Game Creek Video, a provider of advanced mobile television production facilities, has launched four new mobile units in the last year—with a fifth nearing completion—relying on Riedel Communications' ultra-dense IP gateway solutions for intertruck connectivity. Riedel's MediorNet FusioN standalone IP converters drive full SMPTE ST 2110-based signal processing in the five mobile production systems—all of which represent the state of the art in 4K/HDR production.
All five of the new Game Creek mobile facilities are 53-foot expandable systems and deploy an entire remote IP facility into a single truck, therefore eliminating the need for a secondary B unit for onsite support. Bravo and Columbia, the first two Game Creek Video mobile facilities to feature the Riedel IP infrastructure solutions, were launched in late 2019, with Gridiron A, Gridiron B, and Celtic following earlier this year.
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Bravo and Gridiron are dedicated to FOX Sports' NFL and college football coverage, while CBS Sports has reserved Columbia and Celtic for its NFL and college basketball broadcasts. Gotham, the truck currently in development, will enable MSG Networks' coverage of New York Rangers hockey and New York Knicks basketball games.
"With Bravo, we were taking a significant new direction in our facility design by trying to achieve full IP workflows within the footprint of a single mobile unit,” said Keith Martin, engineering project manager, Game Creek Video. “Naturally, that meant finding robust and effective solutions that could also run as cool as possible and meet the space constraints and weight restrictions of a 53-foot truck. Not only do the Riedel MediorNet devices check all of those boxes, but, as native IP and 2110 solutions, they allow us to maximize all of the benefits of IP operations including lower cost per path, reduced setup time, connectivity with our legacy assets, and overall simplicity of deployment.”
Deployed on board each truck are 16 high-density Riedel MediorNet FusioN 6 gateways and two 2-RU MediorNet MBR 18 chassis, which work in combination to create a pair of truck-to-truck interfaces, known as Game Creek Video's T2T, each enabling support of up to 32x32 optical video paths. This Riedel equipment effectively reduces up to 128 strands of fiber cable to only eight—greatly simplifying each production and reducing points of failure.
The MediorNet-based T2T interface also creates vendor-agnostic connectivity between the five new trucks and Game Creek Video's fleet of legacy, SDI baseband facilities, eliminating the need to convert SDI signals from electrical copper to optical fiber and then back again. Using a 25-gigabit Ethernet interface, the FusioN gateways can transport signals on the SMPTE ST 2110 network and then output them as CWDM-wavelength SDI directly to legacy equipment in a baseband truck.
"The ability to not only interconnect any of our 2110-based facilities with each other, but with any of our traditional baseband SDI mobile facilities, brings incredible flexibility to each production and allows us to maximize the investment in our entire fleet of vehicles," Martin said. "But the main reason we leaned heavily into Riedel for the T2T interface is the incredible versatility of the solution. In a single box, we have a complete solution for handling SDI, CWDM wavelength, and the other complexities of the deployment. Plus, the Riedel team was outstanding to work with, helping us conceptualize and then realize a new approach that replaced products we had been relying on for a very long time. Riedel is an important partner now."