Northstar HD, Game Creek’s newest unit, heads to Phoenix for ESPN’s Super Bowl coverage

By Ken Kerschbaumer

Game Creek’s Northstar HD truck has been on the road since Dec. 15 working primarily on Buffalo Sabres NHL telecasts but next week it gets some respite from the cold when it heads down to Phoenix for Super Bowl XLII. The truck will be on hand to help ESPN with its Super Bowl coverage and will be one of seven Game Creek units that will be on hand for the big game between the New York Giants and New England Patriots.

Jason Taubman, Game Creek vice president of design and new technology, says the single truck expando does not have a B-unit and as such is intended to “Run and Gun” on smaller regional shows.

“Design-wise, it borrows signal flow and other design concepts from our “FX” units (Fox “A” Football”, NASCAR, BCS, Superbowl), but scaled down,” says Taubman.

At the core of the truck is a Grass Valley Kalypso production switcher and a Qustream 288×576 Cheetah HD router. An Abekas DVEous is on board and 30 Fortel UDC-550 up/down/cross converters provide format independence. It also has all HD LCD monitoring throughout, with Evertz VIP multi-input monitor display units tied into Samsung 214T monitors.

“We’re also using Sony’s new mid-grade LCD LMD-2450W in the production area for large format video monitoring,” explains Taubman. “The video area still has Sony large format BVM series monitors. Image Video provides the TSI-1000 tally control system, which is interfaced directly with the Evertz VIP, Pesa Router, and Kalypso, giving us UMD/Tally at every monitoring position throughout the truck. We also have Leitch/Videotek TVM-900 series waveform monitors at quality control positions.”

While its wired for 20 cameras it rolls with 10 Sony 1500 cameras with Canon lenses and Vinten Vector 70 panheads for the hard cameras and Miller sticks and panheads for the handhelds. Replay includes six EVS XT2 units (it can handle up to 9, including Spotbox), X-file and, of course, whatever tape format the client requires.

“The truck can be configured with al EVS units or trade an EVS position for three tape machines,” adds Taubman. “In this way, we can easily accommodate 24 tape machines if necessary for large entertainment ISO records.”

Audio capabilities include a Calrec Bluefin Sigma with TFT metering, Pesa DRS 1024×1024 mixed format audio router, RTS ADAM (144 squared, with RVON capability). The truck also includes the usual complement of Dolby E (DP-570/571/572/563/LM-100), SRS encoding and decoding, 360 Systems Digicart E, DK Audio metering, Genelec Monitoring, and Wohler utility audio monitoring.

The other Game Creek trucks that will be on site include Yankee Clipper (also working for ESPN) and FX A, B, C, and D for the game itself and Patriot and its B-unit on hand for the pre game.

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