Megahertz BBC Northern Ireland DSNG truck set for showcase
Systems integrator Megahertz Ltd will be showcasing a fully featured news production truck that will be delivered to BBC Northern Ireland (BBC NI) after its appearance on the company’s IBC show stand. This will be the first showing of this vehicle to the broadcast industry and to IBC visitors, who will have a chance to explore the Mercedes Benz Sprinter DSNG truck during the show.
The truck is one of 37 vehicles that have been delivered by Megahertz to the public broadcaster over the last two years, when the BBC framework for the provision of Live Broadcast Vehicles was put in place. As part of that order, the systems integrator is delivering two of these ‘Type 3’ vehicles to BBC NI, one of which will be at the show.
Predominantly the trucks will be used for BBC NI Newsgathering, but they will also cover sporting and other general broadcasting events across the United Kingdom, and occasionally in Europe. They have each been designed to provide all the facilities necessary to support these outside broadcasts within the limitations of the space and payload available.
“As with all the vehicles we build, we endeavour to fit the maximum amount of equipment into the space and weight capacity that’s available. For the particular vehicle that we’re showcasing at IBC, our aim was to install the largest main satellite antenna possible, as BBC NI operates closer towards the edge of the satellite footprint than the other English regions vehicles we’ve equipped in the past,” explained Steve Burgess, technical director at Megahertz.
The new truck is built on a 5.3 tonnes chassis and has a 1.6m AvL Technologies SNG antenna mounted on the roof, which operates on the Ku band frequency and can receive and transmit HD video signals. The broadcast technology equipment on board the truck includes Evertz SPGs, a Blackmagic Design Atem vision mixer and a Snell Advanced Media (SAM) 96-port router, all connected with Crystal Vision glue.
“In addition, we made optimum use of the space on the roof to accommodate the mast, generator radiator, air-conditioning and off-air satellite dish, all on a medium wheelbase vehicle, and within the weight limit for the roof. Close attention had to be paid to the centre of gravity of the vehicle, which must not exceed the limits set by Mercedes.”
The truck is fitted with an on-board 12kVA Fischer Panda generator, comprising a compact and super silent three-cylinder diesel engine, which powers the vehicles for all their broadcast operations. Also on-board are two 400W amplifiers in a fully redundant configuration.
The new vehicle will be delivered to Northern Ireland as part of a full turnkey Megahertz service that included design, coach building, installation and commissioning.