Big Rigs Have Big Presence at NAB

The NAB exhibit space was filled with hundreds of manufacturers looking to get their equipment into the massive 53-ft. remote-production units that dominate the TV-sports landscape. But new trucks also had a big presence at the show, both on the exhibit floor and in the outdoor displays, giving attendees a chance to see the next generation of trucks and the next-generation equipment that powers them.

Corplex Chromium was on display in the outdoor area, and President Scott West says interest was strong in the unit that is identical to Iridium, making it easy for Corplex to meet client needs. “It has an open layout and a lot of space,” he notes of an interior that features motorized displays and intercom systems that can be recessed into the console and an expandable video wall for the front-bench area.

Mobile TV Group, courtesy of Spevco’s outdoor exhibit, debuted the 26HDX, which features a Grass Valley Kayenne switcher with two suites: the main suite for the home show in HD; the second (2M/E) for the visitor or 3D. According to Mobile TV Group GM Phil Garvin, the Kayenne switcher will allow both 2D and 3D shows to be produced out of the same truck without compromising either. Two EVS HD XT[2] units, three EVS HD XT[2] replay units, EVS XF[2] removable hard drives, and a Euphonix System 5-B audio mixer round out the equipment complement.

Meanwhile, inside the exhibition hall, All Mobile Video’s 3D unit was a big hit at the Sony booth. Monday and Tuesday, it was particularly busy, with attendees lined up 15-20 deep to check out the 3D-capable unit slated to hit the streets in July.

“There is a lot of interest from people for applications that are completely different than sports,” says AMV President Eric Duke. “And that’s important because there are a lot of viewer demographics that aren’t interested in sports but are into gaming, music, or award shows. We need to explore those opportunities.”

A Sony MVS-8000X production switcher will eventually be housed in the truck, allowing it to produce 3D shows from 1M/E. Duke says six channels of EVS replay will be available but graphics devices will be brought in by clients to meet their particular needs: “We’ll leave the 3D graphics decisions up to the producer.”

An important feature of the unit will be the nine 3ality Digital 3D rigs on board. Duke says that will make it easier, and less costly, for clients to go 3D. “Our experience is that eight 3D rigs seems to be the magic number,” he adds, “so we don’t think we will need more than nine.”

Whether 3D becomes a true business reality for mobile-production vendors remains to be seen. But the next generation of trucks, thanks to 3-Gbps infrastructures and more, seem ready for the challenge. Even if the market does not develop, they’ll be ready to serve the ever growing need for quality HD trucks capable of wowing the millions of viewers watching on good old-fashioned 2D sets.