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News on the move

A major broadcaster is replacing its entire news fleet, and Megahertz is showing the latest of more than 25 vehicles at IBC. The single-operator van is a fast-response news-gathering vehicle that will support quick, simple and reliable content acquisition, editing and transmission for live broadcasts, said the company.

The unit has an on-board ENG camera or can take in material in various file formats. Audio and stills can also be gathered via iPhone or iPad and edited and transferred through the van.

The long wheelbase Mercedes Vito has a roof-mounted VSAT IP connection (Ku band and Ka band), plus bonded cellular connectivity via a 3G/4G rooftop IP antenna, with WiFi, which can be used while in motion. A COFDM MPEG4 radio link with small mast has been fitted to two London-based versions of the vehicle.

There is sufficient battery power to run for at least six hours of editing plus one hour of live contribution. The broadcaster wanted the unit to be environmentally friendly, so thanks to smart load shedding by the Megahertz designers, only necessary equipment is powered up for each stage of the newsgathering process.

The engine is only needed to top up the battery in extreme circumstances.

As the vans are leased, the chassis of the vehicle could not be cut or drilled into. Equipment onboard includes: TAIT TB7100 communications and CTP talkback; NTT MVE5000 encoder; Blackmagic Smart Videohub; Blackmagic ATEM vision mixer; Cobham MP4 radio camera system; and Sony headphones.