F&F Productions’ GTX-16 HD mobile unit is back for a second year at the US Open, having launched at the event last year. GTX-16 is once again serving as the primary truck for CBS’s host feed — which is taken by ESPN, Tennis Channel, the world feed, international broadcasters, and others — from the USTA Billie Jean King Tennis Center, following a full season of SEC college football on CBS.
Ryan Hatch on hand with one of F&F’s two US Open trucks.
“The first year went very well for [GTX-16],” says F&F Productions SVP Ryan Hatch. “It debuted here last year and moved directly into SEC college football, where it performed flawlessly. We’re very happy with year one and excited for year two.”
This marks the fifth consecutive year that an F&F truck is at the center of the US Open production. GTX-15 ran the show for CBS and ESPN from 2007 to ’09, served as ESPN’s secondary truck last year, and is being used this year by ESPN International, which is looking to increase its presence at the Open.
GTX-15 and GTX-16 feature a nearly identical all-in-one layout that does not require a B unit. Earlier this summer, F&F installed a brand-new virtual-monitor wall in GTX-15 (as well as in GTX-12 and -14) to match that of GTX-16
“Four out of the five trucks have virtual walls now,” says Hatch. “That is key [because] that is where we see the [market] heading. Plus, we transferred the LCD monitoring from [GTX-15] into the GTX-11.”
GTX-16 is equipped to handle anything CBS might require with a Grass Valley Kayenne production switcher, K2 Summit server, Calrec Apollo audio console with up to 1,020 channel-processing paths, five six-channel EVS XT+ servers, and a 3G Evertz router with 288×576 inputs and outputs. It is wired for 24 cameras and 25 VTRs.
As soon as GTX-16 finishes up the US Open on Finals Sunday, it will head to Gainesville, FL, to kick off a follow-up season of SEC football for CBS Sports, beginning with Florida-Tennessee on Sept. 17.
“We’re very happy with where we are right now,” says Hatch. “The strength of F&F is taking an annual capital budget and folding it back into the trucks to keep all our equipment as up to date as possible. We always want to provide the client with the best possible equipment, and, with our size — five trucks right now — we have the ability to do that with every truck.”