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Producing Formula One from inside an air freight container

Austrian broadcaster Servus TV is foregoing an OB van and using an air freight container instead

Austrian broadcaster Servus TV is producing its coverage of the 2021 Formula One season from inside an air freight container.

NEP Germany, which is acting as a production service for the service, is working from a mobile production studio, installed in an extendable air freight container that NEP developed together with Broadcast Solutions.

The container is primarily used to produce interviews and expert commentary, which are captured by two wireless camera teams and one EB team around the track or in the pit lane. It contains all the technology usually found in an OB van.

The pod, which is travelling to each race on this season’s calendar, can be enlarged from 7.5 m2 to 14m2 and offers space for four workstations (an audio engineer, a video engineer, and two editorial staff), including a central technical rack with 2x 38 RU.

It is also being used to monitor the video and audio signals from the camera teams working on the production, as well as to control the intercom signals and the Motorola radio links. During the live shows, the audio and video signals are transmitted directly from the race track via dark fibre to the Servus TV broadcast centre in Salzburg, where the PGM signal is created. In-ear monitoring of the presenters, reporters and camera teams is managed in the Pod to avoid audio delays.

The pod has also been designed to be remotely controlled from Salzburg if needed.