Platinum Uplink Services’ First Truck Is Based on Extensive Industry Experience

Platinum Uplink Services may be a new name in sports production, but the company is hardly new to the scene. Drawing on President Dustin Grubish’s industry experience, Chicago-based Platinum Uplink Services recently rolled out its first truck: a 32-ft., multiple-path satellite-transmission truck also wired for production to accommodate a wide range of small-scale sports events.

“I’ve been in the industry for 17 years, so it’s definitely something that I know very well,” says Grubish. “Most of that time, I’ve been working on the client side of it, so now this is an opportunity to put together what I think the clients’ needs are and offer them, truly fulfill that niche of what their needs really are.”

The 32-ft. multiple-path satellite truck

After Platinum Uplink Services purchased the unit late last year, the truck underwent extensive refurbishing and integration at Frontline Communications. Its two Ericsson Voyager II encoders and Ericsson RX8200 integrated receiver decoders support 16 channels of embedded audio, HD/SD, and MPEG-2/4 (4:2:0/4:2:2). ESPN recently pushed 16 channels of audio through the truck in Bristol, CT, and awarded it ESPN HD certification.

“I think [the truck will] fit great in sports [with] its multipath sports transmission,” Grubish explains. “[It is] wired and monitored for six paths [of transmission], so it could definitely support a very robust, high-intensity event requiring multiple path with full engineering troubleshooting layout.”

In building the truck, he placed heavy emphasis on signal processing, evaluating several systems before opting for Ensemble Designs’ 7600 HD/SD embedder/disembedder, 7900 HD/SD up/down/crossconverter, 5330 SD analog-to-digital converter, and 5230 SD digital-to-analog converter.

A view from inside the truck.

“I chose Ensemble Designs [because] I think they have a very clean and simple way to access all of my signal processing by their remote-control interface, and it’s held up very well,” says Grubish. “[The system has] great flexibility and [is] very easy to integrate.”

The truck also contains a Ross Video NK-MS34 34×34 HD/SDI router and a Miranda Kaleido X16 multiviewer configured for 16 input/two output. Although the truck does not yet have a permanent switcher, it is wired for 10 input/five output.

Producer's position

“I think this truck will bode well for capacity in terms of news and sports,” says Grubish. “It’s probably more of a transmission-focused truck, but it is wired for production, so it could accommodate a production switcher for smaller-scale productions: some of these C-level productions, lower-tier college, maybe even getting down to high school. We have these 24-hour regional sporting networks that have a lot of airtime to fill.”

For Platinum Uplink Services, the next step is getting the word out about the company’s new truck and becoming established as a mobile-services provider with a wealth of industry experience.

“I’ve completed a marketing trip through all the networks out on the East Coast with the truck just after my [ESPN HD] certification,” says Grubish. “Now [the next step] is building that client relationship, emphasizing the capabilities of the truck, and then just letting the truck perform.”