Formula 1, Silverstone British Grand Prix

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Gearhouse Broadcast UK completed a very successful live weekend of broadcasting at the 2019 Silverstone Grand Prix with Channel 4 and Whisper. On a hotly contested weekend of sport that included direct competition from the Wimbledon men’s final and the Cricket World Cup final, the Formula 1 on Channel 4 held its own with a peak of 2.8 million viewers watching Lewis bring it home.

To help Channel 4 deliver the goods, Gearhouse Broadcast provided a crew within the Whisper team – which was almost three times the number of people they usually have onsite. A full purpose gallery, production support and edit suites were built in just three days in an outside broadcast truck.

The British Grand Prix is always a special event, and the Whisper production team, as usual, were keen to push all systems to their limits, with cameras, audio mixer backpacks and reporters roaming far and wide with uninterrupted coverage. The edit team had access to hundreds of terabytes of archived footage brought to Gearhouse HQ and successfully integrated by our talented Server Department.

We’re no strangers to Formula 1, but we had to call on the full extent of our operational techniques to deliver the bespoke facility. At the core of the video system, we utilised a Cygnus Video Router, Evertz multiviewing, Sony XD Cameras with BSI RF Links, and a Grass Valley Karrera Production Switcher.

The audio system relied on a Lawo Nova Core with MC56 Mark 2 Console, Riedel Artist Comms System, Wisycom RF over fibre, radio mic and IEM system with radio talkback delivered by Tait base stations and Motorola radios. Bespoke high-power audio backpacks and high-power reporter kits were supplied by Paul Murray at Audio Assist. The Server Department used EVS Channel Max Machines with Adobe Premiere Editing Packages and DDP Storage, held together by Nexus Switch Fabric. All the field equipment was connected via 24-core ruggedised single-mode fibre cable, and all frequency planning was managed in-house.

It was a complex, technologically advanced set-up only made possible by the strength and experience of all Gearhouse departments pulling together. It was C4 F1’s only live event of the year, and it’s great that it was such a success.

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