Arena’s 2015 OB truck is 8K-ready

UK outside broadcast services supplier Arena is building a new OB scanner it believes will be the world’s most advanced when it launches toward the end of this year. The truck is not only being designed for 4K UHD but 8K as well, according to company founder and managing director Richard Yeowart. “While many broadcasters aren’t in a rush to roll out 4K, it is clearly the next step and the infrastructure we use is also designed to cope with 8K once the equipment arrives,” he said.

Arena has a contract with Sunset+Vine to cover all BT Sport’s football played in England and Wales until 2017. Arena was at NAB last month with a view to fine-tuning its designs for OBX, a triple-expand truck currently under construction at coach-builders A Smith Great Bentley (ASGB) and slated to hit the road towards the end of 2015.

“This ground-breaking truck will feature a range of ‘next gen’ technology, some of which is still to be publicly unveiled by the relevant manufacturers,” states Arena on its web page. “We believe it will be the most powerful and advanced OB truck in the world when it launches.” Yeowart said exact details remain under wraps.

OB companies are building out new trucks in preparation for 4K service launches at the start of next season. CTV’s latest truck, OB 11, is claimed as one of the largest in Europe and capable of a 28-camera production. With 3G routing it is 4K ready. The truck was commissioned to work on CTV’s cricket contract for Sky Sports.

NEP Australia, part of US giant NEP Broadcasting, is taking delivery of two new trucks, in July and December this year, which are set to be its first fully-4K super trucks. NEP in the US is also equipping two new mobile units with a significant IP infrastructure to cover the NFL, one arriving in August and the other a little later.

George Hoover, NEP CTO, said the trucks would feature a hybrid routing switcher with a combination of baseband and IP and described the infrastructure as a “baby step” toward video over IP live production.

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