Gearhouse Broadcast launches new lightweight and expandable OBPod portable production solution

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Gearhouse Broadcast today announces the launch of OBPod, its new lightweight and expandable flyaway production solution.

Building on the concept of the flyaway pod that Gearhouse Broadcast has successfully supplied to Sky Sports for the past three F1 seasons, the new OBPod has been designed with weight in mind. This new lighter model will enable the end user to make significant savings on shipping it from location to location around the world such as race tracks for a motorsport application. Every component, fixture and material used within OBPod has been carefully selected to make it lighter, easier to ship and quicker to rig and break down on site.

Working closely with coachbuilding partner A Smith Great Bentley, and using the standard air freight AMP rectangular container footprint, Gearhouse Broadcast has replaced the previous honeycomb casing with lighter aluminium. The new facility makes extensive use of the fibre infrastructure in the place, removing the need for traditional heavy copper cables. A compact Grass Valley NVISION 8500 Hybrid router has been installed, which has HD and SDI I/O on both copper and fibre. It will also handle all the embedding and de-embedding which reduces the amount of external glue equipment required, thereby further reducing the overall weight.

The OBPod flyaway solution consists of five interconnecting pods; an EVS operational pod, an audio pod, an edit pod, a production gallery and an MCR to house the broadcast infrastructure. Three of the pods have been designed with expandable sides to increase the available space.

The post production infrastructure integrated within OBPod includes four EVS XT3 ingest, playout and replay servers, as well as a migration of the edit system to Adobe Premier Pro CC, which is linked to a 500TB Dell SAS RAID storage system running on a 10Gb fibre network. There is also an on-site EVS IPDirector system integrated with Adobe Premier Pro CC  for ingest control, metadata management, on the fly editing and playout scheduling.

“Everything that has gone into OBPod has got to be able to cope with the demands of it being transported around the world multiple times, so we’ve had to be very mindful with the infrastructure and workflow that we’ve designed,” said Kevin Moorhouse, COO at Gearhouse Broadcast. “With shipping costs continuing to rise, it’s important that we look at new materials and construction methods so that we can cut any excess weight where possible to ensure we are providing additional value in the solutions we deliver to our customers.”

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