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Thursday Night Football Kickoff: Inside Amazon Prime Video's New State-of-the-Art IP Prime One Truck From Game Creek Video

15/09/2022

Thursday Night Football Kickoff: Inside Amazon Prime Video's New State-of-the-Art IP Prime One Truck From Game Creek Video Prime Two studio-show mobile unit, Prime Three office trailer are also along for the 15-city ride this season By Jason Dachman, Chief Editor

Thursday, September 15, 2022 - 3:04 pm

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Tonight's a historic night for the NFL, which kicks off its first-ever broadcast package carried exclusively on a streaming platform with Amazon Prime's Video's Thursday Night Football. However, that's not the only historic debut taking place during tonight's Chiefs-Chargers matchup. The broadcast also marks the launch of arguably the most state-of-the-art set of mobile units ever built: Amazon's Prime One and Prime Two native-IP fleet from Game Creek Video.

Amazon Prime Video will pull back the curtain on its new fleet of Prime One' mobile units for tonight's TNF regular season kickoff

From a tool-set standpoint, says JP Palmer, senior manager, live production technical operations, Prime Video, we are bringing a Super Bowl-level show out every week, and we needed a facility that could support that. We didn't approach this [thinking about] what [other broadcasters] had done in the past. Instead, we asked, How can we provide the best customer experience humanly possible?'

We started with a clean slate and looked at every single element of the production from that lens, he continues. We ended up taking many new approaches with this [mobile unit] so that we could provide our production team with the tools and the core technology to produce the most amazing game possible.

A Truck Unlike Any Other Is Built on a Tight Timeline Prime One, the main game truck, is composed of five units (A, B, C, D, and E), and Prime Two is a standalone truck that will serve TNF's traveling pre/postgame and halftime studio show over the next 15 weeks. In addition, Prime Three is a custom-built, fully loaded office trailer that one Prime Video staffer described as an office palace.

Prime One's B unit houses the largest production gallery ever in a mobile unit, as well as the largest monitor wall in a truck

Prime One is 4K HDR-ready today (although 2022 games will be produced in 1080p SDR) with top-of-the-line hardware across the board, including a Grass Valley Kayenne K-Frame XP switcher, Calrec Apollo audio consoles, 18 12-channel EVS XT-VIA replay systems, and 20+ Sony HDC-5500 cameras (more than 50 cameras will be deployed). In addition, the Prime One infrastructure offers plenty of extra rack space for future expansion.

The production-control room (PCR) where Executive Producer Fred Gaudelli and Lead Director Pierre Moossa will run the show is unlike any truck-based PCR ever built. Not only is it the largest production gallery in a mobile unit, but it also features the largest monitor wall in a truck (10 three-monitor columns of Boland 32.5 OLED monitors). Also, the PCR has two rows instead of the traditional three, creating more space for the production team, and has significantly more headroom than a traditional truck; Gaudelli often likes to stand and move around the front bench during production.

Our primary goal with [the layout] was to make everyone feel as comfortable as possible, says Palmer. Our production-control room is configured in a way that has never been done before, with things like more headroom, two rows instead of three, and rotating back benches so everyone has line of sight to the monitor wall. Every little detail you could imagine has been taken into account, and, even though it's a big space, it feels very intimate since you don't have so many people crammed in.

A mobile unit like Prime One is no easy build under normal circumstances. Add in an ultra-aggressive timeframe of less than a year (because Amazon took over the TNF rights a year earlier than expected) and constant supply-chain issues, and the immensity of the undertaking is obvious.

The scale and magnitude of this project is pretty much unprecedented, notes Palmer, and we were trying to get it done on a very aggressive timeline as well as dealing with unprecedented supply-chain issues. It's definitely the wildest build I've ever been a part of. We were building a plane while it was already in the air, and we were trying to build it for opening week. That couldn't have been done without the hard work of our team and our amazing partners.

Primed for Success: Cutting-Edge Tech Across the Board Built around a SMPTE ST 2022-7 IP routing core, Prime One is fully redundant in every facet. That redundancy starts with a pair of Evertz EXE 3.0 high-capacity IP routing cores, which are configured in a spine/leaf red/blue architecture across all five trucks. The core is managed by Evertz Magnum software, and all edge routing is handled by the Evertz NATX switch fabric. A separate purple network has been installed to ensure that even ancillary devices on the production are fully redundant and resilient.

While Prime One rolls out of the gate as one of the most powerful mobile units in history, it also has plenty of room to grow due to the robust IP infrastructure already in place.

Bullet point number one from [Prime Video] was that everything had to be fully redundant, explains Jason Taubman, SVP, technology, Game Creek Video. Amazon paid a great deal of attention to redundancy and wanted to make sure that every possible disaster-recovery scenario was accounted for.

Prime Two (which gets its DNA from Game Creek's recent Bravo, Columbia, Gridiron, and Celtic builds) is built around a redundant Arista/Lawo IP routing core for the studio-show productions.

Prime One's Kayenne K-Frame XP switcher is capable of 192 96 64 out/in scale in 4K HDR, the largest currently available on th
LINK: https://www.sportsvideo.org/2022/09/15/thursday-night-football-kickoff...
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