NEP Visions Makes Two Trucks Do the Job of Three
In the UK, NEP Visions has succeeded in some new math: making one plus one equal three. With the release of the company’s latest mobile-production trucks, Gemini 1 and 2, NEP Visions has found a way to make two trucks do the work normally performed by three. With an environmentally friendly design that reduces load times while increasing operational capacity, Gemini 1 and 2 consolidate what is normally a three-truck setup for Sky Sports’ coverage of the 2010 Premier League into a two-truck show.
“We also wanted to allow for integration, especially as we go to 3G,” says Steve Jenkins, managing director of NEP Visions. “The two trucks have a new expanding infrastructure, so the outer shell expands the trailer. That creates a much larger floor space, about 65 square meters per truck.”
That expanded floor space enables Gemini 1 to house two production areas, each outfitted with 90-input Grass Valley Kalypso production switchers. Each production area has three tiers and can seat 14 people, so at least 28 production staffers can be accommodated in Gemini 1 alone. The truck also features two audio areas, enabling two separate audio mixes to be produced out of it.
Gemini 2 completes the production pair with a full EVS area (which can accommodate up to 15 EVS servers), two additional edit stations, all the racks and engineering space required for a Premiership production, and a central apparatus area.
“A lot of the kit requires certain temperature control and is also quite noisy, so we’ve created a separate ‘fridge’ area,” Jenkins says. “This area of the truck is fully glass-fronted and stops the noise from spilling into the truck.”
Gemini 2 also features a 3-Gbps-capable Evertz router and embedded audio and is wired for up to 30 HD cameras. The truck can seat up to eight engineers or shaders, and the videotape-operator area is two-tiered. A position is also available for an assistant producer or tape operator.
“It’s light blue, and it’s quite a big beast,” Jenkins smiles. “We’ve also separated what would be a presentation [studio production] from the match. If you were doing a dual production or a match and a presentation, there is a smaller area within tape which allows you to feed directly to the second production if you wanted to.”
The two trucks can produce discrete shows simultaneously and together house 57 flat-screen monitors. Gemini 1 and 2 are easily interlinked by 10 Stratos multicore fibers.
“We seriously reduced the amount of cable between the two trucks,” Jenkins explains. “Everything is run over fiber. We now need only 10 fibers to interlink them, where normally it would have taken 100 cables.”
Gemini 1 and 2 are currently working on production of English Premier League soccer for Sky Sports, but NEP Visions works to ensure that the trucks are versatile enough to handle other projects, too.
“We do a lot of consultation with the key client to make sure that the space works well and also that we help future-proof the truck,” Jenkins explains. “We also need to engineer it so that it can be attached to other large sporting events as well.”