Hudson, N.H.-based Game Creek Video has installed a PESA Cheetah digital routing switcher system in its state-of-the-art HD mobile production truck "Freedom" for signal routing during production of live sports and entertainment event coverage.
"We invest in PESA routing systems time and time again not only because they offer the capabilities we require in a compact form factor, but also because we have enjoyed a very good relationship with the company over the years," said Paul Bonar, director of engineering at Game Creek Video. "The product is very reliable, PESA's service is second to none, and our sales contact has been very helpful. It's nice dealing with a company and people who know and remember you and treat you as though you are their top priority, whatever your size."
The new high definition 53-foot expando, "Freedom," was launched at the end of May and represents the tenth unit in the Game Creek Video fleet. The truck is modeled after two other Game Creek Video HD trucks that made their debut in 2004, and the Cheetah systems installed in all three trucks are mounted in 128x128 frames, populated with HD cards, and feature 64 outputs with HD-to-SD downconversion.
Each routing system handles SDI and HDTV signals, as well as other non-standard digital signals, in one frame, which also provides redundant power, redundant control, and two outputs per bus. The Cheetah's dual output option allows mobile truck engineers to reduce rack space and use less cabling then is normally required with other systems. Game Creek also has purchased a Cheetah SD analog 256x256 router, which will be used primarily for routing analog sources throughout the truck.
PESA's 3500PRO series system controller provides a powerful Windows-based (NT, 2000, or XP) user interface to the company's routing switcher control products. The full-featured, high-performance system provides Game Creek with the quick-change capabilities required for rapid configuration in multiformat signal distribution and master control switching in the mobile production environment.
Since its launch, "Freedom" has worked for ESPN, FOX Sports, and the YES network; it has covered baseball in Kansas City, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Phoenix, Dallas, and New York; and is touring the west for coverage of baseball, major league soccer, and other events in Anaheim, San Francisco, Sacramento, and Las Vegas.
"Our HD production trucks are extremely reliant on the PESA Cheetah router because all of our monitors, feeds -- everything is based on it," added Bonar. "The importance of reliability in router performance can't be overemphasized. We've designed our operations around the Cheetah, and it has worked flawlessly for us."
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