TNDV’s 4K-Capable Exclamation Mobile Unit Is Largest in the Fleet
Not too long ago, Nic Dugger, the founder and owner of TNDV Television, would have considered himself a healthy skeptic when it came to the advent of 4K/UHD. But something happened in late 2016 that changed his mind.
“Six months ago, I would have said nothing, dead, quiet, occasional, but very rare,” he said. “All of a sudden, the demand — at least the request for bids — ticked up pretty dramatically. As much as I wanted to dismiss [4K] as a stepping stone between HD and 8K, I’m starting to think that maybe it will catch on a little.”
Dugger booked four 4K shows for the final two or three months of the year. So it was a good thing that, back in June, TNDV rolled out its first fully 4K truck, Exclamation.
Exclamation, the eighth active truck in the TNDV fleet, offers quad-link 4K capabilities, with a Grass Valley Kayenne 4K-ready switcher (the first GV switcher in a TNDV truck), AJA Ki Pro recorders, and audio-production and -recording gear built around a Studer Vista X mixing console from Harman Professional Solutions. However, Dugger is quick to note that TNDV’s mission is provide mobile production facilities with highly customizable features.
“The way that we approach our entire fleet is that we don’t lock a spec list down to any one truck,” he explained. “Clients all the time ask us to send them a spec list, and we can’t. I ask them, ‘What do you want? Do you want eight cameras or 18? Do you want one long lens or 12?’ We build truck packages per show, per client, and our inventory is liquid. It’s different every show.”
A major driving force behind the decision to build Exclamation was size. TNDV was founded in the early 2000s when Dugger saw a hole in the mobile-production marketplace: midsize facilities. Support for four- or five- camera shows was hard to find at the time, and TNDV began a successful business catering to the needs of those clients.
By 2015, Dugger had realized that he was having to turn business away simply because clients were asking to fit significantly larger crews into his trucks. So TNDV got together with Gerling and Associates to draw up a blueprint for a truck that would maximize capacity for more bodies. Exclamation can hold up to 30 seated people.
“That sounds like an impossible number to fit inside a truck,” he laughed, “but we do it all the time. The additional floor space that we’ve added makes such a huge difference.”
Exclamation is the first unit in TNDV’s fleet to offer full 1080p broadcast and production support with 24-frame-per- second capability, and the GV Kayenne switcher provides up to 192 inputs and 96 outputs of native 1080p support, with the ability to support 4K productions upon request.
Exclamation worked its first event in June — the Walmart shareholders meeting — which doesn’t sound like much, except that it was a multiday event welcoming 10,000 attendees into a full-size professional sports arena. Since then, the unit has worked the Dove Awards, a big 17-camera show celebrating the year in Christian and gospel music, as well as a 4K-transmission test with DirecTV at the Country Music Association (CMA) Awards in early November.
Note: This article was originally published in the 2017 SVG Mobile Production Yearbook.