Michael Grotticelli /
03.25.2010 03:53 PM
NCAA basketball tournaments switched on Grass Valley HD technology

Many of the country’s top mobile production companies are helping to televise this year’s March Madness 2010 NCAA Men's and Women’s Division I Basketball Tournament for CBS Sports, ESPN and FOX Sports with a variety of HD trucks carrying Grass Valley video production switchers; some will use Grass Valley HD cameras and routers as well.

Beginning with a total of 65 schools playing in single-elimination tournaments across the country, the men’s tournament started on March 16, while the Final Four weekend, live from Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, begins April 3 and will conclude with the championship game April 5. The women’s tournament begins March 20 and ends with its own Final Four weekend beginning on April 4 at the University of Texas at San Antonio’s Alamodome.

The numerous HD productions trucks will televise a series of regional tournaments leading up to the Final Four weekend tournament. Games will be produced in either the 1080i or 720p HD formats (depending upon the broadcast network) with full 5.1 surround-sound audio. Due to their native multiformat capabilities, Grass Valley HD cameras and production switchers can be used for both types of productions.

“What we continue to see year after year is an industrywide acceptance of Grass Valley switching technology for the most high-profile sports broadcasts, including college basketball’s main event,” said Jeff Rosica, senior vice president of Grass Valley.

Crosscreek Television Productions (based in Alabaster, AL) sent its Voyager 8 with a Grass Valley Kalypso HD video production center and Voyager 9 HD truck, which features a new Grass Valley Kayenne video production center to cover the Southeastern Conference (SEC) men’s and women’s tournaments. The women’s tournament is being held in Duluth, GA, the weekend of March 6, and the men’s SEC tournament is the following weekend in Nashville, beginning March 13.

F&F Productions (Clearwater, FL) will cover the 2010 NCAA Men's Division I Final Four Weekend Tournament and National Championship Game on Monday in Indianapolis for CBS Sports with its GXT-15 HD truck (this same truck was used for the broadcast last year), which is built around a Kalypso HD switcher, and several support trucks.

Game Creek Video (Hudson, NH) handled the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) tournament for ESPN, live from Greensboro, NC, with its Patriot truck, which carries a Kalypso HD. The company will also send its Northstar truck, which also houses a Kalypso HD switcher, to cover the ACC men’s and women’s regional tournaments for FOX Sports. Game Creek’s newest mobile unit Liberty, which has a Kayenne onboard, will cover some of the NIT tournaments as well as portions of the woman’s NCAA games.

New Century Productions (Allentown, PA) sent its NCP 8 53ft expanding truck to handle the pre- and post-game Final Four shows in Indianapolis. The truck features a Kalypso HD switcher and numerous Grass Valley GeckoFlex signal-processing modules (frame syncs, crossconverters, etc.) and fiber-optic transmission products onboard to handle the numerous cameras located throughout the Lucas Oil Stadium arena.

NEP Supershooters (Pittsburgh, PA) is handling a number of women’s Final Four and NIT tournaments with its SS9 HD truck, which is built around a Kalypso HD switcher. The company also covered women’s March Madness as well, with its SS23 truck, which also features a Kalypso HD switcher, LDK 6000 WorldCam HD cameras and Trinix and Concerto Series routers for video and audio signal distribution. Its SS25 truck carries a Kalypso with more than a dozen LDK 8000 Elite WorldCam HD cameras and Trinix and Concerto Series routers.



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