IMS Productions HD2 Unit Makes Brickyard Debut

By Ken Kerschbaumer

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Productions (IMS Productions) revved up a new HD production unit at the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, and the new truck, known as HD2, has some new features that are as drool-worthy as those found in the high-performance racing machines that captured the attention of race fans around the world. More important, it can cut production costs.

“Companies like ESPN and other networks can save up to $3,000 an event,” says Ken Gardner, manager of remote sales/field operations, IMS Productions. “There is no B unit and no additional expense for a second driver, and it has a third row of workstations, where clients can put Avid or Apple editing systems, secondary graphics, or use it for dual-feed needs.”

Dave Gass, senior director of field operations and engineering, IMS Productions, considers that flexibility the beauty of the new trailer. “We didn’t want to dedicate an area of the truck to just dual-feed use because space is a precious commodity,” he explains. “We also wanted a unit that was easy to set up in about 20 minutes.”

The truck made its Indy 500 debut as the center of the world-feed production. HD1, IMS Productions’ other HD unit, was used by Versus for its race productions (ABC Sports coverage of the race was produced out of NEP SS21, which made its race debut).

Technically, the flexibility is the result of an NVision 3G-capable routing switcher used with a Jupiter control system as well as Evertz 2020 products that can be used for up/down/cross-conversion. The truck has eight Sony cameras on board, along with five EVS units for replay, but additional replay units can be installed in the flexible area.

“It has the ability to do baseball, football, and small entertainment shows like awards and parades,” says Gass.

The unit hit the road with a Grass Valley Kalypso production switcher, but it will soon be home to the recently introduced Kayenne production switcher. The switcher will feature 4.5 mix effects, and a smaller version with 1 M/E will be available for dual-feed needs. “It does everything,” says Gass. “It has more keyers and more DVEs.”

Built without any long-term commitments, the truck will primarily support events in Indiana and surrounding states but will also be used at the NBA Finals.

“The pressures now are how to do events cheaper, and this unit lends itself to savings on secondary units or office trailers,” says Gardner. “You’ll see more of this type of truck in the future.”

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