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F&F Productions Truck Rolls to U.S. Open

Mobile production company F&F Productions debuted its GTX-16 mobile production truck in New York on Aug. 30-Sept. 12, to help televise the 2010 U.S. Open tennis tournament on CBS Sports. The HD-capable production truck features a Grass Valley Kayenne Video Production Center and a Grass Valley four-channel K2 Summit-based ClipStore System for producing both sports and live entertainment programs in HD.

During the U.S. Open, the truck was on-site outside Arthur Ashe Stadium managing dozens of camera feeds and animated on-air graphics. GTX-16 is the fifth truck in the F&F Productions fleet to be based around a Grass Valley HD video production switcher.

“We continue to choose Grass Valley switchers because of their reliability factor, which is most important to our clients,” says Ryan Hatch, senior vice president at F&F Productions. “We also like the Kayenne’s features and color-coded control panel, which is easy to operate for the crews and gives us a lot of flexibility to produce all types of live productions.”

Once it completes its assignment at the U.S. Open in Flushing, N.Y., GTX-16 will work with CBS Sports on a number of college football games, to be televised in 1080i HD.

“F&F Productions is always very careful about the equipment we choose for our trucks,” says Marc Orgera, vice president of sales at F&F Productions. “Our experience with Grass Valley technology has been very positive, both financially and technically.”

The Kayenne ClipStore replay system installed in GTX-16 is based on a 4-channel K2 Summit production client, providing a platform for instant, non-volatile replay of more than 10 hours of video, key and audio clips.

New F&F Productions Truck with Grass Valley Live Multi-Format HD Production Technologies to Debut at 2010 U.S. Open

Paris, France/Nevada City, Calif., August 30, 2010 — Veteran mobile production company F&F Productions, based in Clearwater, Fla., will officially debut its new GTX-16 mobile production truck in New York on August 30-September 12, to help televise the 2010 U.S. Open Tennis tournament on CBS Sports. The sophisticated, HD-capable production truck features a Grass Valley™ Kayenne™ Video Production Center and a Grass Valley four-channel K2 Summit™-based ClipStore System, for producing both sports and live entertainment programs in HD.

During the final week of the world-famous tennis tournament in September, the Grass Valley Kayenne will be at the heart of the GTX-16 truck, which will be on-site outside Arthur Ashe Stadium managing dozens of camera feeds and animated on-air graphics. GTX-16 is the fifth truck in the F&F Productions fleet to be based around a Grass Valley HD video production switcher.

“We continue to choose Grass Valley switchers because of their reliability factor, which is most important to our clients,” said Ryan Hatch, Senior Vice President at F&F Productions. “We also like the Kayenne’s features and color-coded control panel, which is easy to operate for the crews and gives us a lot of flexibility to produce all types of live productions.”

Once it completes its assignment at the U.S. Open in Flushing, N.Y., GTX-16 will work with CBS Sports on a number of college football games, to be televised in 1080i HD.

“F&F Productions is always very careful about the equipment we choose for our trucks,’’ said Marc Orgera, Vice President of Sales at F&F Productions. “Our experience with Grass Valley technology has been very positive, both financially and technically.”

The Kayenne ClipStore replay system installed in GTX-16 is based around a 4-channel K2 Summit™ production client, providing a platform for instant, non-volatile replay of more than 10 hours of video, key, and audio clips.

“F&F’s GTX-16 is just the latest in a long line of trucks that are equipped with the Kayenne Video Production Center and the Kayenne ClipStore system,” said Jeff Rosica, Senior Vice President of Grass Valley. “Truck operators the world over have discovered the operational flexibility provided by Kayenne and the economical creativity provided by theClipStore system.”

F&F Productions Serves Up New HD Truck for U.S. Open Tennis

The latest state-of-the-art production truck from F&F Productions, GTX 16, is rolling up the East Coast to get in place for its next event: the U.S. Open Tennis Championships, which begin on Aug. 30. Once there, it will be used by both CBS Sports and ESPN as the core production unit for U.S. Open coverage.

