If you are in any way involved with the broadcast industry you would be hard pushed not to be familiar already with Gravity Media.
Headquartered in the UK where it works from five locations in London, the South East and Manchester, Gravity Media was formed by the coming together of four established broadcast and production houses: Gearhouse Broadcast, HyperActive Broadcast, Input Media and Chief Entertainment. Gravity Media is a £100m global brand with an impressive 30-year pedigree.
Similarly, Canford was formed in 1976 and celebrated its 44th year in business during 2020. So, perhaps it was inevitable that Gravity Media and Canford would meet somewhere along the way and form what has become a solid partnership. A long-standing relationship founded on a mutual technical understanding and Canford’s ability not only to supply equipment, but to contribute to the design process and manufacture custom solutions.
Always keeping up with the latest broadcast innovations (or pioneering them!), Gravity Media provides a number of integrated, end-to-end solutions across the full broadcast spectrum - production, programming and content services. The business serves clients in all markets, from sport and media to movies and entertainment, working all over the world from bases in the UK, Australia, USA, France, Germany and Qatar.
Over the years Canford’s manufacturing facility in Portland, Dorset has designed and produced an array of custom solutions for Gravity Media. One such development ensured the safe transportation of Gravity Media’s Flypacks to be used at a major international football tournament. Designed to be taken to any location in the world, these flyaway systems are routinely deployed to a multitude of applications from studio productions to remote outside broadcasts; from sporting events to reality TV. They contain everything required to deliver complex high-definition multi-format broadcasts. Canford designed a heavy-duty 42U welded rack, engineered to withstand the rigours of life on the road and offer much needed protection to the valuable broadcast equipment housed within them.
Further collaboration has seen the introduction of a custom rack solution known fondly as “The Beast”. Gravity Media utilises some of the most sophisticated routing technology available. This is used in a range of applications, from workflows at multichannel video programming distributors, large national broadcasters or network hubs that require thousands of inputs and outputs (I/O), to studios and mobile production trucks. “The Beast” is a bespoke product that not only provides a means of transporting and protecting this critical hardware, but also incorporates patching to standard BNC panels which facilitates rapid termination and set-up once on site.
More recently, Gravity Media’s experience within sports broadcasting and links to Qatar brought about a new opportunity to work with Canford, who’s Portland factory is regarded as the ‘supplier of choice’ for custom metalwork, laser engraving and bespoke connector panels.
Gravity Media – then branded Gearhouse Broadcast - was contracted to upgrade the technical infrastructure at the 40,000 capacity Khalifa International Stadium in Doha. Home to the Qatar national football team, Khalifa would become the first renovated venue to be ready for the 2022 football tournament. Gravity Media installed an in-stadium broadcast system, enabling broadcasters to plug into the permanent on-site infrastructure from multiple positions to enable a variety of live productions. The solution was based upon 51 custom wall boxes. As the stadium is a multi-purpose venue used for both football and athletics, the location of each box required careful planning to allow productions to be as flexible as possible. Each wall box utilised custom connection panels from Canford. These provided for remote links to a central OB patch room – a solution that required some 131,200 metres of cable, including Triax, SMPTE, audio and single-mode fibre connection.
Gavin Drake, Canford Production Manager Portland explains: “Canford has supported Gravity Media for many years on stadium infrastructure projects. Our significant experience in this field has enabled us to design and developed bespoke solutions to overcome the unique problems presented by these projects. Canford typically supply all of the wall box connection plates which will be located around the stadiums along with all of the termination panels within the rack room which handles the incoming feeds.”
Pete Dinnes, Gravity Media Installation Director commented: “Our relationship with Canford is invaluable. They are more than just another supplier. There is no room for error with our projects and the team at Canford have contributed an enormous amount towards the design and development of so many custom solutions. Their experience has proven time and time again to be a huge asset to us. We can rely on Canford to produce exactly what we need and to have it on-site, on time no matter where in the world it is required.”
Following the success of the Khalifa project, Gravity Media rolled out Canford connection panels across multiple football stadia including the 60,000 capacity Al Bayt Stadium, Al Rayyan Stadium, and Al Thumama Stadium which will each welcome 40,000 fans during the football tournament in 2022.
For further information or to request a quotation for custom metalwork please contact the team in Portland directly via email: email@example.com