Red House Mobile Productions, ZDF Win at FIBT World Championship

To be successful at any major event, you must have the right team and right equipment in place. To win at a Bobsled World Championship event, you must also have the ability and will to tackle the elements and the course. Red House Mobile Productions (formerly Dotcom Mobile) did just that for German television broadcasters ARD and ZDF at this year’s World Championships in Lake Placid, NY. The 27-ft. HD-1 mobile-production truck was used by FIBT to help both ARD and ZDF cover the event.

The truck was located approximately 750 ft. away from the main finish deck. “We just made park and power before the weather started. It snowed for six straight days!” says Kurt Heitmann, president of Total RF Productions. “The snow never stopped, and that makes for a tough setup. And the temps were hovering around 10 degrees all week.”

JVC HD250 Camera signals were transmitted bidirectionally with the new Multidyne Light Box system. “We worked closely with Multidyne to engineer these Light Boxes for our JVC HD250 cameras,” says Heitmann. “They worked flawlessly in very extreme weather, and we are very pleased.”

Total RF Productions, which runs Red House Mobile Productions, also provided all the fiber for the POV cameras on the course. “Alex Milton, the main host tech manager, and FIBT put out 20-plus HD POV cams for this event,” says Heitmann, “and they had really great course coverage.”

ZDF was very specific and very organized with its signal-flow requirements. The broadcaster provided two EVS machines that were installed in a trailer next to the truck, and Total RF created operator positions on the second and third bench in the truck. All audio was embedded in the trucks; a Harris router and the EVS machines were used for the main part of the show.

“ZDF likes to isolate their reporters and tape segments while they have the main show feed on the air,” says Heitmann. “ZDF also built out an Avid edit room that was also in our router. We took embedded audio and video from the main host truck and added that into the router as well.”

Heitmann says this type of show is why the truck was built.

“There is no need for a 53-ft. expando when a show is taking live feeds and adding three to five cameras,” he says. “This truck is perfect for that.”