Frequently Asked Questions
The MPU is the Mobile Production Unit. It is a fancy name for our production trailer.
It's difficult to do it justice, but the MPU:
- Has a 20-input, 2 Mix/Effects Ultra HD video switcher
- Is fully 2160p30, 1080p60, 1080p30, 1080p24, 1080i, and 720p capable
- Features eight stations for crew:
- Technical Director
- PTZ Camera Control
- Audio Booth
- Other (often used by a Producer)
- Every station features a computer, intercom, and multiple video monitors
- Full video routing -- any video signal can be monitored at any station
- Ultra HD video monitors throughout
- Is specifically designed for Internet streaming, with multiple redundant connections, including cellular
- Utilizes fiber optic connections to cameras and facilities for both video and networking
- Can be setup and running in under an hour when required
- Features air conditioning and heating for crew comfort
- Requires just two 110V, 15-20A AC circuits
- Can be run on battery/solar for up to two hours when AC power isn't available
DJP doesn't charge separately for use of the MPU. Considering it makes our jobs easier and reduces our setup time dramatically, we've elected to include it in the price of most multi-camera productions.
However, to simplify things, the trailer with an engineer to run it is being made available at an introductory rate of $1500 per day. Cameras, other equipment, and other crew members are not included in that rate.
The MPU does have some facility requirements:
- A parking location close to the venue where cabling will not be in the way of foot or vehicular traffic. It will fit in a standard parking space, though two spaces side-by-side is preferred.
- Access to two 110V, 15-20 Amp dedicated circuits or one 220V, 15-20 Amp circuit within less than 200 feet of the parking location.
- A camera signal distribution location within the facility with AC power.
- A path of 650 feet or less for the fiber trunk cable from the MPU to the signal distribution location where the cable will not be damaged by traffic, doors, etc.
- For Internet streamed events, an Ethernet or SFP port with Internet access capable of sustained 5 Mbps upload speeds.
- Cable paths from the signal distribution point to camera locations.
- For most events, access to AC power within 100 feet of each camera location.
- Overnight parking generally isn't an option, but if facilities have a full-time security staff we may be able to make an exception. (The quick setup time of the MPU usually precludes the need
to park overnight.)
Not all of these are hard requirements. For example, the 650 foot fiber trunk we use can be extended with additional 500-foot cables but this isn't ideal as it adds additional setup time and possible points of failure.
In nearly all circumstances we will need to assess a facility prior to accepting a job to shoot at that location, especially if staff are not familiar with the terminology used in the above requirements.
DJP prefers to keep the MPU in northern Utah -- specifically Utah and Salt Lake counties. But for a larger production additional travel is possible.
There are, of course, terrain limitations as well. It may not be possible to take the trailer to locations with unpaved roads or lacking other required facilities.
While we hope that we can always use the MPU, we do realize that sometimes this is impractical or even impossible. For this reason the critical pieces of equipment in the MPU are removable and can be relocated elsewhere. This does potentially reduce production capabilities, and increases setup time dramatically. The additional setup time will incur an additional charge.
Glad you asked! The MPU offers a lot of advantages over not having it. A few of these include:
- Greatly reduced setup and takedown times for all types of events
- An indoor, climate-controlled area for crew to work for outdoor events
- A quiet environment for the crew
- A properly lit area for the crew for easy viewing of video monitors
- A proper, isolated sound booth for high quality audio mixes
- Multiple video monitors for each member of the crew
- All of the equipment is already setup and always ready to go... no additional setup time for:
- Graphics or Titles
- Color Processing
- PTZ Camera Control
- Instant Replay
- Redundant high-speed Internet connections for reliable streaming
- Battery/solar power backup for reliable operation
The MPU can be run from two standard 110V circuits:
- 15-20A for Air Conditioner
- 15A for Electronics
Actual power consumption varies greatly depending on what equipment is required for a particular event and how much power we're able to generate with the solar panels. The numbers given above are
We have conversion boxes for a four-wire 220V circuit when required. We keep sufficient cabling onboard to run power up to 200 feet when required, but shorter runs are much preferred.
A generator is also available, though it can be loud and produce undesirable fumes.