palette, the interior and technologies now conform to the rest of Gearhouse’s extensive HD fleet.
HD3 now supports a fifth EVS operator, and the production monitor wall has been upgraded to Sony LMD series LCD monitors. The truck will be joined by a brand new tender vehicle, which will hit the road just before Christmas.
HD3: modernity and versatility for a wide range of broadcast projects.
November saw Gearhouse Broadcast team up with MCM Media to cover some intimate performances from several international music superstars. First came an exclusive concert from esoteric indie pop group Florence + The Machine, at Sydney’s Seymour Centre, for the Debit Mastercard Priceless Music series. Mastercard brought in Florence and her band from their native England for this one show, with tickets available to 300 lucky Mastercard holders. Gearhouse Broadcast utilised one of the compact Broadcast Express (BCX) vehicles to capture the show in HD, using five cameras. Watch a clip of Florence performing Shake It Out.
Then came the Live At The Chapel shoot: two episodes featuring Australian favourites Pnau and Eskimo Joe. The venue was the historic St. Stephen’s Anglican Church in Newtown with the BCX truck deployed in the church’s ancient graveyard. The shoot featured handheld cameras and cameras on pneumatic pedestals, a dolly and a jib, for a dynamic shoot directed by Jakub Jacko.
Both concerts were filmed with Sony HDC-1500 cameras, each recorded in isolation along with the live cut using EVS’ XT2 and XFile systems. The output files were in Apple’s ProRes 422 codec, for integration into MCM Media’s Final Cut Pro edit facility.