CBC’s Infinity To Give Small Shows the Big-Production Treatment

For CBC Mobile Productions, the timing could not have been more ideal. In January, the company will roll out Infinity, the latest addition to its fleet, after a perfect storm of opportunity made adding a truck possible, economical, and necessary.

In early 2011, CBC was approached by a Montreal-based truck vendor looking to sell a small mobile, which had relatively new all-HD equipment.    At the time, CBC was leasing three 53-ft. expando SD trucks, including a 2006 Gerling-built trailer.

“We said, here’s an interesting opportunity to get a great deal on used HD equipment and get a trailer that’s actually fairly new for a great price,” says Dale Smith, director, CBC Mobile Productions.

With the lease on the SD mobiles set to expire, CBC exercised an end-of-lease option to purchase them, having already decided to move forward on purchasing the small HD unit. Of the three SD trucks bought by CBC, one was decommissioned to be sold as a rack-ready 53-ft. expando; another is being kept in service. The third truck, the 2006 Gerling , is currently being converted from SD to HD.  It is called Infinity.

“We created a build of an HD truck at half the cost of the Évolution truck we built a year ago,” said Smith. “Évolution and Infinity have very similar layouts and engineering functionality.”

The 53-ft. expando features an Evertz EQX router, a Grass Valley Kalypso switcher, and a 48 multilayer Calrec Artemis audio console with Bluefin technology. Chyron’s HyperX3 and Lyric Pro and a Harris Inscriber G3 will drive graphics for Infinity, and two six-channel EVS XT[2] servers will provide replays.

The truck will also house two HDCAM and one HDCAM SR decks, XHub[2], XFile2, DigiBeta, Beta SP/SX, DVD, and Sennheiser, Crown, and Sony microphones.

Equipped with six Sony HD cameras, and Canon and Fuji lenses, Infinity is uniquely positioned to give a large-production feel to smaller events.

“What we’re basically doing is bringing a six-camera truck onto the marketplace [that] has the real estate of our 53-ft. expando trucks,” explains Smith,”[for] production companies [that] only require four to six cameras and a couple EVS units but don’t want to go into a smaller truck.”

Currently being integrated and wired by Diversified Systems in Santa Clara, CA, Infinity will come online in December and be put into full service in January. While the truck has the functionality to build on and can be expanded for larger productions, CBC sees Infinity as a large truck for smaller, budget-conscious productions.

“Too often, we see, in our industry, clients go into a midsize HD mobile and overutilize the resources of that truck, not only from a space [perspective] but from an engineering point of view,” explains Smith, “whereas we’re bringing a truck on the market that’s not going to cost the same as a large HD unit but allows us a lot of flexibility to handle the small-budget shows and build on it for the large-budget shows. This way, we bring the best of both worlds to our clients in one mobile.”