Fox Sports hits road with new Game Creek truck

By Carl Lindemann
The industry’s newest production truck is hitting the streets this week as Game Creek Video’s new multi-trailer unit for Fox gears up for the upcoming season. But the truck is designed to produce more than just event coverage. It is intended to create an engaging spectacle for audiences.

The Fox A-B-C unit is a pair of 53-foot production trailers with a third 53-foot tender. But that is just the core equipment. After Fox’s coverage of this fall’s NFL season ends, the three-trailer unit will expand to five for NASCAR adding additional audio capabilities and a mobile studio.

Fox A-B-C (plus D-E) pushes the envelope for high end HD production providing plenty of room for equipment and staff. But what makes this work isn’t just the budgetary horsepower required to spec-out all the latest gear including a full-blown Dolby E surround sound audio room using a 1024×1280 Pesa DRS router, Calrec Alpha mixing board, a Grass Valley Kalypso switcher, a full complement of Sony HDC 1500 multiformat HD cameras with Canon glass, Chyron Duet HD HyperX graphics, Evertz VIP multiviewers, and an even dozen six-channel EVS units. The real trick, according to Jason Taubman, Game Creek’s VP of Design and New Technology, is the interconnect technology to closely integrate the separate trailers into a single, unified infrastructure.

“Our true innovation is that we’ve used all fiber,” says Taubman. “There isn’t a piece of copper anywhere. People can’t believe that monitoring, audio and video data, Ethernet and intercom are all going through this one, small snake. This carries everything, and in some ways that’s frightening. So we’ve set it up as a redundant pair because you can count on one getting severed sometime.”

The fiber joins a PESA DRS routing system that is split between the A and B trailers.

“We believe this is an industry first, and it is the first design PESA has built that splits the router into two discreet locations. The split allows for audio transport over fiber, the audio router is the conduit,” says Taubman.

Aside from allowing this new level of scalability, the router-centric design saves setup time. “The goal is to be able to reconfigure from show to show without having a throw a single patch,” adds Taubman.