Imagine Communications’ IP3 Router at Heart of Gearhouse 4K OB Truck Columbus

Imagine Communications’ IP3 Router at Heart of Gearhouse’s new 4K Mobile Unit – Columbus

IP readiness and simultaneous HD and 4K/UHD signal distribution capabilities key to purchase decision

Imagine Communications, empowering the media and entertainment industry through transformative innovation, has provided the routing equipment at the heart of Gearhouse Broadcast’s new 4K/UHD-ready production truck, known as Columbus. The award-winning Platinum™ IP3 is a key element of the mobile unit’s core infrastructure, providing multi-format signal distribution capabilities, including support for HD, 3G and 4K/UHD. The IP-ready router is also designed to provide Gearhouse with the ability to seamlessly transition to IP-based operations in the future. 

The new mobile unit — along with Gearhouse engineers — is available for hire for all types of live productions events across North America. Columbus demonstrates the company’s ongoing commitment to expanding in the U.S. Gearhouse Broadcast USA’s service offerings include a complete range of mobile units, project solutions, fly pack systems, specialist equipment rental, equipment sales and event communications.

Among the most advanced and versatile mobile production units in operation, Columbus is equipped with 16 Sony HDC-4300 4K/HD cameras and six additional inputs for RF cameras. A critical function of the Imagine IP3 28RU router is to drive the mobile unit’s unique monitor wall, which consists of 24 4K monitors, configured as Quad splits or single-input 4K monitors, giving the truck total flexibility in HD or 4K/UHD. 


“Columbus has been designed to be as flexible as possible to accommodate a variety of events and to meet all customer requirements,” said Kevin Moorhouse, COO, Gearhouse Broadcast. “Versatility is the name of the game in live production and the quick configurability of the IP3 helps to enable us to seamlessly move from job to job without the downtime normally required to prepare a mobile production unit for a specific event. We chose the IP3 router to empower our operators with the ability to switch configurations at will and handle native 4K, along with 3G or HD signals simultaneously.”

IP readiness and simultaneous HD and 4K/UHD signal distribution capabilities key to purchase decision

Columbus 4K truck consists of 24 4K monitors driven by the IP3 router


A hallmark feature of the Platinum IP3 is its ability to store and instantly retrieve a variety of configurations. The quick-change capabilities of the IP3 enables a mobile production company to essentially customize its production truck to meet the exacting requirements of each customer, shifting between HD and UHD or accommodating a wide degree of customer preferences in a matter of minutes.

In addition to its versatility and core signal distribution functionality, Imagine Communications’ Platinum IP3 supports audio multiplexing and de-multiplexing, as well as discrete AES or MADI signals. Scalability and integrated multiviewers are also key features, providing Gearhouse with significant space and power-consumption savings. The IP3 is designed to work in a hybrid SDI-IP environment, with transparent operations across the two signal formats, and seamless and synchronous switching between SDI and IP domains.


Support for both today’s and future production needs figured heavily into the technology selection process. The Platinum IP3 can be upgraded with IP input and output modules that support industry standards for the transport of video and audio over IP networks. Imagine Communications is a member of the Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS), a fast-growing industry consortium that works with standards organizations to ease and accelerate the transition to next-generation architectures.  The IP3 control layer inherently supports IP networks based on commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) Ethernet switches to provide a seamless and unified control and management experience.

In addition to supporting a broad spectrum of industry standards, the Platinum IP3 is suitable for multivendor environments and offers compatibility with a large selection of third-party IP network switch manufacturers. 

Monitor Wall Columbus


“Gearhouse is breaking new ground in 4K/UHD production and Imagine Communications is pleased to be able to provide the critical routing technology powering its Columbus project,” said Mathias Eckert, vice president of EMEA at Imagine Communications. “The Platinum IP3 is proving to be a mobile production workhorse, increasingly recognized for its versatility, reliability and support for hybrid production environments, helping to enable innovative companies such as Gearhouse to meet today’s customer requirements while providing a seamless bridge to the future.”

The Platinum router family and Imagine Communications’ entire live production solution portfolio will be showcased at the 2017 NAB Show in Las Vegas, beginning April 24 (booth SL1516).

To see Columbus at NAB, visit Gearhouse Broadcast in the outdoor/mobile media area between Central and South Halls in the exhibit area (Booth OE836).

About Gearhouse Broadcast 

Gearhouse Broadcast is a market leader in the field of broadcast services and specialises in broadcast equipment rental, equipment sales, project solutions and systems integration. Operating globally from its offices in the UK, US, Australia, Qatar and France, the company offers huge experience and a proven track record in delivering major world sporting and entertainment events.


About Imagine Communications

Imagine Communications empowers the media and entertainment industry through transformative innovation. Broadcasters, networks, video service providers and enterprises around the world rely on our optimized, future-proof, multiscreen video and revenue enablement solutions every day to support their mission-critical operations. Today, nearly half of the world’s video channels traverse our products, and our software solutions drive close to a third of global ad revenue. Through continuous innovation we are delivering the most advanced IP, cloud-enabled, software-defined network and workflow solutions in the industry.