NEP Rolls Out Two New Trucks With More on the Way

It is shaping up to be a busy 2012 for NEP Broadcasting, which has already rolled out two brand new mobile production units and has three more on the way. NEP Supershooters’ ND5 and NEP Denali’s Silver (previously referred to as Arizona) debuted in February on NBC’s Hockey Day in America coverage (Feb. 19) and the Academy Awards international feed (Feb. 26), respectively.

“We are continuing to build upon our legacy and refine our [fleet],” says NEP CTO George Hoover. “We continue to make improvements in order to make our [mobile units] as state of the art as possible with the addition of proven and reliable technology.”

ND5 tape area

NEP now boasts a total of 47 production trucks on the road today with plenty more on the horizon. The company will roll out ND6 for Supershooters in June, and has plans to debut Entourage for the Sweetwater fleet and another HD truck for its UK fleet later this year.

“At this point in time, technology for remote production trucks is in an evolutionary, not revolutionary stage, which makes it all the more important refine our [methods] with each new truck,” says Hoover. “Manufacturers are simply refining what they had been making recent years, so if you are building a truck today, it is not going to be that radically different than it was a couple years ago. Now, if you’re talking about three years from now, that may not be the case.”

ND5 Joins the Supershooter Family
ND5, which is being used by NBC Sports Group for its NHL coverage before moving on to Notre Dame college football in the fall, is a single truck unit geared towards sports production and light entertainment shows. Similar to Supershooters 16, 18, and 20, ND5 features a large three-tier control room, a back-to-back layout in the tape area, and virtual monitor walls throughout.

ND5's audio infrastructure is highlighted by a Calrec Artemis Beam console.

This latest addition to the Supershooters fleet is built around a Grass Valley Kalypso switcher (3.5 M/E and 90 inputs) and a PESA HD router (192×176). The truck is also equipped with a Chyron Hyper X3 graphics system, five 6-channel EVS XT3 slow-motion replay systems (as well as an EVS Spot Box, X-File, and IP Director) a full complement of Sony HDC-1000 and HDC1500 cameras with Canon lenses.

At the center of the audio infrastructure is a Calrec Artemis Beam audio console featuring Bluefin 2 high density signal processing (totaling 340 channels and 6 MADI interfaces), three Calrec Hydra2 I/O boxes, and a PESA distributed audio router. Sennheiser mics, shotgun mics, and announcer headsets are also on board.

Silver Streaks onto the Denali Scene
Silver, which was originally referred to as Arizona up on its debut at the Academy Awards last month, is an entertainment-specific truck with a similar layout and design to NEP Denali’s California truck (which debuted last summer).

With a wide two-tier control room and a large audio room with seating for three, this single-truck unit is geared towards multi-camera reality programs and light entertainment. NBC will use Silver to produce The Voice when the show begins airing live episodes later this month.

“Arizona is a slightly smaller version of [California] with the same physical footprint and equipment complement,” says Hoover. “The only real difference is that California has a massive audio infrastructure designed to do a show like the Tony Awards or Kennedy Center Honors without a separate audio truck, while Arizona just has a smaller audio infrastructure intended for shows that don’t have a live orchestra.”

At the heart of Silver is with a Grass Valley Kalypso switcher and a Grass Valley Trinix HD router. On the audio side is a Calrec Alpha audio console with MADI and Hydra and a Grass Valley Apex audio router. In addition, Silver features wiring for 20 tape machines and two EVS servers, virtual monitor walls throughout, and Sony cameras.

“We have [NEP Denali units] Summit and California to do big really big audio shows,” says Hoover. “But for shows like The Voice, Americas Got Talent, or So You Think You Can Dance, audio not typically the total [responsibility] of the mobile unit. Either it is all prerecorded or it is being done by a separate audio truck. Silver is perfectly suited for shows like this.”