Formula One coverage flies away with Presteigne Broadcast Hire: new four-year contract sees innovative solution for complete production and post system in three air cargo pods

Crawley, UK, 24 March, 2014 Leading facilities and rental company Presteigne Broadcast Hire has won a contract from BBC Sport to provide its on-location technical resources for its coverage of Formula One motorsport. The equipment, which includes the capabilities for live production and delivery as well as fast turnaround editing, packs into three containers for shipping in cargo aircraft.

The flyaway kit designed by Presteigne Broadcast Hire includes production control facilities to create the unilateral coverage, switching 15 feeds from the host broadcaster with three wireless cameras covering the presenters in the pits and paddock. Live production equipment also includes radio microphones and wireless in-ear monitoring for presenters.

Presteigne Broadcast Hire also provides a technical crew to support the team at each location.

“The big challenge for this project is that the kit has to be shipped from race to race, and space on the cargo planes used by the Formula One circus is in short supply so we had to keep the volume and weight down,” said Alan Bright, director of operations at Presteigne Broadcast Hire. “We commissioned three lightweight pods from Quentor Cases, who specialise in this sort of thing, and they fitted them out for us with air conditioning and power distribution.”

“Our design then depended on packing in all the functionality, based on the latest technology for light weight,” he explained. “We used fibre wherever possible, and advanced RF equipment to minimise the amount of cabling we need to carry around. The latest wireless links also give us the flexibility we need: we are working in a busy RF environment with many other users of wireless cameras and microphones, and we are in a different country with different frequency allocations each race.

“The other big challenge is that the system has to be very fast to set up,” Bright added. “When we have back-to-back races – events on consecutive Sundays – we have to de-rig and load as soon as the race is finished, then be set up and ready to go on Thursday morning in another country.”