TNDV: Television returns as the exclusive mobile production service provider for Bluegrass Underground’s ninth season, as the nationally syndicated PBS program moves to its new venue at the base of Monteagle Mountain. Located 80 miles outside of Nashville, the new venue, known as The Caverns, provides TNDV with a permanent and efficient infrastructure to optimize production capabilities, labor and costs.
For the past six seasons, TNDV has provided all equipment and technical crew to support video and audio production services from Cumberland Caverns, a challenging location that lacked a permanent infrastructure. Like the previous venue, The Caverns is a naturally occurring underground cave structure located well below sea level. The new venue removes the need to set up and tear down for each performance thanks to a fixed infrastructure built to support video, audio and lighting systems. The Caverns also provides a permanent power infrastructure that eliminates generators and expensive fuel costs.
“We have permanently installed single-mode fiber, which eliminates the labor of running nearly 1,000 feet of cable from the underground facility to our truck parked outside the cave for each performance,” said Nic Dugger, President and Owner, TNDV: Television. “And with permanent high-voltage power onsite, we no longer need to bring main and backup generators that burn gallons of diesel fuel. We simply run our heavy-duty power cable to a disconnect box, power up the truck, and we’re ready to shoot.”
TNDV will continue to bring its Aspiration truck to Bluegrass Underground performances, which this season includes Steve Earle, The Devil Makes Three and Keb’ Mo’ among other globally-recognized musicians. The TNDV team will use up to eight Hitachi SK-HD1200 cameras for native 1080p content acquisition, and has upgraded video production capabilities on the truck with a Grass Valley Kayenne 4 M/E switcher. Aja KiPro recorders preserve and protect all video content, which TNDV sends to external post-production services following color correction.
Audio production infrastructure includes a Soundcraft Vi3000 mixer and ProTools multitrack recording, with Sound Devices Pix270 recorders for redundancy – just one of several protective measures TNDV has built into the infrastructure.
“We opted for two fibers to move audio from the stage from the truck, which provides a main and backup transport stream for 64 channels of uncompressed audio,” said Dugger. “We’re using these the same strategy to move video feeds not only to the truck but to other positions around the stage, including the lighting director’s desk and backstage monitors. The overall environment inside The Caverns is far more production-friendly, and provides with a much greater level of freedom and flexibility.”
Season Nine production is currently underway, with TNDV capturing performances well into May. Bluegrass Underground currently airs on more than 300 TV stations in the national PBS system as well as a large number of radio stations, with a flagship weekly broadcast on legendary Nashville station WSM(AM), home of The Grand Ole Opry (the world’s longest running radio program).