New Century Productions' latest HD truck is designed for major sporting events
When New Century Productions (NCP) set out to build its latest HD production truck, it was looking for a solution that would keep even large shows inside a single truck. With some careful planning, it was able to pull it off in the new 53ft expanding NCPVIII HD. The truck is HD- and SD-capable and provides everything necessary to produce major sporting events such as the U.S. Open tennis tournament, where the truck made its debut with CBS in August 2006.
A major innovation in the truck is the drop deck in the production room. The floor of the production room steps down below the normal floor level of the truck, making the room feel larger and increasing the space available on the monitor wall to accommodate an additional row of monitors. The room, which is built around the Grass Valley HD Kalypso production switcher, can seat 12 people comfortably.
A fully outfitted truck of this size is completely router-dependent. For the router, the company selected the UTAH-400 system from Utah Scientific for its compact size, reliability and control capabilities. The system consists of three router frames in one package, including a UTAH-400 288 x 576 video frame configured for 256 SD inputs with 288 analog NTSC and 96 SD outputs; a second UTAH-400 video frame loaded as a 128 x 128 HD router; and a UTAH-400 288 x 288 audio frame configured for 208 x 192 AES audio and 48 x 64 analog stereo audio.
This confi guration allows the company to drive every monitor in the truck from the routing switcher and allows the use of common analog monitors throughout, even while all the switching is done at the SDI level. Because all the confi guration setups can be saved from any particular job, most of the truck can be instantly configured or reconfigured for a particular client at the touch of a computer icon.
For recording and playback, the truck is equipped with the specifi c tape decks required to meet the preferences of each client. Production servers from EVS handle most replays, with the clients hauling their production elements, highlights and whole shows from truck to offi ce (or truck to truck) on X-File transportable disk drives.
In the audio booth, the need for maximum power in a minimal space drove NCP to choose the Calrec Alpha digital audio mixing desk with its new Bluefi n technology. This enables the desk to provide 78 full 5.1 surround sound channels from its complement of 162 stereo and 156 mono channels and eight surround groups. Each channel and group is fully equipped with full EQ and dynamics. The system has 23 minutes of user accessible delay elements, four surround main outputs, 48 multitrack outputs and 20 aux feeds.