Cobalt Perfect Fit for High Rock Mobile Truck

November 22, 2017

SUNBURY, OHIO—Bennett Systems specializes in large-scale mobile systems integration. With 40 years of combined experience in technology and integration, we’ve designed and built more large-scale mobile units than most other integrators combined.

A collection of 9970-QS multi-image display processors help make up a virtual monitor wall inside High Rock 1.

One of those trucks is High Rock 1, the first mobile production truck for High Rock Mobile Television, the new mobile-production arm of Carr-Hughes Productions. As a longtime packager and producer of sporting events, Carr-Hughes decided it was time to channel its expertise and resources into its own mobile unit.

High Rock 1 is essentially a full-fledged 53-foot expando “A” unit that fits into a smaller, 40-foot dual-expando box. Built initially to cover horseracing, High Rock 1 will eventually cover football, baseball and other sports and entertainment events. In other words, it’s capable of handling the same events as its larger cousins, but with a smaller footprint.

A-LIST SET-UP
High Rock 1 is equipped with all the professional gear you’d expect to find in any large, high-end outside broadcast truck—including a Grass Valley switcher, Utah Scientific router, Calrec Artemis Light audio console, Sony cameras and EVS replay and digital disks. Signal processing and monitoring come courtesy of a full slate of Cobalt Digital distribution amplifiers, converters, frame sync/color correctors and more. The engineer in charge can set up, maintain and monitor nearly all equipment from a single network computer.

The centerpiece of the Cobalt system is a collection of 54 9970-QS multi-image display processors that create a massive virtual monitor wall inside the truck. Each processor takes in five professional video feeds and outputs a single image to a monitor on the monitor wall. Thanks to this capability, the virtual monitor wall can be reconfigured to display any number of pictures of any size for any given show.

The information displayed for each feed typically includes audio meters, video formats, tally/UMD information and the display name of each feed from the system router. The very-low-latency Cobalt image processors provide the highest quality video so that operators can make decisions on every aspect of the production in real time.

CUSTOMIZABLE FIT
I recommended Cobalt products for High Rock 1 because I’ve had success with them over many years and many builds. Cobalt’s designs have always been innovative, easy to use and virtually problem-free. Also, I really like that all the Cobalt gear—multiviewers, display cards, distribution amplifiers, frame syncs, etc.— fits into the same card frame and can be monitored and controlled through a single software package. Being able to roll everything into card cages and software helps conserve real estate, which was key with High Rock 1.

In addition, because Cobalt’s system is card-based, it’s easy to start small and build up to the size you need—flexibility that’s important when designing space-constrained production trucks. In High Rock 1’s case, that flexibility allows engineers to scale the monitor wall to make efficient use of multiviewers without tying up space that could be better used elsewhere.

Jim Carr, president of High Rock Mobile Television, has been extremely happy with the Cobalt products, saying that the gear has been easy to set up and understand and gives them “the power to handle various levels of production.”

Barry H. Bennett is the owner and chief engineer of Bennett Systems Inc. He founded the mobile-systems integration company more than 30 years ago. He can be reached at [email protected].

For more information, please visit www.cobaltdigital.com or call 217-344-1243.

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