BTS launches its 555th OB van

The latest OB truck from BTS is a particularly cool van built for the iPad generation. It features technical innovations inside the vehicle and a new Monitoring Alarming Ineraction and Display Solution (MAIDS) that allows monitoring from outside the truck from a tablet computer like the iPad.
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The latest OB truck from BTS is a particularly cool van built for the iPad generation. It features technical innovations inside the vehicle and a new Monitoring Alarming Ineraction and Display Solution (MAIDS) that allows monitoring from outside the truck from a tablet computer like the iPad. BTS has been independent for little more than a month, following the purchase of the former Grass Valley systems integration division by Parter Capital Group. It has reverted to the name it had before becoming part of Philips and then Thomson, however, its history stretches back to 1929 and it has built 555 OB vans at its factory near Darmstadt, Germany, since 1951, including the first fully digital HD transmission van in 2003. Its latest OB has been designed for extreme conditions. It was built for Qatar TV as part of an €8.5m contract, and “has to work in a desert environment with temperatures of 55º and higher,” explained Bernd Wohlfarth, sales and marketing manager. It has three particularly powerful, redundant, independent air conditioning systems, plus air-sealed doors that use a stream of high-pressure air (with blowers either side of the entrances) to prevent even a sand storm from blowing in dust. It is a spacious truck using a full-length 1.6m expanding side that provides more headroom than usual thanks to a patented weight-saving design. It is being delivered with eight Grass Valley cameras, but pre-wired for 14. It also has: a 4M/E Grass Valley Kayak switcher with Kayenne XL control panel; Trinix 3G 192x288 router with built-in multiviewers; VSM control system; Vizrt Trio character generator; Lynx glue equipment; two Sony HD Cam tape decks and two XD Cam disc recorders; Sony OLED monitors and Pixtron LCD displays; Tektronix measuring and synch equipment; Lawo mc2 56 audio console; and a Reidel Artist 128 intercom system. To ensure reliability, all major equipment is in the fixed parts of the truck, with anything noisy in an acoustically separate room at the back. It includes collapsible monitors for the rear seating positions, so users can get unrestricted view of the monitor wall. It is the second of three trucks, another just like it has been delivered, while an auxiliary truck with comprehensive redundant power generation (2x60kVA generator and a 50kVA UPS) and a built-in expanding-sided, glass-walled studio (which also acts as camera storage) is being built now. The OB truck also has wireless monitoring of all of the its important operating data from outside the vehicle via a tablet PC, to give advance warning of any problems. The MAIDS software, developed in house, was shown for the first time at IBC, and BTS intends adding extra functions in future following customer feedback. BTS is also doing systems integration, and has been equipping studios for Fox Television in Turkey and elsewhere. – David Foxwww.bts-broadcast.com

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