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CHICAGO, IL — As HD secures a stronger foothold in the industry as the standard for broadcast productions, Columbia College Chicago’s School of Media Arts decided it was time to add a remote truck with HD capabilities to the college’s curriculum and technology offerings. With this truck being used not only as an educational tool but as an extension of the local ABC affiliate’s remote fleet, optimum equipment performance was essential. The college turned to Gepco to provide interconnect solutions for its truck because of the company’s superior customer support and the dependable operation of its cables.

“We knew we needed a new mobile truck so we could offer our students the well-rounded experience of working on a remote production,� says Dave Mason, chief engineer for Columbia’s Television Department. “I’ve been using Gepco cables for the last 15 years for all of the interconnects here in our main studios because I’ve had really good results with them. When we decided to build the truck, it made sense to stick with Gepco.�

The new remote truck was designed by Mason and Brett Johnson, chief engineer for the Audio Arts and Acoustics Department, along with their staff to produce content in HD with 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound. Equipment highlights include a Ross Vision HD switcher, four Panasonic HD cameras, two Panasonic DVC Pro decks, two DVCam decks and a Nuendo 24-track audio digital recorder.

Cables used on the truck include: VS10230 miniature HD coax snake, GA72412GFC GEP-FLEX 24-gage multi-pair, RGBS250S miniature component video, VSD2001 HD coax, XB201M X-Band microphone, VS32001 HD coax snake, VDM260 ultra-miniature HD coax, HDC920 SMPTE 311M hybrid fiber, DS624 110 Ohm 26-gage multi-pair, CAT5E UTP, DS412 110 Ohm 24-gage multi-pair, DS408 110 Ohm 24-gage multi-pair, MP1201 quad-star microphone, and 72401EZ 24-gage single-pair. In addition, Gepco also supplied interconnect accessories such as a custom-made stainless steel HD I/O panel for the side of the truck, ADC patchbays, Switchcraft patchbays and Ovideon monitors.

Mason explains that it was due to his long history with Gepco, the consistent performance of its cables and the company’s reliable customer service that motivated him to outfit all of the fiber assemblies with Gepco when it came time to purchase Panasonic cameras for the school.

In addition to its use as a remote broadcasting classroom, the truck is also being used by WLS, the Chicago ABC affiliate, for some of its larger remote HD productions. “We’ve done 10 different events this year alone with WLS including the Irish Day Parade, Polish Day Parade, Air and Water Show, Bud Bilken Parade and Columbus Day Parade,� says Mason. “We’ve done all of those parades because our truck is able to do them in HD. It is really exciting that the third largest ABC O and O in the country is using the college’s truck to do its live HD remote images. It’s a testament to our design and the quality of the products installed.�

Some of the school’s students recently used the truck for their own special production, “College Comedy Championships� at the ComedySportz Theater in Chicago. The truck is also used for the weekly student production “Musicians Studio� airing on the local public station WYCC Channel 20.

For more information, visit the Gepco Web site at