LeSEA Productions Dives Into HD With S2
LeSEA Productions’ S2 production unit hits the road in a few weeks, fulfilling the company’s need for a high-definition mobile production unit to attract more sports clients. With its standard-definition truck facing fewer sports opportunities, the time was right for the company to make the leap.
“We have had, and still do have, a standard-definition truck, and our business with that truck — especially in the world of sports — has been declining,” says Dave Musser, video production sales, LeSEA Productions. “In fact, in most of 2014, the only sports network that [took] our SD truck was ESPN 3 for streaming purposes. … Essentially, it seemed that the demand [for HD] is only getting stronger with the introduction of more Olympic sports being covered, and that’s the reason we went for it.”
The 40-ft. expando, designed and integrated by Gerling & Associates, is particularly suited to sports events where space is at a premium. “This truck is perfect for studio remote mainly because it’s got a smaller footprint than a 53-ft. truck,” explains Dennis Dozier, engineer in charge for S2. “You can get it in a lot of places that a large expando wouldn’t fit.”
S2 features a 4.5M/E Grass Valley Kayenne switcher and Kaleido-X multiviewer; 142×134 NVision router with integrated AES audio; EVS LSM XT seven-channel and four-channel replay servers, four-channel SpotBox with Lance TDC 100 controller, and XFile 3; ChyronHego Mosaic; and Calrec Artemis Light 40 mixing console with full 5.1-surround capabilities. The on-board gear, provided by AVI Systems, is all interconnected via IP.
For the South Bend, IN-based LeSEA Productions team (a division of LeSEA Broadcasting), the sophistication of the router in S2 particularly stands out. “Because it’s [integrated with] AES, you get a lot of strength out of one cable,” explains Dozier. “You can get 16 channels of audio down four wires embedded inside that signal, and … you take the audio and marry it to the video source, so you have one cable that has everything: your high-definition video, your four channels of audio. It makes for an easy installation: less cables, less weight, and greater flexibility.”
In addition, the truck also houses a 64-port ADAM digital matrix intercom, 12 powered RTS two-wire intercom channels and eight-channel IFB system, five AJA FS2 dual-frame sync/crossconverters, and an 80-display monitor wall. S2 can seat up to 15 people.
And, with wiring for up to eight cameras, S2 comes equipped with six Grass Valley LDX WorldCam cameras that can be configured for 1080i, 720p, or 1080p production. The company has three Fujinon 77X lenses with stabilizer and three 22X lenses.
LeSEA began the process by meeting with technology vendors at NAB 2014; building S2 commenced in late December. Having completed the commissioning process this month, LeSEA is working to finalize training on all the equipment. S2 will have two more “show-and-tells” in Indianapolis and Chicago before hitting the road in late August.
“We just want to run it through all of its paces again,” says Dozier, “and we’re doing that several times before we release the truck.”