Lawo’s V_pro8 gets in on the Action.

22.08.2013 - 07:52

Bexel Tackles a New Season of "Hard Knocks" on HBO.

Hard Knocks, produced by HBO Sports and NFL Films, is currently airing a new installment of the series on HBO, with technical support from Bexel, renowned broadcast rental supplier and first certified reseller for Lawo’s new V_pro8 video processor in the U.S. Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Cincinnati Bengals provides an in-depth perspective of the team as they prepare for the upcoming NFL season.

Television’s first sports reality series, Hard Knocks debuted on HBO 12 years ago, and has since become one of the most-acclaimed sports reality franchises on TV, earning multiple Sports Emmy® Awards for its innovative production techniques and riveting storylines. The show provides unprecedented access to the daily happenings at an NFL training camp – from who will make the team and battles for positions, to their personal lives.

Bexel’s team has contributed to Hard Knocks since 2007, revising equipment packages each season to meet the demands of different training camp locations. This year, Bexel will support the 24-person NFL Films crew, which anticipates shooting more than 1,250 hours of footage, as the Bengals hold camp at Paul Brown Stadium.

Bexel is furnishing the production team with eight robotic cameras and wireless microphone equipment. The equipment is used in venues where the dynamics of the team play out: the offices of the coaches and trainers, and the conference room where the final roster decisions are made.

“The show is very audio-centric,” says Johnny Pastor, director of technical services for Bexel. “This year, we introduced some advances in audio by adding the new Lawo V_pro8 video processor to our equipment mix to handle the MADI stream.”

Lawo’s V_pro8 video processor is a compact, digital 8-channel video processor with de-embedder and embedding capabilities. The full-featured system is able to handle multi-format and multi-standard video and MADI signals simultaneously, delivering video and audio power in a small footprint.

“The Lawo box allows us to more efficiently route the MADI audio,” adds Pastor. “It gives us more control and flexibility by allowing us to shuffle the audio to each SDI video stream.”

Analog audio from the mics is mixed down to 32 channels and run through a MADI converter and then into the Lawo V_pro8. “We can now grab any of the 32 channels in any sequence and associate it with a certain video signal,” he explains. “Each video signal now carries the embedded audio on its way to Sound Devices PIX 260i hard-drive video recorders via the router.”

Pastor points out that the V_pro8 eliminates a lot of equipment Bexel previously supplied and performs a function that has been cost prohibitive in the past. “We needed a lot of boxes to do what the V_pro8 does,” he says. “’Using this box and MADI streamlines the whole process. It gives us more flexibility and power to control audio levels and route signals quickly.”

Bexel is the first authorized U.S. reseller for the V_pro8, and has several units in its rental inventory. Bexel provided its video and audio equipment package to NFL Films’ New Jersey headquarters before it was shipped to the stadium in Cincinnati. “NFL Films and Bexel engineers vetted everything in New Jersey first, so when they arrived at the training facility, we knew everything would work properly,” Pastor explains. “That gave us more time to deal with anything that came up on site. Once we were there, we didn’t want to be in the way; we wanted to be the fly on the wall.”

Pastor is pleased with the performance of the V_pro8 on Hard Knocks, the first deployment of the equipment for Bexel. “It’s such a cool and powerful box in a small form factor.”

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