Crosscreek Adds Voyager 10 To Complete HD Triumvirate

Two years ago, procuring funds for an HD mobile-production unit without a dedicated contract from a broadcaster would have been next to impossible. However, as the economy claws its way back, mobile-production vendors like Crosscreek Television Productions have found it less difficult to obtain financing for new trucks. Proving this trend, Crosscreek will roll out its third HD mobile unit, Voyager 10, in December, without an exclusive contract.

“With the economy a year or two ago, you just couldn’t build an HD truck without a [dedicated] contract,” says Crosscreek President/CEO Spruce McCree. “We even had a hard time getting the money for Voyager 9 (which debuted in summer 2009) even though it had two contracts on it. I don’t know if it’s a sign of the industry [recovery] or just a sign of the [rising] demand, but we know that, if we put it out there, it’s going to get used.”

The 53-ft. HD expando will operate autonomously, without a B unit, similarly to Crosscreek’s Voyager 8 and Voyager 9. To enable seamless client crossover, Voyager 10 has an almost identical layout to V-8 and V-9, featuring three production benches and a separate slide-out technical manager position.

“All of our [mobile units] are self-contained in one truck,” says McCree. “It keeps clients’ costs down. And the logistics of having to park two trucks in some of these smaller venues can be very difficult.”

Voyager 10 will feature a Grass Valley Kayenne production switcher, a Chyron Duet HyperX3, four EVS replay servers including an EVS XFile, and a Pesa multi-rate video router. Also on board, eight Sony HDC 1500 cameras with Fujinon 88x lenses.

The highlight is the new Calrec Artemis audio mixer with Bluefin2 technology and two MADI interfaces. The Artemis boasts up to 680 channel-processing paths, 128 program buses, 64 IFB/track outputs, and 32 auxiliaries.

Although Alabaster, AL-based Crosscreek plans to deploy the truck primarily on regional B- and C-level college events through Alliance Productions, Voyager 10’s infrastructure allows easy installation of additional cameras and EVS servers to produce an A-level network show, should the need arise.

“We have been unable to address the massive needs of all of our clients, as well as additional clients, because we simply don’t have enough availability,” says McCree. “We haven’t had enough capacity, and neither has Alliance, so we thought this was necessary.”

The Voyager 10 trailer is currently in final stages of completion at Gerling & Associates and will be integrated by Beck Associates later this year. McCree and VP of Engineering John Peers have set a target date of Dec. 1 for rollout.

Until then, Crosscreek will continue to stay busy with its two current HD trucks and three digital SD units, serving ESPN, Fox Sports, Speed Channel, TVG, and others. Crosscreek also serves as a major mobile vendor for ESPN Regional Television’s coverage of SEC college sports and is the exclusive provider for ESPN’s NHRA drag-racing contract.

“Believe me, we are staying very busy these days, so we are very excited for [Voyager 10],” says McCree. “We have a proven track record, and we’re doing this [new truck] for the right price, so it makes sense for us, for the bank, and for our clients.”

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