Megahertz will show new OB truck for BBC NI

Megahertz, OB truck for BBC NI
Neal Romanek
August 24th 2016 at 2:03PM : By Neal Romanek

The truck, which will be on display at IBC2016, is one of a pair to be delivered to BBC Northern Ireland for newsgathering, sports and live events coverage

At IBC, Megahertz will be showing, for the first time, its new news production truck for BBC Northern Ireland (BBC NI).

The Mercedes Benz Sprinter DSNG truck is one of 37 vehicles Megahertz has delivered to the public broadcaster over the last two years, when the BBC framework for the provision of Live Broadcast Vehicles was put in place. As part of that order, the systems integrator will deliver two of these ‘Type 3’ vehicles to BBC NI.

The trucks will be used primarily for BBC NI newsgathering, but will also cover sporting and other events across the United Kingdom, and occasionally in Europe. 

The new truck is built on a 5.3 tonnes chassis and has a 1.6m AvL Technologies SNG antenna mounted on the roof, which operates on the Ku band frequency and can receive and transmit HD video signals. The broadcast technology equipment on board the truck includes Evertz SPGs, a Blackmagic Design Atem vision mixer and a Snell Advanced Media (SAM) 96-port router, all connected with Crystal Vision glue.

The truck is fitted with an on-board 12kVA Fischer Panda generator, comprising a compact, silent three-cylinder diesel engine, which powers the vehicle for all broadcast operations. Also on board are two 400W amplifiers in a redundant configuration.

“As with all the vehicles we build, we endeavour to fit the maximum amount of equipment into the space and weight capacity that’s available. For the particular vehicle that we’re showcasing at IBC, our aim was to install the largest main satellite antenna possible, as BBC NI operates closer towards the edge of the satellite footprint than the other English regions vehicles we’ve equipped in the past,” said Steve Burgess, technical director at Megahertz.

“We made optimum use of the space on the roof to accommodate the mast, generator radiator, air-conditioning and off-air satellite dish, all on a medium wheelbase vehicle, and within the weight limit for the roof. Close attention had to be paid to the centre of gravity of the vehicle, which must not exceed the limits set by Mercedes.”