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Sky builds on vehicle expertise

Sky has been building its own vehicles for news and sports for four years, and is now offering its services to other broadcasters. “We were building vehicles for Sky UK and Europe, and we had a lot of interest from outside companies,” said John Ault, senior engineer.

It has built 24 vehicles for Sky UK, 13 for Sky Deutschland and it is currently building a portable studio for Sky Sports on a 3.5-ton Sprinter-size chassis. The single-side expanding studio will be 4x4x3m when open, and will be used for a new football show launching in mid-October.

“The demountable studio can’t be expanded when it is on the van. It is not unusable, it’s just that the studio space is much smaller,” explained Beth Fairweather-Bloud, vehicle technology manager.

It is showing a Ranger XL vehicle at IBC that can be used with the studio. The dual-path uplink unit supports four fibre cameras and two wireless cameras – it uses custom 3D printed brackets to give 360º directional coverage around the van.

It also uses Riedel’s new Bolero wireless intercom system, Peplink Pepwave 3G/4G cellular bonding (to remote control the vehicle) and has a Bluebell Silhouette box designed for a Sky Deutschland project, which supplies the fibre cameras with power, comms,
bi-directional video and audio and Gigabit Ethernet.

It is also planning a demountable box to house camera racking and operators that plugs in to a small SNG van, to provide racked cameras without needing a large OB truck; and a small, non-expandable, remote interview studio, with dish and generator, on a 3.5-ton Sprinter.