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03/04/2006

TAS builds Arena HD OB unit

Bromsgrove based Total Audio Solutions has been toasting the success of its biggest truck build project to date; Arena TV’s Unit 7 High Definition OB truck.
The brief was to produce a class leading purpose built “multi-format” High Definition OB solution, capable of covering the largest of OB events both today and into the future. Unit 7 has already successfully handled the Brits and the BAFTA Awards in recent months.
The truck is considered to be Europe’s largest HD unit, The vehicle is built to the maximum length permissible under European legislation. Both sides fully expand along the whole length of the unit, to provide a massive amount of internal space. Total Audio Solutions worked closely with Arena to fulfil the state of the art requirements. “The key challenge was the distribution, routing and monitoring of Hi Def video with embedded Dolby E”, explained Total Audio’s Andy Unsworth. “In a truck of this size, processing latency is a major element.”
The production area features monitor stacks based around 26” HD LCD monitors with a tiny 8ms delay (broadly similar to that of CRT monitors), custom built for Arena with quad splits and on screen tally and UMD mnemonics, allowing for up to 80 sources to be displayed.
To handle the audio, Total Audio installed a Calrec Alpha console with Axon Dolby processing cards, capable of routing 300 analogue channels in mono. stereo or surround. Monitoring is by Genelec and there is provision for hard disk recording. The on board VT area allows for tape directors with full monitoring and 8 -10 operators per unit while the Vision areas have 6 racking positions for up to 25 cameras each. Vision routing is in HD using a Probel Sirius Gold 512x512 matrix (at up to 3g) and there is a final down-conversion to SD & PAL where required.
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