“The market is still demanding new trucks,” says Marc Orgera, VP of sales and marketing for F&F Productions. “In September and October, it can still be hard to find an HD truck, and it seems like we were always one truck short with our four HD trucks. So now we can help out our clients.”

Once finished with the U.S. Open, the truck will transition to handling CBS Sports coverage of SEC college football and the NCAA’s Final Four next April. GTX 15, the truck that used to handle those events, will be used by ESPN for the U.S. Open and also for college-football coverage.

The double-expando GTX 16 was built by Spevco and is wired for 24 cameras and 25 VTRs so it can operate without a B unit. Flat-panel monitor walls throughout a redesigned tape area allow operators to be located on both sides of the center console.

Technically, the truck has the latest bells and whistles, including a Grass Valley Kayenne production switcher with a K2 Summit server. It also has five six-channel EVS XT[2]+ servers, a Calrec Apollo audio console with up to 1,020 channel-processing paths, and 3G Evertz router with 288×576 inputs and outputs. The router makes it suitable for both 3D and 1080p productions.

“We get calls for 1080p for concerts and entertainment shows because they are looking to the Blu-ray market,” Orgera says. “The 12 Ikegami HDK-79E cameras will be upgraded to the new 1080p chip when it becomes available.”

For 3D needs, the unit’s LCD monitors can be taken down and replaced with 3D monitors. Orgera says, “We also have the space for 3D video operators and cameras, as the switcher and router are 3D-compliant.”

F&F Productions Upgrades GTX12 Monitor Wall; Entire Fleet Adds Chyron HyperX3

In a first round of new equipment purchases for 2010, F&F Productions has completed a virtual monitor wall installation and upgraded all Chyron graphic devices to the latest and more powerful HyperX3 system.

F&F’s GTX 12 is now the first in the company’s full HD fleet to feature the newest Evertz VIPA-DUO series multi-image display processor along with sixteen 32-inch Boland monitors for the virtual monitor wall. All inputs are auto-sensing SD, HD, 3Gb/s and analog of which can be displayed in any size, position or aspect ratio for true monitor wall customization.

GTX 12 offers the latest in HD production facilities including the Grass Valley Kalypso switcher, DVEous, Ikegami triax & fiber operated cameras with switchable 1080i/720p native format, Calrec Omega digital audio console with Blue fin and an array of full blown EVS XT2 servers. And as a single, self-contained expandable Mobile Unit, GTX 12 does not require a B unit for gear transport or operational support to allow for quicker set up and cost effectiveness on one day set/shoot/strikes.

In addition to the GTX 12 Virtual Monitor wall installation, F&F’s entire HD Mobile Unit fleet has been upgraded to the HyperX3 for on air graphics. This improved platform combines the Lyric PRO 7.1 software to provide precise control over every transition and effect while offering unrivaled playout flexibility and stunning graphic build capabilities.

“Staying current and ahead of the curve is where we want to be,” says F&F Productions Senior Vice President Ryan Hatch. “Our HD fleet is one of the youngest on the road and now it’s really the most current, too.”

The upgrades were completed in time to head out to Vancouver for the 2010 Winter Games, where F&F’s GTX 11, GTX 12 & GTX 15 will provide the broadcast facilities covering opening, closing and medal ceremonies as well as complete coverage out of the Sliding center for bobsled, luge, and skeleton.

F&F Productions Goes Mobile with Gepco Cables

Leading Live Television Production Company Installs Gepco Throughout New Mobile Unit

F&F Productions, a leader in the live television production industry for nearly 30 years, recently rolled out its newest mobile production unit. The GTX-14, a 53-foot High Definition Expando was furnished wall-to-wall with state-of-the-art equipment connected with cables provided by Gepco International, Inc. F&F Productions has used its latest mobile unit to cover some of the country’s most widely viewed events, including 2005 SEC College A Football games and several College Bowl games. Additionally, the truck is currently being utilized for the NCAA Basketball package and will serve as the game truck for the 2006 Final Four on CBS.

