LOS ANGELES—As the broadcast industry continues its march toward 4K, Gearhouse Broadcast has introduced a new mobile production truck it believes will benefit 4K broadcasts for the sports and live entertainment broadcasts. The Columbus mobile production truck is reported to be the first U.S.-based unit to feature a full 4K monitor wall, addressing what Gearhouse’s Managing Director Marc Genin called a “market demand.”
Columbus main control room
The Columbus is equipped with 24 Boland 4K monitors in the main control room monitor wall, which can be used as either quad splits or single input 4K monitors from the main router. While Gearhouse previously had hybrid trucks that had 4K capability, the process would often lead to a brief delay. “Particularly for entertainment, where there is a lot of focus on camera and less so on replay, we now have a system that has no delay whatsoever in the monitor wall,” said Genin.
It isn’t just the 4K monitors that Gearhouse is touting as a revolutionary aspect of the Columbus truck, the company has also created the truck with “one button” hydraulic deployment and integrated RF, including a 50-foot mast. The new hydraulic deployment feature allows the Columbus to go from a 53-foot semi-truck to a 60x14-foot mobile unit in what Genin estimates to be 30 minutes faster than traditional trucks. The telescopic mast that goes up on the back of the truck can be used for receiving wireless communication and microwave signals. Genin also said that the truck comes with a B control room to house secondary units, like a unilateral broadcaster, inside the truck rather than some place separate.
This is all part of what Genin described as the mobile truck’s technological evolution that was reached with a collaborative effort from professionals across the broadcast industry.
“This has been built with the full participation of the production community and the freelancers out there,” Genin stated. “There’s nothing worse than saying we thought you wanted this and here it is and you’ve got to use it because guess what, people won’t do that. You need to embrace them and it’s been built with those people in mind and with their full cooperation.”
However, the Columbus truck was also built in a way not to overload them. Genin points out that the truck features technology that allows customers to recall production workflows that they are used to. This includes the inclusion of popular equipment like Sony HDC-4300 4K/HD cameras, a Grass Valley Karrera K-Frame S-series switcher, 12-channel EVS ChannelMAX live production servers, an Imagine Communications Platinum IP3 router supported by Lawo VSM control and monitoring platform, a Lawo mc2 56MK11 HD (64 fader) audio mixer, an RTS Adam matrix intercom, and a Clear-Com Eclipse Delta frame running FreeSpeak II.
“We’ve designed it in a certain way so that on the surface everyone is very happy with what it does, underneath it’s extremely powerful” said Genin.
A test run of the Columbus was previously done in Los Angeles back in February, and there are already some preliminary agreements for future deployments Gearhouse is expected to announce in the coming months. But before that, Gearhouse will showcase the Columbus mobile unit at the 2017 NAB Show in Las Vegas. Gearhouse will be located at booth OE836 between the Central and South halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center.
For more information, visit Gearhouse’s Columbus website.