Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) Productions is the media technology partner to world-famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indy Racing League. IMS Productions also works independently and has several trucks that are fully equipped as on-location production facilities to handle any entertainment or main sports event, and has done so for every major network.
Dave Gass is Senior Director of Field Operations and Engineering at IMS Productions. In March 2008, Gass commissioned a new 53 foot truck with an 8 foot expanding side, the IMSPHD1. Gass chose NVISION’s NV8288 Mobile Video Router for its compact size (10RU x 19”W x 12” D), density (288 x 244, scales to 288 x 576), streamlined cable management, low-power consumption, and ability to handle multiple formats, i.e. SD, HD-SDI, and 3Gb/s when needed in the future. Gass also purchased an NV7512 Digital Audio Router for its flexibility to manage and distribute AES3, MADI, and analog audio signals.
Since March, the new IMSPHD1 video production truck has been used for several sports and racing events, such as the Indy 500, Indy Car Series for ABC and ESPN, Ryder Cup Golf for NEP/NBC, Breeders Cup for ESPN, NBA for Trio Video/Chicago Bulls, NBA for the Indiana Pacers, Scoreboard Feed for the Indianapolis Colts, Football and Basketball for the Big Ten Network, Hockey Night in Canada for the CBC, and ESPN Zone Billiards for Lingner Group Productions.
“NVISION’s hardware had the right feature set for all our needs and being competitively priced was an added bonus. Both routers are scaleable so we can swap card modules in and out for upgrades and new capabilities, which gives us a solid return on our investment,” says Gass.
Gass adds, “Our trucks’ systems are heavily router-based with large numbers of inputs and outputs, as well as signal distribution within the truck. The NVISION routers afford a lot of capability. For example, we don’t require a large number of patches, and the frame-syncs, inputs to the multiviewer and other sources, as well as transmission are easily assigned with the router.”
The NVISION NV8288 router is purpose-built for reliability using redundant controllers and power supplies. This is especially critical for live transmission of sporting events, where uninterrupted on-air capability is mandatory. Gass notes, “At any given event, we have hundreds of feeds so we need a highly reliable, powerful video router that provides the highest levels of signal integrity, and the more redundancy the better.”
Like all broadcast production trucks, cable management is a key factor for the IMSP trucks. Unique to NVISION, both the NV8288 and NV7512 employ DIN 1.0/2.3 coaxial connectors, which provide greater than twice the density compared to comparable BNC solutions. “NVISION’s use of these connectors has dramatically reduced the amount of space required in the truck and they worked when put to the test for the first time. By keeping the size down for the NV8288 and cables, we can accommodate other useful production gear. It’s an innovation that is working very well for us,” says Gass.
Gass adds, “The low power consumption of the NV8288 is another bonus because it keeps the heat down, which becomes important in a dense space like a truck.”
“We are continually busy with sporting, entertainment and racing events and this truck is in demand. So, we are now in the process of building a second truck, the IMSPHD2. The first truck layout has worked so smoothly that we’re replicating it for the second truck, with the same equipment, including the NV8288 and NV7512,” says Gass.
Gass also speaks highly of NVISION’s customer support. “Early on we had a problem come up that turned out to be related to the documentation. NVISION was right there for us to quickly figure out the problem/solution. That kind of responsiveness is like an insurance plan.”