Racecourse Technical Services has ordered three new HD OB vehicles to provide the production facilities for Racing UK Ltd as C4 moves to HD coverage of UK horse racing. The trucks will be designed and built by Megahertz and are due to be deployed in the first quarter of next year.
RaceTech received the commission from Racing UK to build and operate a fleet of three bespoke OB vehicles that would be capable of race coverage, programme coverage, feeds to the stewards and commentators and on-course closed-circuit television production. These new production vehicles will be built by MHz to replace three of the company’s existing fleet of six OB units. The 2011 Cheltenham Festival in March is expected to be the first major horseracing fixture to be shown in HD by terrestrial broadcaster, Channel 4
“We admire Megahertz’s approach to design and the recent OB trailers they have built are testament to their intrinsic understanding of not only the ergonomics of the space being used but the operational requirements of the production crews,” said Mick Both, RaceTech's director of engineering and technical operations. “We have a longstanding relationship with Megahertz and their commitment to the broadcast market as well as their knowledge of the HD mobile production business was pivotal to the company being selected for this project.”
Based on MAN 26T chassis, each vehicle is 12 meters long, with a rigid body. They each have hydraulically operated expanding sections — an 800mm expanding section to the main production area and a 1000mm expanding platform running the full length of the vehicle to provide easy access to all three entrances along an external walkway. There are separate production areas for both RaceTech and Racing UK alongside additional areas for VT and Vision Control.
At the heart of the system is a 96x96 HD/SD Evertz Router with additional X-link outputs feeding the multiviewers ensuring output efficiencies. The system is capable of taking up to 10 Triax cameras and three radio cameras, 12 XDCam recorders plus a video server. Also included is a Chyron HyperX3 realtime 2D/3D character generator and graphics platform and a GVG Kayak HD production vision mixer. Audio routing is provided via a 32x32 analogue router and a 32x32 AES/EBU router alongside a Yamaha DM1000 audio mixer. Furthermore a substantial amount of fibre equipment is deployed to accommodate the distances involved in providing services to remote parts of each racecourse.
“The implementation of these three trucks is further proof that Megahertz is the leading provider of systems integration for mobile production facilities,” said Frances Jarvis, managing director of Megahertz. “Our teams are conversant in both the technical and operational issues confronting today’s broadcasters allowing them to provide the most appropriate design, specify the best-of-breed technical solutions and workflow implementation needed to meet the exacting needs of customers like RaceTech — and do so on time and within budget.”