Formula 1 to Drive Production from NEP Air Freight Containers

The POD NEP Germany Broadcast Solutions
(Image credit: Broadcast Solutions)

BINGEN AM RHEIN, Germany—Austrian broadcaster Servus TV is employing a new strategy to handle its season-long production of Formula 1 racing, a new air freight container mobile production studio that was developed by NEP Germany and Broadcast Solutions. This is meant to help with the travel schedule of Formula 1 and establish quick setups at different locations.

The POD is housed in an air freight container equipped with extensions and is primarily used to produce interviews and expert talks captured by two wireless cameras teams and an EB team around the track or in pit lane. Broadcast Solutions claims that it fits the essential technical components usually in a OB van in its small space.

The POD’s initial size is 7.5 m2 and can be enlarged to 14 m2 with its two extensions. It provides four workstations for an audio engineer, video engineer and two editorial staff, as well as a central technical rack with two 38 RU. The unit can monitor the video and audio signals of the camera teams, while also controlling the intercom signals and the Motorola radio links.

During productions, audio and video signals are transmitted directly from the track via dark fiber to the Servus TV broadcasting center in Salzburg, Austria. In-ear monitoring of presenters, reporters and camera teams is also managed in the POD to avoid audio delays.

The POD features WISYCOM transmitters that work with digital audio in the Dante format. Intercom signals are processed in AES67, while further analog audio signals come from the Office Containers. Prodigy multiformat converters from DirectOut convert analog audio and AES67 to Dante and vice versa. Additional gear in the POD includes the Yamaha QL1 digital audio console with Dante integration, Riedel’s MicroN system and the Broadcast Solutions hi human interface.

“Because of the excessive travelling involved in the production of Formula 1, we needed a highly mobile, transportable solution that could provide all the technology for our productions in the smallest possible space and still make it comfortable to work in,” said Mark Overkamp, technical director at NEP Germany. “Together with Broadcast Solutions, with the POD, we have developed a solution that, in combination with a sophisticated stagebox concept, optimally supports us in the current productions but also leaves options open for the future.”

The POD was first used at the Bahrain Grand Prix on March 28. It will next be used at the Italian Grand Prix on April 18.