Compact OB vans are the unsung heroes of the production world. These small but mighty vehicles are revolutionising how we bring live events to audiences around the globe. With their advanced technology and versatility, they offer a seamless experience for both event organisers and viewers alike. Zest4.tv’s compact OB vans have become an essential tool for delivering high-quality live events. Whether it’s festivals, sports matches, concerts, studio projects or even royal engagements, these agile vehicles are perfect for capturing all the action.
At Zest4.tv we film live events, outside broadcasts, live streams and corporate productions. We’re located in Sunbury-on-Thames, where we currently house two OB vans. The first truck, named OB1, is constructed on a sturdy 7.2T IVECO Daily chassis and can house up to 10 camera control units with a vision mixer capable of 40 inputs. OB1 also boasts three distinct seated galleries, with 4 seats dedicated to production, 2 allocated for engineering, and another seat for sound.
The compact OBMini is atop a nimble 3.5T Mercedes Sprinter chassis, can house 8 cameras and also has a vision mixer capable of 40 inputs. This mobile unit has 4 production seats and 2 engineering seats in the rear.
Compact OB vans have proven to be incredibly convenient while operating in Central London, as they can easily fit outside most venues. We successfully stationed ourselves outside KOKO Camden for a corporate event, the Kentish Town Forum for a YungBlud concert, and even managed to squeeze into a narrow space on the side of the road during the Cannes Film Festival in France. The tightest space we’ve squeezed into was at the back of the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury music festival – anything a metre longer would not have fitted.
Smaller vehicles produce less emissions than larger trucks. Their use in an OB fleet aligns with a company’s commitment to use more sustainable practices in broadcast production – for example in larger productions that want to be accredited as an albert+ sustainable production.
The use of smaller vehicles does not affect the ability to provide full production facilities (vision mixing, engineering, audio mix, EVS and graphics) or as an on-site engineering facility for remote productions (where the remote gallery is at a third party location or at our bespoke MCR in Sunbury-On-Thames, for example).
Small vehicles can also be combined to provide an increasingly powerful solution. Both OB1 and OBMini house ERECA Stage Racer 2 units. Two single-mode fibres allow 24 video, 32 audio, data and GPI signals to be transferred between vehicles as if they were a single, larger, truck.
OB1 and OBMini can also serve as an additional facility for larger events or OBs, for example as a truck for Pres (Presenter) coverage or combining feeds from multiple sources for a specific broadcast. For example, at the Glastonbury Festival in 2022, OB1 had 19 cameras on the mixer for the live IMAG screens during the Paul McCartney Pyramid Stage headline set. This combined a mixture of in-truck cameras, and external OB cameras from the separate BBC OB and artist cameras.
Smaller vans are frequently employed as a more cost-effective option compared to their counterparts. Cameras, graphics, audio and comms can be added bespoke to requirements and budget.
With our vans and expert engineers at the ready, we can easily deploy our compact OB vans at a moment’s notice. We’ve worked on countless productions where we’ve stepped in at the last minute and pulled together resources to make it happen.