Posts Tagged ‘flyaways’
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”.
Although Standard Definition (SD) broadcasting is still alive and kicking, the onus is increasingly on broadcast professionals to produce high quality HD tapeless workflows for studios and Outside Broadcast facilities. In short if you are not already part of the HD revolution, you probably should be.
Broadcast Systems Integration Services
The good news is that with help from Gearhouse Broadcast’s Broadcast Systems Integration Services it does not have to be a case of ripping it all up and starting again. Our specialist Broadcast Systems Integration team can help and advise anyone who wants or needs to upgrade and convert their existing SD Outside Broadcast facilities, OB trucks or studios to HD.
As authorised dealers for many of the major players in the HD broadcasting market, Gearhouse can supply its customers with all their HD needs, whether for sale, rental or as part of an overall HD upgrade project.
As a multi-tiered broadcast company, Gearhouse Broadcast has a wealth of experience in the sales, rental installation and integration of HD products and equipment across all its divisions.
“Manufacturers are simply not producing SD equipment now and there is a significant rise in demand for our integration services around the world,” says Gearhouse Broadcast’s senior Systems Engineer Dave Gill.
We can maximise the potential of existing HD capable equipment, install new HD equipment and then help in managing the transition between the two formats.”
HD upgrade case studies
When South African broadcaster M-NET needed an HD integrated outside broadcast truck they turned to Gearhouse Broadcast as proven integration specialists.
In the past, Gearhouse Broadcast supplied M-NET with multi-camera flyaway solutions and, based on the service they received on that occasion, they looked to Gearhouse Broadcast again to provide this large, custom-built multi-format trailer.
India’s state broadcaster Doordarshan chose Gearhouse Broadcast’s proven HD integration expertise when it came to commissioning their first custom-built HD outside broadcast truck.
The newly built vehicle is part of a major investment programme in HD technology by Doordarshan, and much of the actual system building and integration work was carried out at Gearhouse Broadcast’s Watford headquarters.
A TATA chassis was shipped to the UK to be adapted before Gearhouse Broadcast’s team of specialist technicians and engineers got to work fitting the outside broadcast van with specialist HD broadcasting equipment.
The Red Bull Air Race World Championships has brought another dimension to the world of motorsport, and broadcast solution specialists Gearhouse Broadcast are helping ensure the very best of the amazing aerial action reaches its growing legion of fans around the globe.
The races are a breathtaking combination of speed and aerial agility featuring the world’s most skilful race pilots, and are set against the backdrop of some of the world’s most spectacular cities, including New York, Lisbon, Abu Dhabi and Rio De Janiero.
Gearhouse Broadcast’s has a proven track record in broadcast solutions and system integration for some of the biggest sporting events on the calendar, including this summer’s football World Cup in South Africa, the Winter Olympics and the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, to name but a few.
So when it came to finding a broadcast specialist able to help capture such a spectacular and fast-moving visual experience, SIVision – the production company of the Red Bull Air Race – turned to Gearhouse Broadcast for their broadcasting requirements.
Central to the broadcast solution supplied by Gearhouse are flyaways – essentially portable production units which contain everything you need to create a broadcast on location and outside.
The flyaways have the advantage of being highly adaptable, vital when it comes to capturing the full spectacle of race planes reaching speeds of 230mph and negotiating a series of air gates just 10 to 13 metres wide.
The flyaways built by Gearhouse Broadcast for the championships consist of audio, video routing, 12 cameras, large router and a large sound system. This is all backed by a crew of technicians and engineers, 24/7 technical resource and support and full operational logistics management across the series’ eight venues around the globe.
With three races remaining – Lausitz in Germany and Budapest in August and the finale in Lisbon in September – Britain’s Paul Bonhomme, also the defending champion, tops the rankings after winning the first ever New York Race over the city harbour with spectacular views over Manhattan.
When South African broadcaster M-NET needed an HD outside broadcast truck quickly and on budget they looked no further than UK system integration specialists Gearhouse Broadcast.
In the past Gearhouse Broadcast had supplied M-NET with multi-camera flyaway solutions and, based on the service they received on that occasion, they looked to Gearhouse Broadcast again to provide this large, custom-built multi-format trailer.
