Grass Valley Dominates NCAA Tournament Coverage

Many of the top mobile production companies in the US are helping to televise this year’s 2010 NCAA Men’s and Women’s Division I Basketball Tournament for CBS Sports, ESPN, and Fox Sports with a variety of HD trucks carrying the latest Grass Valley video production switchers. Some will use Grass Valley HD cameras and routers as well, and a Grass Valley switcher will also be used to produce a live 3D broadcast to select theaters.

The numerous HD productions trucks will televise a series of regional tournaments leading up to the Final Four weekend tournament. Games will be produced in either the 1080i or 720p HD formats (depending upon the broadcast network) with full 5.1 surround sound audio.

“What we continue to see year after year is an industry-wide acceptance of Grass Valley switching technology for the most high-profile sports broadcasts, including college basketball’s main event,” says Jeff Rosica, SVP of Grass Valley. “No other company can offer the high-quality performance and reliability of Grass Valley gear, that’s why they are used so often and by so many different networks and sports organizations.”

Crosscreek Television Productions sent its Voyager 8 with a Grass Valley Kalypso HD Video Production Center and Voyager 9 HD truck, which features a new Grass Valley Kayenne Video Production Center, to cover the SEC men’s and women’s tournaments earlier this month.

F&F Productions will cover the Final Four and National Championship game on Monday in Indianapolis for CBS Sports with its GXT-15 HD truck (this same truck was used for the broadcast last year), which is built around a Kalypso HD switcher, and several “B” support trucks.

Game Creek Video handled the ACC tournament for ESPN, live from Greensboro, N.C. with its “Patriot” truck, which carries a Kalypso HD. The company also sent its “Northstar” truck, also housing a Kalypso HD switcher, to cover the ACC men’s and women’s regional tournaments for Fox Sports. Game Creek’s newest mobile unit “Liberty” which has a Kayenne on board will cover some of the NIT tournaments as well as portions of the Woman’s NCAA games.

New Century Productions will send its NCP 8 53-foot expanding truck to handle the pre- and post- Final Four shows in Indianapolis. The truck features a Kalypso HD switcher and numerous Grass Valley GeckoFlex signal processing modules—frame syncs, cross converters, etc.—and fiber-optic transmission products on board to handle the numerous cameras located throughout the Lucas Oil Stadium arena.

NEP Supershooters will handle a number of Women’s Final Four and NIT tournaments with its SS9 HD truck, which is built around a Kalypso HD switcher. The company will also cover Women’s March Madness, with its SS23 truck, which also features a Kalypso HD switcher, LDK 6000 WorldCam HD cameras, and Trinix and Concerto Series routers for video and audio signal distribution. Its SS25 truck carries a Kalypso with more than a dozen LDK 8000 Elite WorldCam HD cameras, a Trinix and Concerto Series routers.

“We have been a longtime user of Grass Valley technology because we know we can rely on it when a major production is on the line,” says George Hoover, Chief Technology Officer at NEP Supershooters. “Our clients expect high-quality results every time out so we have to give them the best tools to achieve their goals. That’s why we continue to use Grass Valley production technology and systems on our trucks.”

NEP will also use the SS9 truck, in tandem with Pace Fusion 3D stereoscopic technology, to deliver the Men’s Final Four semifinal and national championship games live in 3D to 100 Cinedigm Certified Digital Cinemas across the country. The complex 3D live production will be handled on site in Indianapolis with a Grass Valley Kalypso HD switcher.

“We use a great deal of Grass Valley’s signal processing and distribution modules because of their flexibility of application and ironclad reliability,” says Mike Mundt, Director of Engineering at NCP. “That’s most important in our business.”