1+1 Production gears up for HD in Ukraine with HD-1 and HD-2 OB revamp
1+1 Media Group is one of the largest media holding companies in Ukraine. One part of that group structure is 1+1 Production. It is responsible for creation of in-house and adaptation of international formats of various genres for TV channels of the Group — reality and dating shows, talent shows, scripted realities, TV series, sitcoms, documentary and sports programmes, original programming and information broadcasts. The production covers not only in-house needs of eight television channels of 1+1 Media, but also works with external customers.
As part of the country’s move into high definition, two of the production department’s outside broadcast trucks, OB VAN HD-1 and OB VAN HD-2, have recently been upgraded. HD-1 is a semi-trailer with a length of 16.2 metres and an expanded width of 4.25 metres, while HD-2 is based on a bus chassis with a 12 metres length and expanded width of 3.5 metres. In both cases, the upgrade work was carried out by Ukrainian systems integrator Vision House.
“The trucks have been designed to be used for all kinds of live productions, including sporting events in Ukraine,” explained Aleksey Marko, head of procurement department at 1+1 Media Group. “Both vehicles can accommdate up to 16 cameras and we find this is ideal for the type of work we undertake.”
The HD-1 van is equipped with Sony HD950 cameras with Grass Valley LDK-8300 slomo units. The same model of slomo cameras are to be found in HD-2, accompanying 14 GV LDK-3000 for main coverage. Cameras are mounted on both Sachtler and Vinten tripods. “The Sony HD950 were from our existing stock, but the Grass Valley cameras were a new purchase as part of the upgrade,” stated Yuriy Kalynovskyy, operations manager at 1+1 Production. “They are fitted with either Canon or Fujinon HD lenses.”
Both vehicles are fitted with Kahuna vision switchers. “We opted for those models because they are productive, trusty equipment which fits to our technical requirements for a good price.”
In the production gallery of HD-1 there are four 46 inch and one 42 inch Sony monitors, while in HD-2 all six are 46 inch models. Those same monitors are used for camera racking, along with 17 inch Trimaster and Kanvision screens. Working alongside the monitors are Apantac and Harris (Imagine) HViewSX Pro multiviewers. Harris is also the preferred supplier when it comes to video measurement equipment, digital glue and HD video matrix units. The Harris Navigator is used as video controller in both OB trucks.
“We operate a tapeless environment, with the exception of the tapes that are requested to meet UEFA specifications for its football matches,” revealed Kalynovskyy. “We use five Grass Valley K2 Summit and 16xAJA KiPro hard disk recorders and for tape demands two Sony HDW 1800 HDCAM machines.”
“Turning to graphics, we use a mixture of Ross XPression or Orad depending on the production.”
On the audio side, 1+1 Production has installed Calrec Artemis mixers and Calrec Hydra routers in both trucks. HD-1 is fitted with a 48 fader, 96/8 analogue/AES input, 24/8 analogue/AES output model, while HD-2 uses the 40 fader version with 72/12 analogue/AES input and 49/12 analogue/AES output. Microphones are a mix of Rode NTG8, Audio-Technika AT-877, and Sennheiser MD46 and MKH-4167.
But when it came to converters, 1+1 Production turned to DirectOut based in Mittweida, Germany for both advice and supply. “When we were looking for a solution for our new eight-floor TV centre in Kiev, our senior audio engineer, Alex Stremovskiy, did a lot of research and came across DirectOut who seemed to offer the right answers,” explained Marko. “The company produced fast and satisfactory responses to all our requests, and we found that DirectOut advised us in the best possible way with regards to our technical requirements. As a result, we installed an Andiamo.XT AES/MADI converter and two powerful M.1k2 MADI routing systems from DirectOut in the studio centre and had a very positive experience of using the company’s products in Ukraine.”
He continued, “We have three Andiamo.XT devices in total, each equipped with sample rate converters on the AES inputs, and with BNC/SC ports for the HD-2 van with switchable converter sensitivity of up to +18dBu. They work perfectly and I’m delighted to count DirectOut as one of our key suppliers.”
In conclusion, Marko said that the OB trucks are now equipped to meet the increasing demands for sports coverage in Ukraine. “The combination of equipment is well suited to the diverse needs of production schedule.”