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Capturing The Grand Tour

25 November 2016
Behind the scenes at The Grand Tour

Video systems specialist United has chosen Leader’s LV5490 as the test and measurement core of a 4K UHD flyaway production system for Amazon Prime’s new motoring television series, The Grand Tour.

The show reunites presenters Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May, with an initial 36 episodes being produced for release on Amazon Prime.

“This assignment required a portable high-end solution that is lightweight but also fulfills the requirements of Amazon Prime,” explained Bolke Burnaby Lautier, United’s manager of special projects.

“The new flyaway consists of a camera and a recording system plus a comprehensive audio setup. The cameras yield wide-colour-space 4K UHD files including proxies which can be edited immediately.”

“We chose a Leader LV5490 as it enables our technical crew to check the colorimetry and gamut of the various cameras. The integral Cinelite feature also allows the camera crew to ensure maximum signal quality when shooting live rather than relying on signal renormalisation during post production.

“Getting it right from the start is by far the best way to achieve the full quality which wide-colour-space 4K UHD is capable of delivering.”

Occupying a half-rack-width by 4U high housing, the Leader LV5490 offers 4K, UHD, 3G, HD and SD test and measurement features in a compact portable unit. Waveform, vector and picture display can all be viewed at the same time on the LV5490’s nine-inch LCD monitor. The monitor is full 1920×1080 HD resolution with a wide viewing angle and high color reproduction.

Lautier continued, “The flypack was developed over the course of three months and needed to meet strict requirements. At most locations, the equipment has to be flown in so we had to pay close attention to equipment size and weight.

“The entire production system fits into 13 pallets with a combined weight of 4,700 kilos. It includes everything we need: cameras, dollies, monitors, audio desks, audio amplification, cabling, tables and even a tea set: very important for our UK customer.

“To develop a flyaway like this demands significant expertise. To be on a mountain in South Africa and find you’re missing a cable is unthinkable.

“The newly developed Grand Tour takes just four hours to set up and two hours to get flight-ready again. In between, it works like a charm.”

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