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Gearhouse equips Metro’s new HD portable production unit

Metro Broadcast turned to Gearhouse Broadcast to assist with the build of its new HD production unit, but delivering the equipment proved a challenge. Gearhouse also has four new/upgraded OB trucks in Australia.

Metro Broadcast turned to Gearhouse Broadcast to assist with the build of its new HD portable production unit, but delivering the equipment proved a challenge for Gearhouse due to supply shortages, writes David Fox.

The effects of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami made it difficult for it to deliver all the equipment in time due to limited availability of much broadcast equipment. To avoid any disappointment from Metro and to ensure its project deadline was met, Gearhouse Broadcast loaned much of the equipment from its extensive inventory of rental stock until it was able to completely fulfil the order.

Mary Metcalfe, Managing Director at Metro praised Gearhouse’s “helpful and flexible attitude with regards to loan equipment ensuring that we could keep to all our deadlines.”

Metro Broadcast is part of the WPP Group and specialises in event and corporate productions. The equipment it selected included Sony HXC-100 cameras (pictured) with Canon HD lenses and Vinten tripods, whilst the production unit was fitted with Panasonic and Ikegami monitoring, Panasonic production switching and Harris routing.

Gearhouse HD expansion in Australia

Gearhouse Broadcast has recently upgraded its HD fleet in Australia with four new or revamped vehicles. The trucks were designed in house, in collaboration with Sony, Gerling, Canon, Lawo and Riedel.

HD1 (pictured) is a 24-camera truck with double-expanding sides. It is being used by Fox Sports and has a luxurious and spacious interior that can seat 27 (including up to seven vision operators and eight EVS/VTR operators). Equipment includes: Sony MVS-8400G 4ME 1080p 80-input/38-output switcher, Sony LMD series LCD monitoring, Probel router, Lawo MC66 digital audio console and Riedel Artist communications system. It has 24 Sony HDC-1500 cameras, plus & six Sony BRC-700 robotic PTZ cameras.

The Melbourne-based HD2 is similar to HD1 and was designed with the Seven Network’s AFL coverage in mind. It is equipped for both HD and SD broadcasts, and comfortably accommodates 30 staff. The truck’s 28-camera capacity (20 HDC-1500, four HDC-3000 and four RF cameras) will be utilised when Seven ramps up production for the AFL Finals series.

The single expanding-side HD3 has 16 Sony HDC-1500 cameras, five EVS and four VTR machines, seven production positions, a 54-input/24-output Sony MVS-8300G switcher, Vutrix quad split monitoring, Probel 176×232 router, a Euphonix audio mixer and an RTS Adam comms system. It can hold 17 crew members, including seven in the two-tiered production area. This vehicle will also be sporting a new look when it starts the A-League season in October.

The mid-sized HD4 also has 16 HDC-1500 cameras, has four EVS machines and three VTRs. It has been upgraded and has a 54-input/24-output Sony MVS-8300G switcher, Lawo 56 audio console, Riedal Artist 128 communications, quad-split Sony LMD series LCD monitors, and a Probel 288×384 router.