NBC Gear

:: Here's a brief rundown on what kind of video gear NBC uses for a job like the U.S. Figure Skating Championships.

Sony Hi-Def Cameras:
* Four HDC-1000's (set locations, short and tall tripods)
* Eight HDC-1500's (mobile, handheld)
* One HDC-3300 (set at end of rink, super slo-mo)

Canon Lenses:
* Two 100 x 9.8
* Three 86 x 9.5
* Four 22 x 7.8
* Four 11 x 4.7

Connected via SMPTE optic fiber cables to Telecast SHED's for sending and receiving signal as well as power for the camera. Sent down a TAC-12 single-mode fiber snake to the video truck to the Sony CCU's for iris and color control. Off to the transmission truck and away it goes. I'll try to get some audio specs in the next couple days as well ::


Working for NBC

:: I recently got an opportunity to work in a utility role at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Spokane, WA. Today was the first day of setup and turned out to be pretty chill. I expected the atmosphere to be somewhat frantic, but while it was definitely hard work, a lot of the time I was chatting and getting to know some of the people I'd be working with. Only a few of them are actually employed by NBC; these guys at the top hire out freelancers for the rest of the positions.

For setup today, I mostly unloaded gear and made sure it was organized as we got it into the loading area. In a production of this size, organization is a huge component; there are hundreds of boxes, thousands of feet of cable, and cameras everywhere. The cameras and cable were what took up the rest of the day. I was more involved with the cable running, which was a challenge since we had to make sure none of it was in the way or tangled with other gear. I learned about several different types like TAC cable, which is actually several tactical data fiber optic cables combined in a very thin snake. Each cable has a numbered suffix denoting how many individual fibers are in each snake (i.e. TAC-12 has twelve fibers, six for sending and six for receiving data). I also learned a lot of abbreviations the experienced techs use: "homerun" is when a device like a camera is connected directly to the booth without patching into a snake or other device, "genny" is a generator, and a "shed" is the box that the send from a camera plugs into, which then sends a fiber optic signal to the booth.

Tomorrow will be a long day; we have to report at 8am, then stay until everything is ready for filming on Friday, which will probably result in a 14-hour day. I don't know what's in store for me, but I'm really excited to keep going. So begins my brief two-week career with NBC! ::