MIRA Mobile’s M14HD Addresses Pac-12 Network Needs

When NEP announced in early August that it would acquire MIRA Mobile, the agreement covered MIRA’s nine HD mobile production units already on the road. By the time the acquisition was finalized on Aug. 29, MIRA’s contribution to NEP’s 70-plus fleet had expanded to 10: MIRA’s M14HD hit the road on Aug. 28.

M14HD_exterior_2MIRA Mobile’s decision to build M14HD arose from contractual obligations with Pac-12 Networks and SportsNet LA. Previously, both packages were served by M12HD, which debuted in 2012 specifically for Pac-12 Networks. M14HD replaces M12HD as MIRA Mobile’s primary Pac-12 Networks truck, allowing M12HD to be repurposed for SportsNet LA’s Los Angeles Dodgers coverage and more.

“We were able to tweak some things on M14, ask [Pac-12 Networks] some questions: ‘OK, you’ve experienced M12, what did you like? What didn’t you like? What would you like to see different or changed?’” says MIRA Mobile Director of Engineering Bill Duncan. “Really, the answer was, ‘We loved it, really wouldn’t change much, if anything, but here are some thoughts.’ So we incorporated those thoughts and made it more specific to the Pac-12 Networks workflow and what they were hoping to accomplish.”

MIRA Mobile commissioned M14HD with Gerling & Associates in December 2013 and worked with Bennett Systems to integrate the 53-ft. expando in time for Pac-12 Networks’ first football game of the season: Idaho State at Utah on Aug. 28.

M14HD_switcherM14HD includes a three-tier production area with total seating for 12, including four at the front bench, and a layout that allows staff to walk from production to audio to tape and transmission without going outside.

The truck features a 4M/E 96-input Grass Valley Kayenne digital switcher with K-Frame (MIRA’s first K-Frame installation), Evertz 334×476 HD video router, Chyron HD Duet HyperX3, Calrec Artemis Beam 64-fader audio console with Bluefin2 and Hydra2, RTS/Telex ADAM 112×112 intercom, and wiring for 16 cameras (a variety of Grass Valley models with FUJINON lenses).

M14HD comes wired for six videotape recorders and eight EVS XT3 servers in the normal configuration, which allows for multiple replay channels and various super-motion camera modes, including 6x super-motion and 4K.  MIRA can also change or adapt the wiring to other replay-server models, like Evertz DreamCatcher or Grass Valley K2 Dyno replay servers, depending on need.

M14HD_front benchIn addition, M14HD has more available fiber, more embedding and de-embedding capabilities, and greater MADI capabilities than any of MIRA Mobile’s previous trucks. The company also worked directly with Pac-12 Networks to facilitate transmission during events.

“They have transmission systems that operate off of the campus networks on all the campuses, and those are used for various purposes; in some levels of sporting events, that’s their transmission system as well as their phones, net return, and a pipeline to send server files back and forth between their network in San Francisco,” Duncan explains. “Usually, that whole package of transmission and phone support would be in a traveling case; they’d bring it out whenever necessary.

“We actually installed a version of that inside the truck, and so it’s one fiber connector basically that connects to the back of the truck,” he continues. “Now, all of a sudden, we have Internet, we have phones, we have transmission, we have conduit back and forth to their control rooms.”

As MIRA Mobile’s production units and engineering and support staff become a part of the NEP family, adopting the name NEP MIRA, the two will work together to further expand NEP’s presence across North America as well as in the UK and Australia.

“It’s been great,” says Duncan of the acquisition. “They have a lot of resources, and that’s a benefit to us. They have a lot of experience in dealing with manufacturers, and, as I understand it, they’ve got a field shop full of equipment that can be put to bear on any project as needed. Having the preeminent company in our business as your new owner is only a good thing.”