CSP Mobile Productions Expands Fleet With Fourth New HD Truck in Three Years

It has been a very busy three years for CSP Mobile Productions, and it doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon. In November, the Maine-based mobile provider rolled out its fourth 53-ft. HD mobile unit since 2010 (three new trucks and an SD upgrade), and, according to President Len Chase, the entire fleet has is likely to be booked solid for the foreseeable future.

HD4 represents the fourth HD truck rolled out by CSP in the past three years.

HD4 represents the fourth HD truck rolled out by CSP in the past three years.

“As we say in the business, we didn’t have a lot of white spaces open, so we were looking to create some more inventory,” says Chase. “Our other three trucks have stayed very busy, and we were concerned going into 2014 that we didn’t have any space to grow with any of our existing clients, let alone take on any new clients. So we are trying to get ahead of the curve. We want to be able to have the inventory available should the client need it, rather than having to play catch-up.”

HD4, which was integrated by Little Bay Broadcast Services and rolled out in November, joins HD1 (producing Fox Sports 1 college football), HD2 (CBS Sports Network college football), HD3 (NBC Sports Network college football and hockey), and SD5 (a 40-ft. SD truck) in the CSP fleet.

The new truck is built around the 3 Gbps-ready Grass Valley Kayenne production switcher (4.5M/E) with K-Frame, making HD4 a fully 1080p-capable truck should the need arise.

“All of our trucks have been set up as 1080p, but the switcher was something we couldn’t do until now,” says Chase. “So, as soon as the K-Frame became available [in June], we opted to put it in this truck. If the 1080p [format] takes off, then we are backwards-compatible with our HD2 truck and can put a K-Frame in that as well. Everything else in that truck is set up for 1080p already.”

HD4 was integrated by Little Bay Broadcast Services.

HD4 was integrated by Little Bay Broadcast Services.

With 1080p-capability in mind, HD4 is also equipped with 10 Ikegami HDK-95C HD cameras (featuring native multiformat 2.5 million-pixel, ⅔-in. CMOS sensors) with Canon lenses. The HDK-95Cs are upgradable to 24p and 3G formats, including 1080/60p and 4:4:4 24p.

“We have been approached for some possible contract negotiations,” says Chase, adding, “1080p capability has been a key element that those clients have been looking for as they look down the road.”

In terms of replay, HD4 is equipped with an eight-channel EVS XT3 production server, two six-channel EVS XT3s, and a four-channel EVS SpotBox (replay only). After serving as the beta-test subject for EVS’s LSM Connect tablet-based application on HD2, CSP has brought the solution back permanently on HD4.

HD4's Calrec Artemis audio console with Bluefin2 and Hydra2 technology

HD4’s Calrec Artemis audio console with Bluefin2 and Hydra2 technology

“The LSM Connect tablets allow us to split the eight-channel EVS into two four-channel boxes so that two operators have all the functionality of being at their own machine,” says Chase.

CSP has also inked a deal with EVS to install a 10-Gbps EVS network in HD4 once the technology becomes available.

“The 10-gig network is not available yet, but, as soon as they start shipping it, we are the first ones to get it,” says Chase. “Once again, we are looking to be a step ahead of what is actually required, but that is because we have certain clients looking into that for the future.”

Additional gear includes a Calrec Artemis audio console (with Bluefin2 and Hydra2 technology), ChyronHego Mosaic graphics, and a Utah Scientific UTAH-400 digital routing switcher.