SIS LIVE has delivered the first of 18 Ka Band satellite newsgathering (SNG) trucks, as part of a seven-year contract with ITV and ITN. The trucks are all due to be delivered throughout this year.
The new fleet, designed and integrated by SIS LIVE’s in house project team, is based on Mercedes Sprinter and Vito vans with 1.2m and 1.0m SIS LIVE uplinks. The light, flexible antennas allow for installation in a smaller 3.5T vehicle, avoiding the 56mph speed restriction of the 5T vehicles. On board equipment includes HD, SDI, fibre and wireless camera inputs as well as highly specified vision and audio mixers. Each (ITN) truck is dual path capable with redundant transmit chains and features a generator with battery-powered UPS backup. An enhanced dual modem system aims to ensure the most efficient and reliable use of bandwidth for IP over satellite.
ITV and ITN will be the first to benefit from SIS LIVE’s extended provision of IP services which sees the launch of a new iDirect hub at MediaCityUK to work alongside its existing Milton Keynes iDirect services.
SIS LIVE’s software development team are working on the upgrade of its proprietary uBook system to enable the allocation of bandwidth between DVB and IP carriers, aiming to ensure that the satellite capacity usage is maximised at all times. This allows the new SNG fleet to deliver ‘source to studio’ file based content alongside breaking live news. SIS LIVE’s uBook is an integrated and secure booking system that works with any satellite capacity, enabling broadcasters to provide live coverage on-demand with uPod uplinks.
“This is the third generation of SNG vehicles that we have leased from SIS LIVE and each generation has been marked by an advance in operational capability through the latest technology,” said Malcolm Smith, head of newsgathering operations at ITN. “This new truck is the first to be a hybrid combining HD video over satellite with IP connectivity. This combines the essential reason for SNG vehicles which is the provision of reliable live inserts to programmes from anywhere in the UK, while the IP facilitates our move to an integrated file based newsgathering workflow using the latest solid state memory ENG cameras.”