German media and broadcast specialist Studio Hamburg MCI has recently outfitted a BroaMan automatic routing system into an OB van, owned by NRK, a public broadcast station in Norway.
According to MCI project manager Götz Ahlert, his company had the BroaMan fibre solution in mind since the beginning of the installation. “The task was to set up a reliable connection between up to four TV cameras and an OB van—which in turn was connected via satellite to the broadcast centre in Oslo—quickly and with minimal cabling. The BroaMan fibre units are located in a stage box on the camera side and on the corresponding side inside the OB truck.”
BroaMan supplied a unique solution for NRK, a small custom box with an SDI input and fibre output to house a single camera on one side, mechanically connected to a camera battery on the other. “Designed that way, the fibre connection is made directly with the camera unit, without any additional cables or separate boxes, providing maximum flexibility to the operator,” explained Ahlert.
In addition, BroaMan’s V3R-FX-IC444-SDI, a 4LI/4LO board with four GPIOs (general purpose input/output), enables four camera signals to be routed via a single fibre connection to the vehicle and then uplinked to the broadcast centre. Transmitted in the opposite direction, a monitor picture can be sent to the camera set, which is required if a speaker is communicating with the studio.
“NRK’s aim was to have a simple and easy-to-operate connection between camera and OB van for distances in excess of 100m. This is not possible with coax cables,” said Ahlert. “BroaMan provided us with a small, cost-effective solution with the ability to transport video, audio, data and GPIOs on one fibre cable.”
The new VW T5 vehicle is one of two, more compact OB vans fitted by MCI for NRK. The vehicles are used for brief news reports, sports and cultural events. One operates in the north of Norway, and the other in the Oslo region. In addition to the BroaMan signal transport, MCI also supplied a small video mixer and 16x16 matrix, a Lawo audio mixer and self-positioning satellite system with a carbon antenna as part of the installation.