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NEP takes Barcud Derwen for Welsh presence

Outside broadcast and services group NEP UK has expanded its ranges of facilities by buying the assets of Welsh media operation Barcud Derwen, which went into administration in June, writes Kevin Hilton.

Outside broadcast and services group NEP UK has expanded its ranges of facilities by buying the assets of Welsh media operation Barcud Derwen, which went into administration in June, writes Kevin Hilton. Through this acquisition the company now has studios in Cardiff and an additional HD OB truck, which features a Calrec Alpha digital console with Bluefin processing. The company has been rebranded NEP Cymru OB and will run by Tony Cahalane, who was previously manager of Barcud Derwen subsidiary Omni TV. As managing director of NEP Cymru, Cahalane is responsible for the HD1 truck and a 7,500 square feet HD/SD studio in Cardiff (pictured). Reports of Barcud Derwen’s difficulties had been circulating in the broadcast business for some time, leading up to the group being put in administration on 16th June. NEP UK, the British subsidiary of US facilities operation NEP Broadcasting, bought the assets of the company, including the studio building and HD1 truck, from administrators Grant Thornton. “After the regrettable demise of the Barcud Derwen group NEP pursued the opportunity to put back into Wales a well supported OB and studio facilities provider,” comments Steve Jenkins, managing director of NEP Visions and executive director of NEP UK. Tony Cahalane added, “It is vitally important to us to remain as a facilities company that can continue to provide our key clients with the boutique service they are accustomed to.” HD1 went on the road in 2008 and is fully high definition, based on a 3G infrastructure. It has been used on broadcasts of the leaders debates for Sky News during the Election campaign, the BBC Young Musician of the Year 2010 and coverage of Magner’s league rugby for the BBC and S4C. The truck houses a Calrec Alpha and features a customised black box system for connecting Calrec stage boxes over SMPTE fibre cable. NEP is a long-term user of Calrec desks and is currently kitting out two new 3G vehicles at its headquarters in Staines, ready for Sky Sports’ coverage of the new Premier League football season. One vehicle, the so-called “super truck”, will have two audio control rooms, each with a 56-channel Apollo console. This will allow pre-match presentation and coverage of games to be produced from one vehicle. Visions’ head of sound, Paul Fournier, hopes to use both MADI and the Calrec Hydra network for connecting consoles and other equipment. Steve Jenkins comments that the company is looking for more technical consistency across its facilities in terms of sound desks, routers, wiring and handling of embedded audio. www.visions-ob.com

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