Thoroughbred Racing Productions Unveils New Truck Built By Sony Australia

Thoroughbred Racing Productions (TRP), based in Port Melbourne, Australia, recently hit the road with a new HD mobile production truck to help cover South Australian Racing for betting audiences. The new truck was designed and built by Sony Australia as a replacement for TRP’s flagship unit and had to be completed in a very short time frame.

Charles Cole, Engineering and Technical Operations Manager at TRP, said the contract for the new truck was signed in late 2018 and they needed to take delivery at eight months—before the start of Spring Racing Carnival, an Australian Thoroughbred horse racing series held annually in Melbourne during October and November.

“This timeline was very ambitious, but Sony committed to the build deadline,” Cole said.

The Sony Beresfield manufacturing facility went into overdrive with the chassis and all the components being built in parallel while their SI department were pre-making cables. As soon as the racks were completed they were populated and then craned into position.

The camera shading area on board the new TRP truck.

The camera shading area on board the new TRP truck.

[Sony Australia’s OB vehicle production facility in Beresfield, north of Sydney, has been responsible for building some of the most technically complex mobile production trucks in the Southern Hemisphere. This includes vehicles for NZLIVE New Zealand, TV3 Malaysia, NSW Racing Australia, TDC Australia and Telstra.]

“The manufacturing team worked very long days and the TRP team came in and performed acceptance testing and set up at the facility,” Cole said. “This project was completed without a minute to spare.”

When TRP were in the planning stage for the replacement of their flagship OB unit the SMPTE 2110 protocol had just been released and manufacturers were releasing product accordingly. TRP had to make some decisions and act quickly.

The new truck includes multiple Sony HDC-3100 HD cameras, 4K native HDC-3500 cameras and new HDC-5500 cameras with 8x slo-mo software. It also features a Sony XVS production switcher and a large monitor wall consisting of Sony preview and technical monitors.

(Left to right) Hiroshi Kawano from Sony’s Professional Products & Solutions Group, Sony Imaging Products & Solutions Inc.; Moriharu Ide from Sony Professional Solutions Asia Pacific; Grant Hicks, CEO at TRP; and Garry Rhodin, General Manager Professional Solutions for Sony Australia and New Zealand.

(Left to right) Hiroshi Kawano from Sony’s Professional Products & Solutions Group, Sony Imaging Products & Solutions Inc.; Moriharu Ide from Sony Professional Solutions Asia Pacific; Grant Hicks, CEO at TRP; and Garry Rhodin, General Manager Professional Solutions for Sony Australia and New Zealand.

With their new flagship OB truck TRP became the first company in Australia to employ the Axon Cerebrum control platform. This enables the broadcaster to control inputs to the Sony switcher, Tally, multi-viewer design and pips; as well as monitor all the power I/O, UPS status and environment with the touch of a virtual button.

Cole said that they have also integrated a “clamshell” design for the truck that makes the setup of the truck for individual projects so simple it can be done in less than three minutes.

“When there is inclement weather we deploy weather protection along the clamshell with 14 operational positions and no need for additional room and rack space that’s usually provided by an expand design.

“The new truck has performed flawlessly out of the box,” Cole said, adding that the new truck is the sixth mobile unit Sony has built for TRP. “Both Sony and TRP knew what was at stake with the tight deadline and both teams had to be agile, available and creative to complete the detail of the unit. I’m delighted to say that everybody who worked on this project delivered to the very best of their abilities.”

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