Game Creek’s Growing IP Truck Fleet Increasingly Relies On Lawo Technology

Game Creek Video has been at the forefront of flexible live sports production infrastructures with its deployment of IP-based mobile production trucks, recently unveiling two new units that have already hit the road.

“Bravo” and “Columbia”, both 53′ Expando units are complemented with a full array of video and audio routing, multiviewers and overall orchestration and control software from Lawo. Game Creek’s next truck in production, called “Gridiron”, is designed the same way but will feature an additional B unit. In addition two more trucks will be built early next year, featuring the same design.

That’s a total of five IP trucks in its fleet, all equipped with Lawo IP-centric technology, leading to an on-going technology partnership between the two companies.

For signal routing, Game Creek has decided on a Lawo/Arista ST2110 network, based on the Lawo V__matrix IP routing and processing platform.

For signal routing, Game Creek has decided on a Lawo/Arista ST2110 network, based on the Lawo V__matrix IP routing and processing platform.

For signal routing, Game Creek has installed an on-board Lawo/Arista ST2110 network based on the Lawo V__matrix IP routing and processing platform. The software-defined V__matrix C100 processing blades handle all IP/SDI conversion, video/audio processing and multiviewers. Each truck features a total of 83x C100 processing blades hosted in eleven frames, providing the truck’s IP video core infrastructure. The blades are connected through redundant 40GbE (or 4x10GbE) Ethernet interfaces to the network and form a distributed IP routing and processing matrix that provides frame-accurate, clean switching just like a legacy baseband matrix. For integrating legacy equipment, the V__matrix installation provides a 432x528 SDI gateway solution.

The truck’s video switcher is a ST2110 capable Grass Valley K-Frame-X, the up to 20 Sony HDC 4300 cameras are built out for parallel SDI and ST2110 workflows, providing maximum flexibility when interfacing to venue infrastructure during productions. Also, the eight 16 channel EVS replay systems and the Spotbox are built for parallel SDI and ST2110 operation.

When it comes to signal conversion, V__matrix C100 blades loaded with the vm_udx app will provide up to 64 Up/Down/Cross format conversion paths between SDR/HDR SD, HD and 4K formats plus audio embedding/de-embedding, frame-sync, proc amp and RGB color correction functionality in every processing path. The 288×96 IP multiviewer is also processed via the V__matrix infrastructure using the vm_dmv distributed multiviewer app.

“We’re very excited by the idea of the distributed multiviewer from Lawo,” said Jason Taubman, senior vice president of Technology at Game Creek Video. “It’s an unusual concept at first glance, but by using the IP network as an unlimited ‘backplane,’ you can immediately imagine growing the multiviewer system in ways that have not been possible or practical previously. Along with theWALL configuration software, we can now offer our clients and engineers monitoring flexibility that has not been possible previously.”

For audio shuffling and connecting the Artemis console, twelve units of the Lawo Power Core, Lawo’s versatile AoIP DSP mixing engine and I/O node, are used for MADI, AES and analog audio gateways to AES67. The complete truck and its IP infrastructure are controlled and orchestrated by the Lawo VSM IP broadcast control system. Abstracting the complexity of the IP installation from the users, VSM significantly reduces set-up times at changing production requirements and enhances the workflows by giving ease of control for operational personnel – a paramount factor to Game Creek’s IP truck’s system design. For the approx. 60 user interfaces Game Creek decided on a combination of touchscreen-optimized vsmPANEL software panels and traditional hardware button panels.

“Maintaining a familiar router control workflow, or stream management in the IP world, for both our engineers and our clients is critically important when moving to IP. VSM provides us with a complete set of workflow tools, allowing us to leverage all of the flexibility that IP provides, while presenting a familiar, manageable, and powerful control interface to our users,” said Taubman.

Game Creek added Lawo’s SMART System Monitoring and Realtime Telemetry solution to handle in-depth network monitoring, network stability and security. Designed to bridge the gap between IT and video engineering, SMART straddles both sides of the operation to provide a comprehensive view of what the network is doing, if PTP is set correctly and how the media streams flowing across the network are behaving. The SMART OB package also integrates smartSCOPE’s deep packet inspection and network analyzing tools, providing the right monitoring and visualization technologies in place to proactively identify impairments and service disruption.

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