Gravity Media's (as Gearhouse Broadcast) Australia Sales and Marketing Director, Manny Papas, says the new trucks are very much in keeping with Gravity’s global philosophy, adding, “Gearhouse Broadcast’s owner John Newton recently relocated to Australia and his edict has always been quality and presentation are paramount. Anyone who sees these trucks will also see that edict has been followed to the letter.”
Four new trucks is a big investment by any company’s standards in today’s challenging marketplace, but Gravity has experienced significant year on year growth, which, according to Papas, was the driving force behind their commissioning.
He added, “HD5 and HD6 have just been finished and gone immediately into service. This demonstrates the demand in the market for this level of OB supertruck. HD7 and HD8 are both scheduled to be finished by the end of this year and there are already several large events planned for them to cover.”
Not only do the trucks meet the market demand and add significant capacity to Gravity Media's ever-growing fleet, but they have been designed specifically with Australian broadcasting requirements and workflows in mind. The trucks also set the standard for efficient layouts providing a larger production space and more processing power than any other single truck in the market, with one of the new supertrucks now capable of doing the work that would previously have taken two standard OB trucks.
Aimed predominantly but not exclusively at live sport, Gravity Media recently saw four of its trucks, including HD5 and HD6, used simultaneously over a weekend at events that included AFL games, horse racing, and V8 Supercars. The trucks have also been used on live reality shows such as Celebrity Splash.
Each of the new supertrucks had its chassis built by world-renowned coachbuilders A. Smith of Great Bentley in the UK, a process taking six months per chassis before it is shipped for integration in Australia. The trucks also feature the latest in lighting, expanding sides, physical auto levelling and 90KW of water-cooled air conditioning as standard.
As the person responsible for translating the requirements of Gravity Media Australia’s internal team and those of its clients into the trucks’ design Head of Engineering Stephen Edwards believes it is Gravity Media's comprehensive planning and fastidious attention to detail that makes the new supertrucks a cut above any others.
Edwards added, “My team work alongside our Chief Design Consultant John Fisher, a veteran of OB truck design with over 21 to his name to date. With John’s expertise and knowledge as the driving force behind the design we are able to oversee and turn concepts into reality in every area of the truck in order that they become truly incredible production environments.”
Gravity Media's new HD supertrucks have a number of technology centrepieces. Using their considerable purchasing power the company has managed to create one of the most powerful replay environments ever built into an OB vehicle. Based around the NVISION NV8576 hybrid main vision router that embeds and de-embeds internally has a MADI I/O and an enormous amount of processing and cross conversion power, the true hybrid router offers extensive functionality to a high number of operators.
The trucks are particularly well equipped and finished to the highest levels. Standalone areas include an audio mixing and control room, replay area, production gallery, CCU and vision control and engineering space providing Gravity Media's clients with everything they need from signal acquisition to finished programme transmission.
Some of the supertrucks’ main product highlights include the fact that they are all wired for 24 CCU and 6 POV cameras and seven 8-channel EVS XT3s, they all feature an 80 input, 36 output Sony MVS7400 mixer, have four VTRs, five replay transition devices, a 64 fader MC56 Lawo audio desk and Riedel Artist 192-port talkback system.
Manny Papas concluded, “The fact that Gearhouse has a major SI business building trucks and installations for clients all over the world is a huge bonus for our clients in Australia as all of these supertrucks are designed, built and integrated in-house by Gearhouse engineers. Nothing is outsourced which means the trucks are incredibly cost efficient. These cost efficiencies are then passed onto our customers.”