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magnify Commonwealth Games Melbourne 2006
Commonwealth Games Melbourne 2006Commonwealth Games Melbourne 2006Commonwealth Games Melbourne 2006

Gearhouse Broadcast provided technical infrastructure for the Melbourne 2006 XVIII Commonwealth Games, for Host Broadcasters TWI, Australia. The Games included aquatics, athletics, badminton, basketball, boxing, cycling, gymnastics, hockey, lawn bowls, netball, rugby, shooting, table tennis, triathlon and weightlifting. Tournaments were split across 16 venues over a 12 day period in Melbourne, which required precision planning in terms of project management and logistics.

During the games forty five Gearhouse Broadcast crew members were spread across 6 teams, each headed up by an Engineering Manager. Each technical team were provided with detailed information so they knew exactly how to set up their facility to achieve the desired production plan. This planning took place over a preiod of 12 months prior to the event with numerous meetings between TWI technical and production staff and the Gearhouse Broadcast project manager. This information included camera and audio plans, porta cabin layouts, power distribution, comms matrix plan, rack layouts, router layouts and video and audio CAD drawings.

Gearhouse Broadcast provided facilities for a number of events including the Opening and Closing ceremonies, and track and field events, which took place at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). The Melbourne Cricket Ground was the largest and most complex facility for Gearhouse Broadcast. The coverage was achieved by providing four separate control rooms, to enable delivery of separate feeds of the simultaneous events. The control rooms were divided to cover track events, throws, horizontal jumps, and vertical jumps. Each control room had its own vision mixer and audio mixing area, and generated four specific feeds that were delivered to the IBC and other on-site unilateral facilites, such as BBC, TVNZ, and Channel 9 Australia.

The large SDI routing switcher was the heart of the system and was used to drive all sources and destinations enabling an extremely flexible facility. The router allowed fast reconfiguration of the system from completion of the open ceremony to the start of the competition.

Gearhouse Broadcast utilised their Outside Broadcast Unit for the Aquatics which took place at the State Aquatic centre. The Outside Broadcast Unit is a state of the art, 20 camera and 10 VTR, OB unit.

The Gymnastics was held at the Rod Laver Arena which used a fly away facility made up of Gearhouse Broadcast's modular systems. The Gymnastics was an extremely complex event to cover as there were six disciplines taking place in the arena at the same time. Nine EVS machines were used in order to do sub cuts, which where played back into the main production area in order to generate an intergrated gymnastics feed. In total there were 24 cameras used, made up of super slo-mo, RF, speciality robotic and tracking cameras.

The cycling, netball finals and basketball finals took place on the Velodrome at the multi purpose Venue. Gearhouse Broadcast reconfigured the technical facility at the venue for coverage of the Netball and Basketball finals after the cycling competition took place.

Modular fly-away systems built around a large SDI routing swticher were used as the techincal facilitly, ensuring there was flexibilty to reconfigure the facility to suit the production requirements of the three disciplines.

The netball and hockey events were held in the State Hockey Centre. Gearhouse Broadcast utilised one central Master Control Area to provide two separate production facilities, thereby reducing the costs for TWI. This was again carried out on one of Gearhouse Broadcast's modular fly-away systes built around a large SDI routing switcher.

The squash and table tennis events took place in different areas of the State Aquatics centre, where a central master control area was use to provide two separate production facilities.

Gearhouse Broadcast also made use of audio embedding technology throughout the games. This enabled them to reduce the high level of wiring and patching, in turn reducing the set up time as well as audio signals present within the video stream.

Broadcasters that had coverage at the event included; Nine Network, Australia; BBC Sport, England; TVNZ, New Zealand and SABC Sport, South Africa. Gearhouse Broadcast provided a large percentage of the technical production facilities and equipment to cover the event. As well as technical infrastructure, we provided project management, equipment and technical support crew for the Host BroadcasterChief Operating Officer at Gearhouse Broadcast, Kevin Moorhouse, "We were thrilled to be working on a project of this magnitude. It is a testimony to our capabilities that we can pull out all the stops and provide all the equipment and technical support crew to meet our clients requirements within budget."