Andre Venter, Head M-Net Broadcast Services Africa, said: “We were looking for a solution to our outside broadcast requirement and as Gearhouse Broadcast supplied us with three flyaways in the past, which were delivered on time and to budget, we turned to them to assist us with a highly specified, time sensitive requirement for a 28 camera HD OB vehicle.
The vehicle was again delivered to South Africa well within the specified time frame and budget.”
Building to outside broadcast performance specifications
The outside broadcast trailer integrated by Gearhouse Broadcast is a triple expanding High Definition outside broadcast unit that caters for 28 HD cameras and up to three versions of 5.1 Dolby surround sound.
The unit’s lateral production area is large, spacious and air-conditioned, with three tiers of desks, which seat up to 12 production staff.
The front desk houses a 4ME vision mixer and space for 84 monitors. The second desk provides 16 monitors and comprehensive communications, while the third desk provides 32 monitors and comprehensive comms and monitoring facilities.
The third expand provides room for a second desk in the VTR area to provide space for up to 11 operators and a co-coordinator. The unit is wired for up to 12 EVS/ 14VTR.
In the vision area there is control for up to 28 cameras by seven operators, plus an engineering test position. The vision router is 576 x 576 and the audio router is 256 x 256 AES and analogue.
The unit is engineered with a large in/out capability to make it ideal for major events and is also fully air conditioned to maintain a comfortable operating environment even in ambient temperatures of 45 C°.
OB truck systems integration services
“We were able to accommodate M-NET’s requirement for an OB truck within a tight deadline and to their exacting specification,” said Eamonn Dowdall, Managing Director at Gearhouse Broadcast.
“The selection of kit being used for this installation demonstrates that Gearhouse Broadcast can tailor the design to a specific market and budget according to individual customer’s needs.
“I believe Gearhouse Broadcast was selected for this project because of our proven and demonstrable experience in the provision of HD outside broadcast installations. We have delivered many previous high profile HD outside broadcast units in the UK and Europe.”
The schedule of a top international tennis player is hectic – as is that of the broadcasters who follow them to all points of the globe to bring the action to huge audiences across the world.
Technical and production broadcast facilities for the ATP World Tour Masters 1000
Gearhouse Broadcast Project Solutions Division is proud to have been chosen for the tenth year in succession to deliver technical and production broadcast facilities for the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 – nine tournaments throughout the season taking place in venues as far flung as Cincinnati, Toronto, Miami and Monte Carlo.
Gearhouse Broadcast has also been contracted to provide the technical facilities for this year’s tour finale, The Masters Cup – where the eight top ranked players compete to become the overall series winner – in London at The 02 Arena in November 2010.
Of paramount importance to clients ATP Media is the ability to provide comprehensive and consistent technical and production facilities for the 50 leading international broadcasters who cover the series whatever the venue, in order to maintain and enhance the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 ’ status as one of the most important events on the international sporting calendar.
State-of-the-art digital flyaway rigs
Key to this is Gearhouse Broadcast’s state-of-the-art digital flyaway rigs, which feature video routing, distribution, communication, CCU and monitor gallery rigs.
After each event these are configured specifically to meet the demands of the next location on the tour so that they can be quickly and effectively integrated and installed by project engineers on site.
The tournaments usually cover two or three courts in the initial stages then go down to one court as the knockout stages progress, meaning that some of the equipment can be removed, configured and then sent on early to the next destination.
ATP Media’s CEO Steve Plasto says: “We opted for Gearhouse Broadcast because we are confident in their capabilities to create the same broadcast environment anywhere in the world. They have demonstrated their expertise and professionalism time and again throughout the Tennis Masters Series tournaments.”
Other services that have made Gearhouse Broadcast the system integration solutions provider of choice include:
- A core technical back up and support crew at every venue
- Infrastructure solutions including portacabins to house equipment, power supply requirements and catering facilities
- Logistical planning to ensure equipment and crew move from event to event smoothly and on time
- Accommodation and administrative support
- Additional top up facilities and equipment to meet broadcasters on-the-spot requirements
Forward planning, site visits and liaison with venue managers through the tournament.