021 Television shines at UEFA Cup Football Final

By Kevin Hilton

SVG Europe correspondent

The UEFA Cup Football Final between Espanyol and Sevilla takes place at Hamden Park in Glasgow on Wednesday evening and will be originated in HD and 5.1. Host broadcast facilities are being provided by UK outside broadcast company 021 Television, which is using its new Unit 7 HD truck as part of the facilities.

Unit 7 will work with Unit 8, the company’s first HD truck, which went into operation at the beginning of the year. Unit 8 is to originate international video and audio in HD and 5.1 surround sound, with Unit 7 providing presentation facilities for UK coverage on digital channel ITV4.

The building of Units 7 and 8 was part of a 10 million investment pledged by Gravity Media Group, which bought 021 in 2006. The 13.5-metre Unit 7 cost 2 million and is equipped with 20 Sony HDC 1500 cameras and two Sony HDC 3300 super-motion cameras, plus a 54 input, 24 output MVS 8350 3.5 MD vision mixer.

The truck is switchable between HD and SDI and has a two tier VTR area that can accommodate up to seven operators. A maximum of 14 video recorders can be installed in the VT suite, including three EVSXT-2s.

In the audio section Unit 7 has a 128-digital input Calrec Sigma console with Bluefin processing technology and the Hydra network, which enables it to connect to the Calrec Alpha desk in Unit 8 and create a single, big input mixing environment.

Kevin Moorhouse, technical director of Gravity Media Group, commented, “Although a single expanding truck the VTR capacity of Unit 7 is impressive and makes it perfect for light entertainment and music production.”

ITV has the rights to the UEFA Cup tournament from the quarter finals onwards, which effectively gives the broadcaster responsibility for host coverage. Although host feeds are in HD and 5.1 not all broadcasters are taking the transmission in those formats. German channels are certainly broadcasting in HD but those in France, Spain and even ITV in the UK will be transmitting the game in SD.