January 3, 2021

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Vu Productions, the mobile production unit of Bell ExpressVu, a division of Bell Canada that sells digital television services in Canada, recently selected FOR-A’s HANABI HVS-3800HS two mix/effect HD/SD switcher for use within its 35-foot HD mobile production truck.

Vu Productions had been using one of FOR-A’s HANABI HVS-1000HS as a replacement unit when the company’s previous switcher came to the end of its life cycle. But when the time came to purchase a new switcher, Keran Rees, Senior Technical Producer at Vu Productions, thought he’d wind up selecting a switcher from a manufacturer with a more established name in Canada. He did an exhaustive search, comparing all switchers, before deciding to purchase the FOR-A HANABI HVS-3800HS. Thanks to the recommendations of other FOR-A mobile production customers and the switcher’s superior performance, he was sold.

“A switcher must be bullet proof to withstand the rigors of mobile unit production,” said Rees. “Recommendations for FOR-A came so highly from people I know and respect at SIM Video, as well as several European production companies, I was swayed. We also brought in a TD [Technical Director] from the CBC, Joseph Interisano. He also ran all the switchers we looked at in a comparison test.”

According to Rees, it was the 3800’s signal quality, 3D effects, ergonomic design, DVE, and ease of upgrade that set it apart from the others; “Firstly the 3800HS has a true 3D effect in HD. The DVE features two built-in DVE channels and is the first switcher with a polygon-based HD DVE. Upgrading takes place all within the software so it’s simple to perform. The TD’s we had testing out the 3800HS really liked the finger spacing and the overall design of the switcher.”

The HVS-3800HS supports all major standard and high definition formats, including 1080i, 24p, 23.98SF, and 720p, among others. “Other switchers that we looked didn’t currently support all the same formats,” said Rees. “We wanted something that’d been tried and tested and truly supports 720p and 1080i.”

The size (4RU) of the switcher fit the bill as well. And according to Rees, price was not a primary consideration in their selection: “We definitely did not go with FOR-A because they were the cheapest, but because they were better.” At ExpressVu the motto is “Way Better TV.” The company’s goal is to produce the highest quality coverage with the best equipment available.

Vu Productions has already used the HANABI HVS-1000HS switcher for several productions, including live and taped remote shoots for “Canada AM and Live at The Orange Lounge” a musical concert series featuring a variety of artist such as Paul Anka, Martha Wainwright, The Pussycat Dolls, Jann Arden to name a few The series airs on Sympatico MSN and began airing on Bell ExpressVu’s HD channels in October; other Productions include the Canadian Open Golf Tournament; as well as music videos for artists Sum 41, Charlie Pride and Stompin’ Tom.

Delivery of the new HANABI HVS-3800HS will take place this month.

The HVS-3800HS is designed for both television and film production applications. Its compact 4RU frame size makes it particularly ideal for mobile production. The new switcher can configure up to five main units or control panels, making it easy for users to set up productions from multiple locations. It has 16 standard inputs and 16 standard outputs. As an option, users can configure the HVS-3800HS with up to 28 inputs. It comes with four still stores, which can be loaded from the built-in Compact flash card reader and used as inputs simultaneously. It will also be equipped with optional color correction features, which can be applied to the bus inputs and key layers.

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