NEP’s Latest Truck, Scalable NCPXI, Hits The Road

By Carolyn Braff

The newest truck from NEP Broadcasting and its New Century Productions Division hit the road this week at the NASCAR Pit Crew Challenge, which was the perfect event to showcase the scalability of the just-out-of-the-box NCPXI. The 53-foot expanding HD trailer is equipped to handle the largest shows” it can accommodate up to 60 channels of EVS” but can also scale down to handle much smaller shows, running without a B unit.

“NCPXI is our first truck build from the wheels up that can run as a standalone HD truck,” explains Mike Werteen, SVP of sales for NEP Broadcasting. “In this day and age of trying to be as economical as possible, to not have to run with a B unit is a significant savings. One of the requirements we have for the design of any of our new trucks is that it’s got to be able to do large productions and handle them eloquently, but also set up, tear down, and do a flawless show in an 11-hour window.”

NCPXI is the first NCP truck to be designed by Mike Mundt, director of engineering for NCP, and integrated by the NEP’s Systems Integration Group in Pittsburgh. The truck is designed to handle both large-scale productions” such as this week’s Pit Crew Challenge in Charlotte, N.C., where 40 channels of EVS and 13 cameras were required” and smaller-scale shows like regional baseball broadcasts, which may take place hundreds of miles but only a few hours apart.

Although a market for smaller HD trucks is certainly growing, Werteen believes that the best way to serve that market is to accommodate its needs through a flexible truck like NCPXI.

“Because of the spectrum of shows that we do across both the NCP and NEP, divisions, we need to be able to have trucks that are scalable,” Werteen says. “If we built a truck that was only going to be used for a very small production, it would limit the ability for us to be able to do some of the larger productions that are a hallmark of Supershooters. That’s why the scalable portion is so important to us.”

To help with that scalability, NCPXI is equipped with top-quality equipment, including a virtual monitor wall, Grass Valley Kalypso Switcher, Ikegami Cameras, Canon Lenses, EVS XT2 Servers, and a Calrec Sigma Audio Console. The truck can handle up to 60 channels of EVS.

“It’s amazing to me to see the amount of EVS channels that we have available,” Werteen says. “As the world embraces the digital recorders, we need to make sure that we can accommodate that. We can accommodate up to 60 channels of EVS and that is significant.”

In 2009, NCPXI will serve as NASCAR Media Group and SPEED’s primary truck for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, but will also serve a number of other clients across the country.

Complete floor plans and equipment specs are available at www.ncpvideo.com.