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F&F Captures History in HD at Presidential Inauguration

LAS VEGAS CONVENTION CENTER, BOOTH C-5426, APRIL 18-21, 2005: Coverage of a U.S. Presidential Inauguration is a huge undertaking that requires critical decisions and a great amount of coordination, which is why ABC News selected F & F Productions, LLC as their preferred remote production facilities vendor for their coverage of the 2005 Presidential Inauguration of George W. Bush.

“Any time there is an event of this magnitude we are working under a great deal of pressure,” explained Bill McKechney, Vice President of Engineering for F&F Productions. “Our clients have huge expectations that our equipment performs flawlessly, which is why F&F relied upon its inventory of Ikegami High Definition cameras to capture this historic nine-hour live event.”

With F&F’ GTX-11 HD Mobile unit parked at the Capitol and the GTX-12 – its identical twin – parked at ABC’ News Bureau in Washington D.C., the two sites deployed 14 Ikegami HDK-725P cameras in the cold, harsh weather to capture the scene as the nation’ political leaders arrived on the morning of January 20, 2005. “The reliability of the Ikegami cameras is second to none and they performed excellently,” said McKechney. “Ikegami’ HDK-725P is a top-of-the-line, full digital, native 720p HDTV portable camera system.”

The HDK-725P employs Ikegami’ newly developed 2/3-inch native 720p IT CCD’ for exceptional High-Definition image capture. The camera’ fully digital, high picture quality is also provided by Ikegami’ newly developed digital process ASIC’ (application specific integrated circuits), precision-designed at 0.18 micron with up to 38-bit quantization for internal digital processing. Non-linear processes such as gamma correction are performed digitally, ensuring consistent picture quality and stability.

The HDK-725P also features new HDTV system accessories that make it perfect for field applications, including the TA-79HD docking Triax Adaptor and CB-79HD CCU (camera control unit) side Converter Box. The CCU converter enables use of triax or fiber cable without any reconfiguration. Docking-type adaptors for triax or fiber cable make camera configuration quick and easy. And no local AC power is necessary because the CCU provides AC power for the full system. And for users wanting to configure the HDK-725P for studio use, Ikegami’ SE-79D System Expander allows for attachment of a studio lens and operation with a seven-inch viewfinder.

“There were five specific things we looked at as necessary criteria for the cameras we used at the Presidential Inauguration” McKechney explained regarding the HDK-725P’. These specifics included the camera’ ability to use triax, SMPTE fiber, or single-mode fiber. The camera also had to be native progressive. Viewfinder performance was also high on McKechney’ list of necessary features; it was essential to assist camera operators in framing and focusing during the nine-hour live telecast. “ABC had a vision to bring the nation to Washington D.C. for the Inauguration coverage; this mandated the cameras being placed in locations that were long distances from the truck, requiring the cameras to be used in stand-alone configurations, with utilization of all the controls and viewfinders,” McKechney explained. “The HDK-725P met all those requirements and the cameras performed exactly as we needed them to.”

“We have had Ikegami cameras since the early 1980′ and one of the most important reasons has been the reliability as well as the stellar service and support Ikegami has provided our company for all of the camera lines we have purchased throughout the years,” McKechney added.

F&F’ latest Ikegami purchase consists of 24 HDK-79EC Full Digital High Definition camera systems. Designed as a multi-standard, simulcast broadcasting camera to meet the format requirements of both HDTV (1080i/720p) and SDTV (480i/480p), the HDK-79EC uses the revolutionary CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) image sensor. CMOS technology offers several advantages, including smaller camera size, decreased power consumption, and multi-format and high-speed capabilities.