PITTSBURGH —With the completion of the 2013 U.S. Open golf tournament June 16, NEP wrapped its 19th year providing mobile broadcasting services.
In addition to supplying the primary feed for Golf Channel on NBC’s 19 hours of live coverage, NEP enabled production of Golf Channel’s “Live from the U.S. Open.” The compound also provided live feeds for international broadcast partners.
On site at the Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Penn., NEP’s U.S. Open broadcasting compound included 11 mobile units from the Supershooters and Corplex brands, 16 trailers total. For Golf Channel on NBC, NEP deployed its ND3 (A, B, C, and D trailers) and ND4 (A, B, and C trailers) units, as well as its ESU unit, which served as a large distribution hub for many broadcasters in the compound. NEP Supershooters’ SS16 and ST10 trucks provided feeds for Golf Channel, and NEP Corplex provided its Chromium, Nickel, Iridium, Zinc, Platinum, and Mercury units for several international feeds. In addition, NEP's Live Power division supplied two 600kw twin generators, one 200kw twin generator, and two 45kw generators.
At the 2013 U.S. Open, the NEP compound reflected its clients’ requirements for state-of-the-art technology and tapeless, all-digital recording, editing and playout workflows. EVS media servers supported 44 digital record channels and 22 playback channels. NEP also provided four Chyron HyperX3 and two Vizrt on-air graphics systems, five Avid edit suites and X-Mo/Hyper X-Mo cameras to facilitate ultra-slow-motion playback.
As it travels to a different course every year, the U.S. Open presents interesting challenges for mobile broadcasters. Working with its clients, NEP begins its planning at least a year in advance to identify the optimal camera locations and to design a broadcast infrastructure that is compatible with the physical layout. For instance, since this year's tournament was played at a smaller club, the broadcasting compound had to be located on the driving range — and the players’ practice area was relocated to another course two miles away. Since its clients include coverage of player practice, NEP installed a 144-strand fiber link spanning the distance.