THE STRONG SHOWERS THAT RAINED ON MONTREAL ON MAY 29 WERE LIKE A BAPTISM, AND A WATERPROOFING TEST, FOR THE HD MOBILE PRODUCTION VEHICLE DESIGNED AND ASSEMBLED BY THE MONTREAL-BASED SUPPLIER CEV FOR THE COMMUNITY TELEVISION CHANNEL OF THE NOVA SCOTIA EASTLINK CABLE DISTRIBUTOR.
AN INTERVIEW BY ALEXIS GAGNON/QFQ
As the modified Freightliner truck’s roof protected us from the bad weather, Alain Leblanc, CEV technical director, gave the guests a tour of the interior, describing the different components of this surprisingly spacious studio, which offers all the equipment required to report on sports events and cultural activities, live or prerecorded.
“An entire team of producer, director, journalist, switcher and character generator can work here” said Alain Leblanc. “With everything at their fingertips, they can produce large size broadcasts. The truck is equipped with six Sony HD cameras. Everything is triaxial, instead of fiber optic, because not all Maritimes arenas are equipped with fiber optics. ”
The technical director said the Eastlink TV mobile studio will be in service all year long, covering hockey games of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (Halifax, Sydney, and Charlottetown), as well as soccer and football games.
The coverage of cultural events, including music shows, will also be on the calendar. Eastlink will be able to count on a fully digital DiGiCo sound console capable of processing 96 audio channels. In the video department, the production team will benefit from a slow-motion system from Grass Valley technologies, as well as Dino software running on Summit servers.
“Tonight, as we hand over the finished product to Eastlink, let’s celebrate with them the conclusion of a major project and let’s take this opportunity to show our industry partners what can be done locally”, summarized Alain Leblanc.
Six months were needed to design and develop this mobile HD production vehicle.
EASTLINK TO USE MOBILE PRODUCTION VEHICLE ASAP
This brand-new, state-of-the-art HD mobile production vehicle from Eastlink TV is owned by Canada’s largest private cable television company. It left Montreal for Halifax on May 30 at eight o’clock sharp. The truck, said Kaushal Hathi, director of operations, will not stop along the way because the whole Eastlink TV team “cannot wait to see it arrive at the station”.
“We cover a lot of events in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island,” said Kaushal Hathi. Nowadays, high definition is a must. That’s why we went to CEV, with whom we have an excellent relationship. Alain Leblanc, as chief engineer, oversaw this project from start to finish. Along with his design skills, he was also a fountain of knowledge, helping us optimize the way we can use all the new equipment at our disposal”
The mobile HD production vehicle will be a welcome addition to the small fleet operated by the community channel, which had until now counted on two 26-feet SD trucks that offered no possibility of expansion. The new vehicle will be used to cover a soccer tournament that will take place in a few weeks. As part of a “second phase”, the channel’s headquarters facilities will also be upgraded in the near future, Kaushal Hathi said.
Eastlink TV takes its community broadcaster mandate seriously, said Kaushal Hathi, adding that, along with hockey games at the QMJHL, there will also be coverage of the Atlantic University Sports league games.
In operation for over 20 years, Eastlink is the property of multimillionaire John L. Bragg, also head of Oxford Frozen Foods.