IBC2013 Q&A: Kevin Moorhouse, COO, Gearhouse Broadcast

Sports-wise, what has been the headline story of the past 12 months for Gearhouse?
The biggest project we’ve been involved in over the last 12 months is definitely Formula 1. We were commissioned to build a four-pod bespoke system for Sky’s F1 channel, which slots together to form a fully kitted-out OB facility. The four pods and six amp containers then get shipped around to each of the race venues in the F1 calendar. They’ll be in Spa for the next race, then on to Monza. It’s a bit like a travelling circus that goes from track to track.

2012 was such a landmark year for sports broadcasting. Has there been a sense of anticlimax about 2013, or has it proven to be comparably busy?
We always find that the odd years aren’t as busy as the even ones simply because you don’t get the big headline sporting events like the Olympics and FIFA World Cup. However, we’ve still had a very busy year so far with projects like F1 and the ATP 1000 and 500 tennis. We’ve also been busy with a project for the World Cup coverage for host broadcaster HBS; we’ve done all the design and have started the build. We’re due to complete the first TOC and hand it over for testing in September. Once this design is agreed with HBS, we then begin work on the remaining 11 TOCs.

In what ways has Gearhouse worked to strengthen/expand its inventory during 2013? And what’s on the horizon in terms of new investments in equipment, etc.?
This year, we’ve mainly invested in camera technology from Hitachi, with who we have a strategic partnership. We’ve bought Canon lenses, a number of vision mixers from Sony as well as kit from Harris, Miranda, and Snell. We’ll be looking to make further investments at IBC for the World Cup project as well. 4K is definitely the next big thing on our horizon, and we’ll be talking to a lot of manufacturers like Evertz, Miranda, Sony, Hitachi, and EVS about what 4K equipment is out there — everything from OB cameras, vision mixers, routing, and servers. We’ve already had a number of inquiries about 4K, and we’re aiming to have a 4K flyaway built and in operation by NAB in the spring.

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