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Mon 31 Oct 2016

United uses innovative mobile 4K set to shoot ‘The Grand Tour’

United uses innovative mobile 4K set to shoot ‘The Grand Tour’

This Autumn, online streaming service Amazon Prime will be introducing its new car show, 'The Grand Tour'. As an expert in the field of 4K, United was asked to take care of technical solutions for the show worldwide. United has built a custom flypack for this assignment, giving the show its first novelty. This mobile set includes a specially developed record rack to process the volume of data in real time.

'The Grand Tour' reunites the trio of presenters: Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May. The Amazon Prime show, currently already the subject of much discussion, is shot in a studio tent that is put up in various exotic locations around the world. This assignment required a portable high-end solution that is lightweight, but also fulfills the requirements of Amazon Prime. "The new set has two parts," explains Bolke Burnaby Lautier, manager of special projects at United. "It consists of a camera and a recording part, which yields 4K, wide color [2020] files including proxy. This may be edited immediately. The other part is a comprehensive audio setup, including a full PA system for additional amplification."

“The flypack, which was developed over the course of three months, needed to meet strict requirements. Burnaby Lautier: "At most locations, the equipment has to be flown in. We needed a lightweight and compact unit, which we’ve managed to successfully develop. Now, we travel with thirteen pallets, with a combined weight of 4,700 kilos. This includes everything we need: cameras, dollies, monitors, audio desks, audio amplification, cabling, tables and even a coffee and tea set. Very important for our UK customer, for whom tea breaks are sacred." To develop a fly-pack like this, significant expertise is required. "You need to know exactly what you’re taking with you. To be on a mountain in South Africa and find you’re missing a cable is unthinkable."

The newly developed ‘Grand Tour'-set successfully underwent its first field trials in Johannesburg, and Los Angeles much to the delight of Burnaby Lautier and his team. "The set is fantastic to work with. It takes four hours to set up and two hours to get this flight ready again. And in between, it works like a charm."

'The Grand Tour' will be available from November 18, 2016 via Amazon’s paid streaming service. Every week, a new episode will be placed online.

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Based in the Music Pavilion at Hilversum’s Media Park, United is a service provider operating nationally and internationally that offers technical and creative support. We have state-of-the-art facilities and service-minded staff who always see the customer as their number-one priority.

Our joint experience, passion for the profession, flexibility and versatility have made us an obvious partner. Together with our customers we are always innovating to retain our lead in terms of quality.  The focus of our cutting-edge projects lies on Augmented Reality, Remote Broadcast and 4K. United is a member of the Euro Media Group ( (