As the newest addition to TNDV: Television’s fleet of nine full-service mobile video units, Destination packs full-sized production truck capabilities—including all the bells and whistles high-end clients expect—into a more agile, compact 40-foot vehicle that can maneuver in the most space-challenged venues.
“While there are plenty of full-sized HD production trucks on the road today, there aren’t many that can fit backstage or in the alley behind the venue,” said TNDV President and Owner Nic Dugger. “By offering the same firepower in a much smaller footprint, Destination definitely fills that void in this specialized, niche market.”
Before joining TNDV’s fleet, the truck, originally known as Blackjack, had crossed the continent over the years as it changed hands between three different owners: ProShow in Vancouver, Greystone Media in Portland, and finally TNDV. Upon acquiring the truck, TNDV moved Blackjack to Atlanta, where it was stationed outside the Philips Arena (now State Farm Arena) for four years. As a part of the TNDV fleet, the truck was used to produce all Atlanta Hawks’ home basketball games.
TNDV upgraded and rebranded the medium-sized truck after fulfilling its service at the arena. Now called Destination, the truck is built to integrate with TNDV’s remaining eight video and audio trucks. The name also recognizes the truck’s long journey to its final home in Nashville.
“In light of the growing demand for compact HD production trucks for live sports and entertainment, music festivals and concerts, we completely re-engineered the truck’s interior with a robust infrastructure capable of handling a high density of video and audio feeds,” Dugger said. Destination is well-equipped to handle all types of live events, such as music festivals and concerts, college and high school sports, Red Carpet shows, and interviews with athletes and celebrities. It can also accompany our full-sized, flagship trucks whenever they are sent to cover major network television events, such as live sports, awards shows, and music specials. For large-scale music events, we can switch multiple outputs from within the truck, and for sports, there’s an unusually large 3 M/E production switcher for what is considered a smaller truck.”
With expanding sides that increase the truck’s width from 9 to 11.5 feet, Destination’s unique interior includes a main video area, an audio suite, and an isolated video production area that allows producers and editors to work on content without disrupting live shows.
In the main production space, a Ross Carbonite 3 M/E production switcher—capable of supporting a live multi-camera workflow—faces a large multiviewer monitor wall. The truck also offers an array of high-end digital video effects (DVEs) and live broadcast graphics options, including two Ross xPression dual-channel CG systems, and either a Chyron Duet Hyper X3 or Pinnacle Deko 3000 dual-channel live graphics system. Programs can be recorded onto a bank of Aja KiPro digital disc recorders, and optionally, either Sony 1800 HDCam or Panasonic AJ-HD1200A VTRs. An EVS 6-channel HD XT slo-mo system provides an added benefit for live sports production.
For acquisition, Destination carries a complement of Hitachi SK-HD1200 portable HD studio/field production cameras which, with their three 2.3-megapixel ultra-advanced CCDs, produce a high dynamic range (HDR) 1080p picture with low noise. The truck’s audio suite features a Soundcraft Si Impact 32 fader digital audio mixer with a Soundcraft MADI stagebox. Video and multiviewer routing are handled by a large Platinum router from Imagine Communications.
“While the truck is compact, there’s plenty of room to accommodate any needs our clients may have for separate workspaces,” he added. “We even have a kitchenette with a fridge and dining area, among other conveniences, to support the crews during long work hours.”