Middle East's biggest OB van deploys with Al Kass Sports

OB truck Al Kass
Neal Romanek
January 30th 2016 at 12:10PM : By Neal Romanek

Van by Germany's Broadcast Solutions will serve major live events for the Al Kass sports channel

Broadcast Solutions has delivered a 31 camera OB van plus supporting truck to sports channel Al Kass in Qatar. Winning an international tender the OB van was designed , built and integrated at the Broadcast Solutions headquarters in Germany.

The live production vehicle, named OB-10, is the biggest addition to Al Kass’ OB Van fleet and will aid coverage of major live events for the Al Kass sports channel and for other TV stations when Al Kass acts as broadcast service provider. 

“This project is the first cooperation between Al Kass and Broadcast Solutions," said Samer Younes, technical advisor at Al Kass. "We were looking for companies that reach our demands for high-quality and specialised OB vans and who work as a full-service provider – we found this at Broadcast Solutions. The company has a more advanced approach to resources and the number of cameras to include directly in the OB. Broadcast Solutions helped us to reach our design goals for this OB van, which is the biggest one in the Middle East, and we are looking forward to many big productions with this van.”

The Al Kass OB-10 operates up to 31 cameras, 9 EVS XT-3 servers (12 channels each), 68 monitors and 240 multiviewer screens for up to 29 operators inside the van. To provide enough space for all equipment and personnel, Broadcast Solutions opted for a trailer design with a single expansion (1.6m) over the full length of the trailer, with a length of 16.5m (with tractor unit), 2.5m (expanded 4.1m) width, 4m height and a weight of 37t. Because of the protruding expansion, Broadcast Solutions paid careful attention to chassis stability. No additional stands are needed for the OB Van to be deployed. The OB-10 can be in operation within 20 minutes.

Since the OB Van is in use mainly in the Middle East, a sophisticated air-condition system is paramount to the vehicle's ongoing operation. The German system integrator included a highly efficient and partly redundant cooling system with a maximum cooling capacity for equipment and operators of up to more than 50°C outside temperature.

Besides electrically moving furniture further, modifications to the video switcher control surface (Grass Valley Kayenne) aided in creating streamlined and comfortable working conditions for the operators.

Most of the high power consuming equipment in OB-10 is located in the main equipment room at the rear of the trailer with separate air-condition circuits and is separated from the working areas by low-noise racks for less noise pollution. In an effort to optimise space, Broadcast Solutions mounted some of the A/V equipment in a fully air conditioned locker underneath the trailer.

Broadcast Solutions also delivered a supporting truck, the same size as OB-10, but without extension. This second vehicle is home to all mobile equipment - cameras, lenses, tripods, cable reels, etc. - plus a maintenance room. The storage room is equipped with a hydraulic platform for easy loading and unloading.

The supporting truck includes two generators and an UPS unit. The two generators supply 70 kVA each and feed air condition and equipment circuits separately. A special feature is the additional 900 litre built-in diesel tank which enables the generators to work for a minimum of 24 hours, providing electricity for the OB Van under full load. In case city electricity fails, the UPS ensures uninterrupted operation of all technical equipment in OB-10. In such a case both generators start and feed automatically. For equipment operability the supporting truck is equipped with two air conditioning systems.

Specifications Al Kass OB-10:

  • Dimensions (l/w/h): 16.5m (with tractor unit) / 2.5m (4.1m with extension) / 4.0m
  • Weight: 37t
  • Cameras: 20x Ikegami, 3G/HD
  • 7x Ikegami HI-Motion
  • 2x Ikegami wireless
  • 2x Antelope high-speed
  • Video Switcher: Grass Valley, Kayenne, 4M/E, 80 inputs / 48 outputs
  • Video Router: Grass Valley, NVISION, 288x450(576), 3G
  • Monitors: 68x SONY
  • Servers: 9x EVS, XT-3, 12 channels each
  • Control Systems: VSM
  • Tally System: included in VSM
  • Modular: Snell, IQ series
  • Multiviewer: Grass Valley, KMV series with 240 screens
  • Audio Mixer: Lawo, mc2 56 MKII with 48 faders
  • Audio Matrix: Lawo Nova
  • Intercom Matrix: Riedel, Artist 128
  • Wireless Talkback: Riedel / Motorola / Overline UC System
  • Network Matrix: 9x HP Ethernet switches with 272 ports