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Production companies follow the bouncing ball in HD for March Madness

With such a wide selection of disparately located games being played as part of this year's NCAA Division I college basketball tournament, virtually all of the major mobile production companies in the U.S. were called into action to help CBS and ESPN bring the action home in full HDTV. This was true for both the men's and women's teams across the country.

The 2007 Men's Tournament ends on March 31 with the Final Four Weekend, and April 2, with the Championship Game live from the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. The 2007 Women's Final Four Weekend and Championship Game will be held live from Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland April 1 and 3.

The production companies involved, producing the games in 1080i for CBS, are: Corplex, Northfield, IL; F&F Productions, Clearview, FL; Lyon Video, Columbus, OH; National Mobile Television (NMT), New York; NEP Supershooters (NEP), Pittsburgh; and New Century Productions (NCP), Allentown, PA.

During the tournament on CBS, Corplex sent its state-of-the-art Platinum HD truck (and a B-unit called Mercury) to cover men's regional action in St Louis; Winston-Salem, NC; and East Rutherford, NJ. The expando rig carries 10 Sony HDC-1500 HD cameras, 24 Canon and Fujinon HD lenses, a Grass Valley Kalypso HD production switcher, EVS HD server, Sony HDCAM recorders and a Calrec Alpha digital audio console.

Lyon Video sent its Mobile Unit (MU-7) HD truck to cover women's regional action in both Raleigh, NC, and Dayton, OH. The MU7 carries 10 LDK 6000 Worldcam HD cameras, Fujinon HD lenses, a Kalypso HD switcher, GV Concerto stereo audio router and a Calrec Sigma audio console.

F&F Productions was hired to cover regional NCAA tournaments right up to the finals. For the men's Final Four Weekend, the company will send its GTX14 truck, which carries 12 Ikegami DK 79EC TA/FA multiformat HD cameras, numerous Fujinon HD lenses, a Kalypso HD switcher, Chyron Duet LEX system, GV Trinix and Concerto routers, Yamaha PM 1D digital audio board and EVS XT HD video servers.

NEP Supershooters will handle the women's Final Four in Cleveland for ESPN (in 720p HD) with its SS21 HD production truck. The sophisticated mobile studio will use 18 LDK 6000 WordCam HD cameras, a Kalypso HD production switcher, Calrec audio console, PESA Cheetah HD router for video and a PESA DRS router for audio. The company's SS20 HD truck, complete with numerous Worldcam HD cameras and a Kalypso HD switcher, and a Calrec Q2 audio console were also used for men's regional action.

Finally, New Century Productions will cover the men's Regional Finals in San Antonio, March 22-25, with its NCP VIII truck as well as the Final Four pre-game show and games in Atlanta. The NCP VIII truck is fully HD capable, complete with 16 LDK 6000 Worldcam HD cameras, a Kalypso HD video switcher, Utah Scientific HD router, Chyron Duet Hyper-X graphics system, EVS HD servers, Abekas DVEous HD DVE and a Calrec Alpha digital audio console.