D2 Productions Aims to Bring HD to the Masses with Genesis
It wasn’t too long ago where high definition broadcasts were a luxury. Today, even for the smallest of college conferences or minor league franchises, it’s a necessity.
That can prove to be a tremendous financial challenge for video and broadcast professionals when purchasing gear. Fortunately for them, technology companies are finding ways to bring the monetary gap.
D2 Productions’ new HD mobile unit Genesis is the latest example.
“To participate in broadcast today you really have to be in HD,” says David Walzer, general partner at D2 Productions. “So, I think, for a lot of colleges, especially smaller schools, there’s not a lot of opportunity because the HD production can be far up and out of their price range.
“We feel there is this middle market that is underserved. They can certainly web stream but if they are looking to do something that is suitable for broadcast, I think this truck will allow them to do that at a price point that has never really been possible for them before. We are enabling the market for smaller schools to enter the broadcast world.”
The 24-foot unit is compact in size and affordable in price. Genesis, which is scheduled to hit the road in April, is built around a core of NewTek gear that includes the Tricaster 850 Extreme switcher and the 3Play 425 replay system. D2 hopes to capitalize on the burgeoning college market that features load of live game opportunities.
“There’s this movement to get every sporting event played online and each game doesn’t have to be a huge $40,000 production,” says Walzer, “but they do want it to look professional with replay and graphics. I think the equipment that we are putting into the truck enables that to happen for the first time.”
Genesis’ production arsenal also contains Blackmagic Design’s 40×40 HD-SDI router, three AJA FS2 dual-channel frame syncs, three Sony 32-in. multiview monitors, a 19-in. program monitor, three 19-in. standalone video monitors, a Plura 217 engineering monitor, an Ensemble BE-56 test signal generator, and Grass Valley distribution and conversion tools.
Four Sony PMW-EX3 cameras drive the broadcast and the mobile unit has the ability to house six cameras.
“A lot of the stuff in the truck is we are taking stock items and we’re either customizing them or augmenting them to optimize them for broadcast,” says Walzer. “So with EX-3s we’re taking the stock camera but taking off the stock lens and putting on true sports lenses and longer lenses. We are customizing rear controls, view finders, the whole thing in order to make them user friendly for the sports world.
While the build on Genesis is not yet complete, Walzer says the truck has received significant attention from both the sports and entertainment communities.
“We’ve been doing sports television for twenty years,” says Walzer, “so we know what it takes and what a professional sports crew is accustomed to so we know to surround the infrastructure with the environment we know a pro crew is comfortable in.”