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Megahertz Unveils New OB Truck

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Megahertz has unveiled a new fast response newsgathering OB vehicle that will be on show at IBC2017.

The truck is one of over 25 vehicles that Megahertz has delivered to a major broadcaster to replace its entire News fleet. It supports quick, simple and reliable on-location content acquisition, editing and transmission for live broadcast missions. Journalists using the mobile unit can gather content via small handheld cameras or the stored on-board ENG camera, or source it from other news crews in a mix of file formats. Audio and stills can also be gathered via iPhone or iPad and edited and transferred through the van.

The long wheelbase Mercedes Vito Dualiner with auto transmission can accommodate a driver and a passenger, along with an extra 100kg of broadcast equipment. It enables the reporting teams to carry out live broadcast quality video contributions to a variety of destinations, via satellite connectivity.

On the roof, a VSAT satellite-based IP connection can be switched between Ku-band and Ka-band. The truck is also fitted with bonded cellular connectivity via a 3G/4G cellular roof mounted IP connection, offering its own Wi-Fi signal and the option to be powered while the vehicle is in motion. Externally mounted combined 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz WAPs, with an effective range of operation from the vehicle, are also available. A COFDM MPEG4 radio link with small mast is present on two London-based iterations of this vehicle, enabling news crews to lift the antenna above the bustle of the street when required.

In addition, the OB truck provides sufficient battery power to run for a minimum period of six hours of editing, plus one hour of live contribution time. The broadcaster was keen that the unit be as environmentally friendly as possible, so by means of smart load shedding by the Megahertz design team, only the equipment needed is powered up in each stage of the newsgathering process – acquisition, editing and transmission. The batteries are charged overnight to support a complete day's work, using the engine to top up the battery only in extreme circumstances.

Equipment on-board includes a TAIT TB7100 communications and CTP talkback system, an NTT MVE5000 encoder, a Blackmagic Smart Videohub and a Blackmagic ATEM Television Studio vision mixer, a Cobham MP4 radio camera system, Sony headphones and Myers microphones.

Steve Burgess, CTO of Megahertz, said: "This ingenious small format newsgathering vehicle is a credit to the capable and imaginative design and installation teams at Megahertz, especially considering the restrictions associated with a leased vehicle. We are looking forward to showcasing the van on our stand at IBC 2017 to illustrate how we can tackle even the most difficult system design challenges."
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