Procam truck breaks new European ground

UK-based hire company Procam Television has taken delivery of its first multi-purpose production vehicle, which was built by UK systems integration specialist Broadcast Networks and also includes an impressive number of European firsts.

The new vehicle can accommodate up to 12 cameras and is based on a Volkswagen Crafter chassis. It has sufficient room to accommodate a crew of five and incorporates some of the most sophisticated broadcast and production technology on the market.

“We have one of the first Blackmagic ATEM 2M/E production switchers in Europe in it, the first of the Sony TRIMASTER EL OLED monitors to be delivered, and the first European Cinedeck RX disc recorders as well,” says Perry Mitchell, Procam Television’s Technical Director.

Procam’s brief was to provide the company with a production vehicle that offered maximum flexibility and could also operate in situations where an external power supply wasn’t available. This was achieved by sourcing equipment with 12 volt inputs and by incorporating a 12 volt power system with on-board batteries and an AC inverter. “This system was originally developed for the luxury yacht market, but it works perfectly on board this vehicle as the combination of 12 volt equipment and 12 volt power means that the truck can operate for up to five hours without access to an external generator or mains power,” says Mitchell, who further adds that the vehicles online uninterruptible power supply allocates 100Amps of a total 120 to powering the kit, and 20Amps to keeping the batteries charged. “The equipment never sees mains power,” he says.

The vehicle is equipped with four Cinedeck RX two-channel HD tapeless digital video recorders, which were chosen because they have removable disks and accept a variety of formats including ProRes, DNxHD, Cineform and uncompressed 422 and 444, up to 1080p. It also has a Blackmagic 40 x 40 Videohub video router that can be used with iPad control, a Blackmagic ATEM 2M/E production switcher, and the previously mentioned seven Sony TRIMASTER EL monitors with OLED technology, which were chosen primarily for their colour accuracy.

Matthew Slater, Project Manager for Broadcast Networks, adds that the interior of the vehicle has been carefully thought out to ensure maximum space and flexibility for the operating crews. “The sound, production and engineering control areas are on a single desk across the length of the vehicle and we have designed the desk so that different audio mixers can be accommodated depending on the production,” he explains. “We have also cabled the vehicle in such a way that crews can specify the free-standing production equipment they want to work with and then have it quickly and easily installed.”

Externally, the vehicle has a pneumatic telescopic mast that can be used to mount cameras for overhead shots, plus a roof platform for camera personnel.


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