CSP Mobile Productions Taps Kentucky Trailer Technologies for HD2
This fall, CSP Mobile Productions’ newest mobile unit will hit the road. HD2, a 53-ft. expando wired for 16 cameras with 720p and 1080i capabilities, will roll out on the first trailer constructed by Michigan-based Kentucky Trailer Technologies. While the name may be new in the mobile-unit space, the manufacturer is no stranger to sports production.
Kentucky Trailer Technologies recently acquired Calutech Mobile Solutions’ engineering and manufacturing properties. In 2010, Calutech built the trailer for HD2’s predecessor, HD1, which debuted in March 2011. When CSP Mobile Productions decided to expand its fleet this year, company President Len Chase connected with Phil Bingham, who had made the transition from Calutech to Kentucky Trailer Technologies.
“With CSP, we’re looking to further our relationship going forward with more of [their] projects,” says Bingham, now director of Mobile Broadcast/Medical for Kentucky Trailer Technologies. “[We hope] to increase [our] relationship with other Alliance members and other TV-production companies to increase our build cycle [and] put more Kentucky Trailer production trailers on the road. Our goal is to introduce Kentucky Trailer Technologies into the video-production market.”
CSP Mobile Productions placed the order for HD2’s trailer last week and will be making final decisions on equipment and design in the coming weeks. The truck is slated to go online in November.
“We’re really hoping this relationship that we’re starting with Kentucky Trailer Technologies is going to be a solid one. We’ve been very happy with our Calutech [trailer],” says Chase. “[Kentucky Trailer Technologies] is promising us the same quality trailer that Calutech built, and I think that relationship [is off to] a great start, because I think they could be a real powerhouse in the mobile world.”
HD2 will feature a slightly larger infrastructure than the year-old HD1 and will carry two EVS XT3 HD LSM replay servers configured for eight channels and one set up for four, Grass Valley HD Kayenne production switcher, Utah Scientific HD video router, Chyron Hyper X3.1 HD, and RTS Adam intercom system.
Wired for 16 cameras, the mobile unit will be equipped with 10 Ikegami triax/fiber base stations, 10 HDK-77EC handheld cameras, six system expanders with 7-in. viewfinders, and an assortment of Canon lenses.
“[CSP Mobile Productions] carries both fiber and triax on [our] trucks all the time, so it doesn’t matter whether we’re in a place where we have to home-run everything or if there’s full-blown SMPTE [and] they are triaxed,” says Chase. “The trucks are capable of very easily — a matter of a couple switches — [moving] between fiber and triax. We’re doing the same thing with HD2.”
CSP Mobile Productions, which has not yet selected a system integrator, plans to double the amount of MADI used in HD2. Whereas HD3 (the company converted its SD3 unit in October 2010) features 128 channels, HD2 will be installed with four BNC cables carrying 64 channels for a total of 256.
The enhanced MADI interface will allow additional audio to pass between the audio router and console, EVS replay servers (HD3 is configured to five channels, HD1 has six, and HD2 will have eight), and intercom system.
Although many of HD2’s equipment decisions have been made, CSP Mobile Productions plans to select the audio console at this year’s NAB show. HD1 and HD3 are equipped with the Calrec Omega; for HD2, Chase is seriously considering the Calrec Artemis.
“[The Artemis console] handles [a] much larger capacity on the MADI side of the world, as well as the digital side,” he explains. “It just lends itself to that because, in the Omega console, we actually hit our limit. The 256 [channels of] MADI that we’re looking at right now [would have] maxed out that console.”
HD2 will provide CSP Mobile Productions with additional inventory for the hectic fall sports season. As HD1 hits the road for college football and HD3 for Big East basketball, HD2 will be another unit in the fleet to deploy. It will roll out for Major League Lacrosse, and the company is in preliminary negotiations with Fox and ESPN.