Bexel Global Broadcast Solutions is one of the leaders in the broadcast services, engineering support, and custom production systems industries, so it probably wasn’t a big surprise when Televisa, the Mexican multimedia mass media company, came to them for help. The project? Outfitting the Mexican home the television company will be using for their upcoming remake of the once-popular reality TV show, “Big Brother Mexico.”
According to the film and media news site BTLnews.com, Bexel helped Televisa setup their master control room and custom infrastructure for the show’s first broadcast premiere since going off the air 10 years ago.
“We provided virtually all of the equipment for the ‘Big Brother México’ house, but the show’s main control room was a true collaboration between Bexel Global and Televisa,” said Johnny Pastor, director of technical services for Bexel Global. “We really created a hybrid solution with them, which was quite unusual, but there was an existing television facility there, where they had actually done the show in its past incarnation.”
Bexel equipped the house with 43 cameras and more than 42 Sennheiser MKH 416 shotgun microphones, which will record and document the show’s 15 participants over the course of three months. Bexel had to create a tightly integrated fiber infrastructure to link the house and master control room, which sits 1,000 feet away.
The camera systems they used are all Panasonic and include 35 robotic cameras and eight point-of-view ones. As Pastor explained, the cameras they used are all PoE+ powered, which means they can be powered with merely a switch and CAT5 cable. The CAT5 cable is one of the industry standards used for networks and mulit-line phone systems; it has a maximum frequency of 100 MHz and can transmit up to 10/100/1000Mbps.
“‘Big Brother México’ is using our custom-designed touchscreen interface as well,” Pastor said. “We created it to alleviate the robotic operator from having to press multiple buttons to get to a certain camera, allowing production to move quickly and not miss a shot. With the touch of just one button, it will switch the video, it controls our router and it controls the button on the camera control.”