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FOR-A Switcher Drives Multi-Camera Production for Abu Dhabi Company

FOR-A HVS-490 in Cubic Media Production's broadcast truck
Abu Dhabi TV chose Cubic Media Production's newest production vehicle, equipped with a FOR-A HVS-490 switcher, for its coverage of the historic UAE Mars probe. (Image credit: FOR-A)

Cubic Media Production, a broadcast and production company based in Abu Dhabi, UAE, has anchored its newest production vehicle with a FOR-A HVS-490 digital video switcher. The truck has been booked for a variety of high-profile projects, from multi-camera production of professional football matches to last month’s coverage of the historic UAE Mars probe for Abu Dhabi TV.

Built last summer on a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van chassis, UNIT2 4K is a compact but efficient mobile unit that typically supports eight-camera HD or six-camera 4K productions. Feras Hamdan, managing partner and director of operations for Cubic Media Production, said the HVS-490 was perfect for the new truck, because it included features and options usually found in larger switchers. UNIT2 4K also uses all three of the switcher’s multi viewer outputs.

Related: FOR-A HVS-2000 Switcher Enables Large-Scale Streaming Production with a Small Crew

Beyond the HVS-490, UNIT2 4K also includes two FA-505 and three FA-9600 multi-channel signal processors, which are mainly used to convert external sources to 4K during productions. However, the processors can also be used to synchronize inputs, embed and de-embed audio, provide color correction, and down-convert footage from 4K to HD or HD to SD. Other installed FOR-A gear includes the MFR-3000 and MFR-3232 routing switchers.

This is not Cubic Production’s first FOR-A purchase; the company features FOR-A equipment in several of its mobile production units. “We trust their products for our live broadcasts as well as their support here in UAE,” Hamdan said. “The outstanding technical and operational support we receive before and after purchasing makes us confident about having FOR-A in most of our broadcast chains. It gives us a feeling that FOR-A is a team member, rather than a product.”

“You don’t get selected to produce live coverage of prime projects like the Mars probe unless your company is reliable and delivers high-quality work,” said Mohammed Abu Ziyadeh, FOR-A system engineering manager. “Cubic Production continues to put its trust in FOR-A products because they are dependable, affordable, and packed with features for HD and 4K workflows.”

With integrated frame synchronizers and multi-viewers, the HVS-490 reduces the amount of equipment required for live production. Event memory and macro functions make it easy to set up the switcher quickly for live performances, while support for multiple control panels enables several operators to work on separate tasks. MELite technology eliminates the need for multiple switchers in a multi-monitor staging scenario, and extends the switcher’s 2 M/Es to 6 M/E performance. When equipped with optional I/O expansion cards, the HVS-490 supports 40 inputs/18 outputs, 36 inputs/20 outputs, or 32 inputs/22 outputs, including two-channel HDMI outputs. Plus, FOR-A’s FLEXaKEY allows a traditional AUX bus to transform into a functional mix effects with cuts, mix, wipes, keys, and DVE including full preview.

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