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Astro Malaysia finds fantastic value in OBs

10 September 2012
Astro Malaysia finds fantastic value in OBs

Megahertz has built four vehicles for Malaysian broadcaster Astro: two multimedia DSNG trucks and two large OBs, a 20-camera truck and the 16-camera 12m one expanding side vehicle on show at IBC. It cost about £1.3m, “which is fantastic value for money,” said Dennis Dovale (pictured right), head of technical operations, Astro Malaysia Holdings. Astro, which has sports, entertainment and news channels, in three languages, is expanding rapidly, launching a new satellite next year and many more channels, and will be adding further trucks in the next 18 months. All of its cameras and switchers are Sony, having moved from Grass Valley based on value for money and a liking for the features of Sony’s MVS-6000 and 7000 switcher series, which it now has in all of its trucks and studios – it bought two of the latest version Sony launched at IBC for two new mobile/flyaway production units. The new truck has Miranda hybrid routing systems and multiviewers, chosen because all audio embedding/de-embedding and MADI is done in one box, and three 8-channel EVS XT3 servers. For audio Astro has gone the unusual route of Yamaha DM2000 mixers, because it is widely used in Malaysia – the truck has two mixers cascaded together to give more console surface and redundancy. One desk runs Ethersound (audio over Cat5), the other MADI. “It’s a really nice, simple, flexible solution,” said Dovale. For power it has 30kVA UPS to keep the entire truck (other than air con) running for ten minutes. “It is a true online UPS. It’s effectively charging the batteries continually and the truck is always powered from the batteries, because power fluctuations are common in Malaysia,” he explained. “The truck has beefed up air conditioning so that if any unit fails it won’t knock out the air to any one area,” added Steve Burgess (pictured left), technical director, Megahertz, while the expanding side has a flap on top for monsoon conditions. – David Fox11.F20

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