Megahertz (MHz) has been awarded the system integration contract by ITN to build a new links vehicle to provide additional news gathering facilities to its existing fleet.
A replacement for an ageing news gathering vehicle, the new truck has recently gone into production at MHz's Ely premises and will be delivered to ITN in November 2009.
The vehicle, with a fully integrated, HD-compliant infrastructure, will initially be used for standard-definition newsgathering. It is based on a 5 Ton Mercedes Sprinter and includes an on-board 8kVA Fischer Panda diesel generator, together with batteries and inverter for emergency power should this be required in the field. The new vehicle will be equipped with two pneumatic masts - one will support a terrestrial microwave link while the other will be mounted with a panoramic camera, both on pan & tilt heads. Feeds into the truck will originate from radio link cameras and fibre cameras, while further inputs can be directed via on-board VTRs routed through a For-A vision mixer and an Allen & Heath audio mixer.
"We chose Megahertz to design and build our new vehicle because they come with a proven track record for building durable, state-of-the-art links trucks, but more importantly they understood the requirements of the news environment," said Malcolm Smith, head of newsgathering operations at ITN. "MHz recognised what we were trying to achieve and are working together with us to implement a mobile facility that meets our news gathering needs while at the same time providing the cost-efficiencies we required.
"The new ITN vehicle has been designed with two roles in mind. In addition to its core role delivering live news content from story locations via radio link, the vehicle will also be equipped with the additional facilities that we need to enable ITN to anchor news bulletins from major story locations around the UK."
"We first built an SNG truck for ITN 10 years ago. Since that time we have acquired a significant amount of experience in both fixed newsroom environments and newsgathering vehicles to better understand our clients' needs in such a demanding environment to reduce cost and increase productivity," said Greg Hoskin, managing director of Megahertz. "We worked very closely with ITN to define their requirements and provide designs that would better meet their operational needs within a space-constrained setting."