Archive for the ‘Project Solutions – Australia’ Category
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”.
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.
Gearhouse Broadcast and the Seven Network came together to once again cover the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, including all the Melbourne Cup Day festivities. The broadcast used GHB’s Melbourne-based HD2 super truck, and incorporated a BCX vehicle to cover the race starts. The BCX had its own production switcher and director, producing its own cut of the starts until the director in HD2 switched to the main cut as each race progressed.
The race that stops a nation was a thriller, living up to the hype with one of the closest finishes in the history of the event.
Seven’s Melbourne Cup coverage was watched by 2.67 million people, making it the most watched program on Australian television in 2011
The competition brought 1200 athletes from 80 countries to Western Australia, and determined 75% of the places in sailing events at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
5 Oceans Media was responsible for the domestic broadcast in Australia and the facilities management for the international host broadcaster Sunset+Vine/APP.
The 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships production and daily news show were taken globally by broadcasters on every major continent and in Australia on Network 10 and ONE.
5 Oceans Media and Gearhouse Broadcast have previously worked together on 2010 UCI Road World Championships in Melbourne and Geelong and the 2011 City2Surf fun run in Sydney.
Remember Jim Carrey’s 1998 film The Truman Show? We asked our young OB Supervisor/tech guru Ben Blasina what he would do if a client commissioned Gearhouse Broadcast to provide facilities for The Truman Show:
“Discreetly capturing Truman’s town of Seahaven from every angle is a challenge. Remotely controlled HD point-of-view cameras would be utilised extensively, like the Camera Corps Q-Ball, Sony BRC-700 and Toshiba IK-HD1H. For tiny hidden cameras like the one in Truman’s ring and tie-pin, we’d rely on specialty wireless pin hole and lipstick cameras.
Backhaul would be via a mixture of copper, optical fibre and radio frequency. Managing radio signals would be paramount- antennae placement and the use of repeaters and frequency filters would minimise signal interference.
With so many vision and audio sources, it would be necessary to use multiple Master Contol Rooms (MCR), representing the different areas of Seahaven.
Setting up a communications system with the show’s thousands of actors would be a huge undertaking. They could all be fed audio via in-ear Interrupted Fold Back devices, with a talk-over ability for the director to the main actors.
Gearhouse Broadcast Australia and UK were involved in the recent Rugby World Cup in New Zealand, collaborating with OB facilitator On Site Broadcast (OSB).
The two companies worked together to seamlessly integrate their technologies, which was aided by their shared history and familiarity. OSB NZ is the sister company of OSB Australia, which Gearhouse Broadcast acquired in 2010.
Gearhouse provided facilities and crewing for all matches broadcast from Wellington’s Westpac stadium, including 20 HD camera channels, four Super Slow Motion camera chains, several EVS systems and an XDCam ENG camera.
Obviously the on-field competition created some friendly rivalry between the two companies, and Gearhouse Broadcast Australia looks forward to the Wallabies reclaiming their rightful crown when they next meet the All Blacks.