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Gepco Solutions Broadcast from the Road

SS22’s design allowed NEP to increase the flat-panel monitor wall capacity by 30 percent.
NEP Broadcasting is a leading international provider of facilities, technical expertise and support services for remote television broadcasting, studio production, video display, webcasting, and power generation. One of the company’s award-winning divisions, NEP Supershooters, provides state-of-the-art mobile broadcast facilities. These customized mobile production units are large tractor trailer facilities built to match specific client and event needs, providing a complete on-site production unit that includes a production control room, replays, graphics, audio-visual (AV) control and transmission.

NEP Supershooters’ latest mobile unit, the Supershooter 22 (SS22), was designed specifically to support two leading clients—Fox’s National Football League (NFL) telecasts in the fall and winter and ESPN’s National Basketball Association (NBA) coverage in the spring and summer. Incorporating next-generation truck design features, the SS22 is the largest embedded audio support infrastructure on the road today. Encompassing two 53-foot tractor trailers with equipment and workstations for 30 operators, the SS22 includes over three tons of cabling infrastructure made up of General Cable’s Gepco® Brand cabling and connectivity.

“NEP has a long-standing, highly successful relationship with Gepco, going back over 25 years as our supplier of cable for broadcast system infrastructure,” said George Hoover, Chief Technology Officer for NEP Broadcasting. “A facility of this type has more cabling in about 900 square feet of space than would be found in an entire television station. Gepco’s lightweight miniature audio and coax cabling is critical in managing this volume of cabling.”

SS22 parked in NEP’s Pittsburgh shop to prep for the next show.
The Gepco® Brand 72401EZ thin-profile single-pair with 24-gauge conductors provides balanced audio with low attenuation and is easy to terminate, while the VDM230 miniature coax features a 23-gauge pure-copper center conductor and exceptionally low attenuation for its type.

In addition to Gepco’s miniature audio and coax cable, other products central to successful broadcasting in the NEP Supershooters’ SS22 include Gepco’s HDC920 series 9.2mm hybrid fiber optic cable assemblies. Compliant with the Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineer’s (SMPTE) 311M standard for high-definition cameras, the cables feature two singlemode optical fibers for accurately transmitting data over long distances and six insulated heat-resistant copper conductors for electrical power. A special nylon-based polymer provides increased tensile strength for increased durability, while the extra-flexible jacketing eases installation. Utilizing LEMO 3K series SMPTE 304M connectors, Gepco hybrid fiber cable assemblies feature multi-stage, machine polished fiber contacts for superior performance. This process achieves the low attenuation and return loss required for high-speed uncompressed HD video transmission. In addition, all contacts are optically tested and verified for consistent performance.

“The cameras in the SS22 must be capable of transmitting video over either triax copper cable or SMPTE optical fiber cable to interface with the various structured cabling solutions found in today’s sports arenas, stadiums and theaters,” said Hoover. “With this unit, Gepco continues the tradition of supplying NEP the highest, consistent quality of cables and connectors, coupled with superior customer support.”

Integration of the SS22 project started immediately following the 2011 National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show, with the first telecast at the PGA Championship for CBS in August 2011 following a 100-day build cycle.

“Just-in-time delivery is a key element in our build process, and Gepco assists us in monitoring and maintaining required stocking levels of cable and connectors as they are needed throughout the build cycle,” explained Hoover. “Absolute consistent zero-defect quality is essential to meet our extremely tight schedule and the long-term reliability of a mobile system that could log more than 100,000 miles a year in transport across the country.”

Complete with a Gepco broadcasting cable infrastructure, NEP Supershooters’ SS22 mobile broadcasting unit has been positively accepted by its customers and has received a strong reception throughout the industry. Following the Super Bowl XLVI in February 2012, ESPN will take over the SS22 for the NBA season. Using Gepco products, NEP Broadcasting will also be upgrading smaller mobile units and a possible future triple unit requested by ESPN.

About NEP: NEP enables clients to execute, deliver, and display exceptional productions on any platform around the world. With three decades experience, more than 700 employees worldwide, and an industry-leading depth of resources, NEP provides complete solutions for any broadcast or live event. Committed to innovation, they offer the latest technology and the best engineering expertise available. NEP is owned by American Securities, a private equity firm headquartered in New York, and management. For more information, please visit our website at   PDF


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