Formula E, the new FIA fully-electric racing series, has its inaugural race this weekend in Beijing and Leeds-based FAL Systems has provided the complete fly-away world feed broadcast facility for the series. The company was required to provide all means for acquiring the audio and video for the transmission, with minimal environmental impact.
Andy Unsworth, one of FAL’s directors explained. “Key considerations were that Formula E promotes a new cleaner environmentally friendly form of racing and also the fact that this is a worldwide series with races being held in nine countries across four continents. This shaped our thinking in the design stage and led us to focus on elements such as an extremely compact design with as low a weight as possible whilst still enabling provision of state of the art broadcast centre. Our solution was a complete package built into four pods over a 12-week period at our facilities in Leeds.”
The objective was to provide a full ‘truck-like’ operational space in a 2.5mx2m intermodal pod, keeping weight to a minimum. The FAL team was able to overcome this challenge, with each of the technical pods eventually coming in at 50% below the maximum weight allowed. Careful choice of equipment has also enabled FAL to keep the powering requirements low, using energy saving devices wherever possible.
FAL has deployed 14 grass valley HD Elite camera channels, 12 channels of Gigawave HD RF cameras including on board feeds. A Miranda hybrid HD router features, with full embedding and de-embedding plus Miranda’s Kaleido integrated multi viewers. The team employed four Focusrite Rednet 6 MADI to DANTE providing 512 audio paths while two Yamaha CL5 audio consoles with Dante capability deal with the mixing duties, and Yamaha RIo stage boxes deliver the analogue audio interface. The team also went for a 72×72 Clearcom tailback system.
The company was commissioned to build the system by Hayfisher Productions based in the West Midlands who have been contracted by Aurora Media to provide broadcast facilities for the new motorsport championship.