Bexel installs crewless home studios for FOX Sports 1
Bexel, a unit of the Vitec Group’s Services Division and a leading worldwide provider of broadcast services and solutions, recently built, tested, shipped and installed 16 self-contained, crewless home studios for some of FOX Sports 1’s top talent. The innovative systems are permanently installed in the analysts’ homes, allowing them to go on air immediately as required.
“We had less than 30 days to procure, build, test and distribute all 16 systems, but we were more than ready for the challenge,” said senior vice-president of Bexel ESS Scott Nardelli. “We were able to manage logistics and get the gear needed, where they needed it. From staging the units in various holding locations around the country before deployment, to installing the bonded T1s from the point of presence to the interior of the homes, to running the cables in a way that hid them from view and worked within the existing décor and framework of the houses, our team delivered at every step in the process.”
Since the network’s August launch, the in-home location segments have become staples of FOX SPORTS LIVE, FOX FOOTBALL DAILY and other FOX Sports 1 programming. Brian Billick in Queenstown, Md., Ken Rosenthal in New York, N.Y., Mike Garafolo in Hoboken, N.J., Jon Paul Morosi in Ann Arbor, Mich., Reid Forgrave in Des Moines, Iowa, and Alex Marvez in Miami, Fla., are among the analysts who have been prominently featured from the new installations. FOX Sports 1 simply connects into any of the in-home studios via a bonded T1 pair, and goes live with HD quality video.
The systems include AW-HE60SN Panasonic cameras that can be manned remotely from the FOX Sports 1 control room in Los Angeles, allowing them to pan, tilt, zoom or adjust color and saturation. Litepanels 1×1 Bi-Color panels were chosen to provide key light, fill light, and back light on stands, and can also be controlled remotely. The backdrops, approximately 6-by-6 feet and featuring the FOX Sports 1 logo, are customized to the individual home locations. Beyond the standard backdrops are smaller pull-up devices, and in one case, a motorised unit that comes down from the ceiling.
Rack mounted cases, approximately 48-by-24-by-30 inches, are at the core of the systems. Their contents include a UPS that controls power, an IP Power Switch which allows the system to be turned on and off remotely from Los Angeles, a network switch that keeps the circuit open, a Haivision Mako encoder, and audio and video support that provides the IFB and camera feeds.