NEP Supershooter 8 Embraces IP, Creature Comforts

Flexibility is the aim of the new truck’s design and technology implementation

NEP Supershooter 8 may have just hit the road, but it has already built a solid reputation, serving as the center of ESL One New York at Barclays Center and at MLB playoffs. Now it is settling into a full season of NBA action for Turner Sports.

The main production gallery in NEP’s SS8 mobile unit

“This truck will be relevant for a long time and is the most advanced system we’ve put together,” says Joe Signorino, VP, systems integration, NEP U.S. Mobile Units division. He adds that there is a lot of flexibility in its design and in the implementation of new technology, such as the Lawo routing infrastructure and EVS XT-VIA servers.

According to Stephanie DeMoss, senior director. sales and account management, NEP Group, NEP collaborated quite a bit with Turner Sports, which wanted some additional space and creature comforts.

“They wanted more depth for the workbenches in production,” she says, “and it was key that we designed a layout that allowed them to scale up for NBA playoffs and MLB postseason, when they add more operators — especially in the replay room.

“Most important from a technology standpoint,” she continues, “they can grow into 1080p and HDR when they’re ready. It has been a great partnership.”

The IP integration went very smoothly, Signorino says, noting that this was the sixth IP-based truck that NEP has put on the road, following the most recent launches of M15 and EN3.

“We made the switch to Lawo and Arista Networks, and we have been pretty happy with it as we build a relationship with Lawo,” Signorino says. “And operating in IP is pretty intuitive now, and there is no real different feel to the production and operational side.

“The audio room is very capable and [Dolby] Atmos-ready,” he continues. “Audio mixers can move from any of our trucks to the newer units and still be at home. We worked with Dolby to make sure we were in agreement with speaker placement, so the room has Atmos audio monitors in the ceiling, which took some work to find the extra space needed, given the lighting and duct work.”

With 24 CCUs and 11 EVS units, the truck has solid firepower. Twelve of the CCUS are IP, and the other 12 can handle either SDI or IP. That gives the unit the flexibility to bring in third-party cameras and systems that may not be IP-based.

“We went full steam ahead with IP,” says Signorino. “The standard complement of equipment — cameras, DDRs, switcher, etc. — is all connected via IP interface.”

According to DeMoss, the truck can handle a wide range of shows, from sports to entertainment. It can support up to 24 cameras and 1080p, 4K, or HDR formats. It’s also complemented by a B unit, when needed, that rolled out two years ago.

“That truck can operate in either a closed or open floorplan,” she adds.

Glen Levine, president, NEP U.S. Broadcast Services, is extremely proud of what the mechanical design and engineering teams accomplished given the change in new technology over the past couple of years.

“We’ve made great strides in implementing IP technology, more-efficient cooling, and reducing weight in our mobile units,” he says. “Our roadmap has always been and will continue to be to advance with technology while improving from one project to the next. EN3, M15, and Supershooter 8 have all been great successes using this approach.”

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