Token Creek’s Chippewa Delivers All-in-One Sports Production

One of the nation’s fastest-growing mobile-HD- and digital-television-production companies will grow even more before 2012 draws to a close. Token Creek Mobile Television, based in Waunakee, WI, will add Chippewa to a fleet that already boasts Varsity, Hiawatha, and Sioux.

“We saw a need that there were still more HD resources needed in our field, [and] we want to grow the company,” says Brendan Clark, director of engineering, Token Creek. “[Chippewa] is built primarily for sports, but we also do corporate and entertainment shows as well.”

The interior of Chippewa includes two EVS XT3 replay servers wired for six channels and four channels, respectively.

At the heart of Chippewa is a PESA HD 288×576 multirate video router and 3G-capable Cobalt Digital signal-processing gear, including Cobalt’s HPF-9000 high-power frames populated with HD-SDI reclocking, MADI, and audio DAs; frame syncs; and Cobalt’s 9901-UDX-HD 3G up/down/crossconverters with 16 channels of AES embedding and color-correction software.

The 48-ft. expando features a Grass Valley HD Kayenne 4.5M/E HD switcher with 96 inputs and 48 outputs, and six keyers per M/E (total of 30). Graphics are handled by Chyron HyperX3 dual-channel HD-SDI clips players and Lyric PRO 8.1 and Windows XP. Chippewa is wired for 14 tape machines and includes two EVS XT3 servers with six channels and four channels, respectively.

Ten Grass Valley LDX8000 cameras equipped with FUJINON lenses and two JVC HD GYHM750ULL camcorders compose the camera complement, supported by six Cartoni Delta heads and sticks and eight Vector 70 heads with quickset tripods. In total, Chippewa is wired for 12 cameras and can handle both SMPTE fiber and triax.

The monitor wall features NEC, Marshal, and Sony flat-panel technology. A 272×272 RTS ADAM system populated for 104×104 serves communications.

For audio, Token Creek selected a Calrec Artemis with Bluefin desk with 64 faders and MADI interface. The console features 128 analog inputs and 64 outputs, as well as 128 AES inputs and 128 outputs.

“We’re pretty excited about it,” says Clark. “It’s going to have a very substantial audio complement on it. It’s going to be a nice powerful truck in a relatively small footprint.”

Integrated by Beck Associates, Chippewa completed its first production during Thanksgiving week. The truck will serve a variety of shows in the coming months, primarily covering college football and college basketball but without a network contract.

“It’s a for-hire truck that’s built on our specs, so it’s [available for various productions],” explains Clark. “We do [productions] for ESPN regional, for Raycom Sports, [and] for Alliance Productions.”

Chippewa does not require a B unit, allowing it to serve a variety of productions.

“The business still seems to be growing right now,” Clark observes. “We see a lot of people moving towards large — A, B, or more — units, and we try to stay in a single-truck package.

“We try to design [trucks] so that they’ll work in all kinds of applications,” he continues. “The main thing we try to design for is flexibility, so we try to make it a solid unit that’s rapidly deployable, quick and easy to set up for a set-shoot-strike day, but has the infrastructure to do a very large show as well.”

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