Australia’s Sky Racing has contracted Grass Valley to design and build three new outside broadcast vans, with an option for a fourth, in what is the manufacturer's largest OB truck design and systems integration order to date, writes David Fox.
The mobile production vehicles have been specially designed to handle the rough terrain and hot weather conditions of Queensland, and will be used to cover some of the 83,000-plus races Sky Racing broadcasts each year.
The deal includes system training and a multi-year Service Level Agreement, and includes a full complement of Grass Valley HD live production equipment and systems
“Our racing coverage has really expanded in the past year and we are gearing up for even more coverage going forward,” explained Tim Cavanagh, Sky Racing's OB Manager.
“In order to complete this project correctly and get the OB vans on the road as quickly as possible, it was clear we needed a partner with vast experience in handling a project of this scope. In our minds, Grass Valley was the only vendor that could do it to our specifications and within our tight time constraints."
The order was placed in September, and construction has started in Melbourne, with delivery expected by the beginning of 2012. Each OB will feature 19 LDK 4000 HD cameras (using Grass Valley’s new 3G Triax transmission system), Kayak HD digital production switchers, multiple K2 Dyno Replay Systems, a Concerto Series video router, and various modules from the GeckoFlex signal processing range. Yamaha digital audio consoles and an Apantac multiviewer system are also being installed.
“Outfitting the vans with Grass Valley equipment, including the K2 Dyno Replay System, which we will make extensive use of for fast turnaround race replays, also gives us the confidence of knowing the technology is reliable and will work every time,” added Cavanagh.
“That’s the most important aspect of live production. To date, our experience with Grass Valley production equipment and systems has been excellent and we expect that to continue into the future.”
Sky Racing is a long-term Grass Valley customer, having previously purchased a large complement of HD equipment for its live production studios in Sydney. In Q1 2012, Sky Racing will also install a large storage area network and collaborative workgroup environment based on the K2 Summit media server and the new Stratus media workflow application framework (pictured) in its studios. The company also operates five Kalypso HD switchers across its studio control rooms, supported by a 512x512 Trinix NXT router.
The broadcaster has three channels, is watched in 30 countries, and is owned by the Australian gambling and entertainment group, Tabcorp.