RPR Sports, a Los Angeles-based production company for corporate and network clients, recently acquired the new FOR-A HVS-300HS HD/SD Portable Video Switcher for location shoots. According to RPR Sports director of operations Robert Real, the company often needs to react to tight deadlines and work in small spaces in extremely remote locations, while accommodating multi-camera HD shoots, on-set projection, and live uplinks.
"The HVS-300HS appealed to us because it is packed with features that ideally serve our customers in a variety of venues," he said. "We have taken full advantage of its ability to support 1080i, 720p, and SD sources. Plus, the main unit's space-saving design is always appreciated when equipment transport is part of the job.
"Reaching extreme locations for live production is very difficult," Real added. "We did a live webcast from the top of a mountain in La Parva, Chile, in South America. We had to keep our equipment footprint to an absolute minimum. The HVS-300 helped us achieve all of our production goals while being the smallest, most compact design possible."
Setup on location is simplified by the frame sync capability found on every input of the HVS-300HS. "Having a frame synchronizer built in means we can use cameras that do not have a genlock input," Real explained. "Even if we do have cameras with genlock inputs, we can forego running a cable from the sync generator to the camera. This makes for a faster setup when we eliminate one cable per camera."
Real also relies on the switcher's HD inputs and multiple HD outputs as well as its built-in, 16-channel multiviewer, which reduces production costs by eliminating the need for additional monitors. The expanded AUX outputs with the SDI output option provide great flexibility for feeding monitors or projectors, as well as providing an AUX for a producer.
"On more than one project, the FOR-A HVS-300HS helped us manage our monitor and projection needs simultaneously," he explained. "For example, we have used an external AUX panel to equip various crew members with individual HD monitors, while a second AUX feeds the projector. The ability to output all our needs from the 1RU mainframe is very important."
In addition, the multi-format capability of the HVS-300HS allows RPR to mix non-synchronized sources without having to rely on external devices. "The HVS-300HS really outperforms other switchers we have used for about the same price," Real added. "Our clients have been very pleased with the results from our FOR-A-based HD flypack, and we appreciate the versatility and functionality of the HVS-300HS switcher."