First up will be a €700,000 four-wheel drive Mercedes Sprinter DSNG van that will have a triax camera and a wireless camera, plus five VTRs, all different Sony and Panasonic formats, to provide recording and playback for other broadcasters.
“We buy this truck because Cyprus will take over the EU Presidency in the second half of 2012, and will offer broadcast facilities for all broadcasters visiting us,” explained Chrysanthos Hadjioannou, CyBC’s Director Technical Services (right in picture).
It is also buying robotic cameras for the conference centre, HMI lights, camera stabilization and various MCR equipment, which are going out to tender, but given the lead times it had to buy the trucks first.
Reliability was the key aspect for Project Engineer, Yioula Kyriacou (left in picture). “Everything is fully redundant.” With dual paths for RF, plus external power, a generator and an uninterruptible power supply – “That is not on everything, but it can keep us on air.”
They also had to make sure the air conditioning was powerful enough to cope with the hot summers in Cyprus – "We can get 42º [Celsius] in the shade," said Hadjioannou.
It has dual Ericsson encoders, upconverters and Xicom 400W amplifiers, feeding an Advent 1.8m Ku-band dish - bigger than usual for Europe, but it has to cover Eutelsat, Hellas Sat II and other satellites covering Europe and North Africa.
The uplink can do both HD and SD, in MPEG-2 and MPEG-4, and in 4:2:0 and 4:2:2. “It is a particularly flexible, well-specified production/uplink vehicle,” said Steve Burgess, Technical Director, Megahertz/KIT digital (centre in picture). “It’s got everything you’d ever want on a truck."
“The challenge was to build a system that could do a lot, but keep it simple to use,” added Kyriacou.
The €3.3m OB truck will be delivered early next year, and will be used for a wide range of productions besides coverage of the EU Presidency, mainly sport. It will have 12 Grass Valley LDK 4000 cameras, a Ross vision mixer, Evertz router and glue, a Studer Vista 9 audio console, and EVS XT3 servers.