TV Skyline’s OB7 hits the road this week
Germany’s TV Skyline has unveiled OB7, the company’s latest remote production unit that will officially hit the road on 1 May and is a very different unit from the company’s previous units, according to Wolfgang Reeh, TV Skyline manager, CEO and founder. It also will be the first OB unit to feature the new Snell Maverick control surface.
“It’s very different because it is based on a survey we made during the last two years that found what we needed was a truck with lots of space for people,” he explains. “So that’s why we now offer 32 workplaces for people to work.”
The truck offers double the number of operator positions of previous TV Skyline units, making it not only more comfortable to work in but also suitable for a wide range of clients, including broadcasters, corporate clients and more.
The biggest advance is that OB7 has three separate control rooms that are all under the control of a single Snell Kahuna 360 vision mixer and a Snell router. The first OB unit has a main control room and a second control room that, together, measure 28 square metres. Then there is a third control room that measures about 10 square metres in the support unit. There is also room in the main OB truck for six EVS replay positions as well as three or four in the support truck.
“The Kahuna has 5MEs and every physical ME board can do up to four different mixes so you can do up to 20 mix effects,” adds Reeh. “And one special thing is that this is first installation of the Snell Maverik panel.”
Reeh says TV Skyline worked closely with Snell, helping the company develop a control interface that is comprised of modules that can be put together like puzzle pieces.
“You can change the mechanical configuration without the need for tools or changing cabling,” explains Reeh. “So if you like you change the T-bar or control button set-up for every production or take a module out and put it into the second control room.
“It’s typical for sports that the host signal is created in one control room and then there is a second and third control room need for unilateral takers with editing and highlights. In Germany, for example, we’re doing Bundesliga Premier League and there is the host control room, another for pay TV, and then a third for free TV that is doing highlights.”
While Bundesliga, Championsleague and Euroleague were considerations when designing the truck, the desire to keep it busy doing high-end entertainment shows and concerts was another important factor.
“Those are the events where you really need high-end quality from both the vision and audio side,” adds Reeh. “You need to be able to make a live broadcast of a classical concert or opera in 5.1 Dolby but also stereo at the same time and doing isolated recording on hard disk drives.”
The audio area, as a result, shines as it has high-quality acoustics and speaker placement as well as plenty of mixing room via a Lawo mc56 audio console.
“It has more than 81 inputs and 81 outputs and can make multi-track recordings of up to 2 x 128 tracks,” says Reeh. “So it can do all kinds of jobs, from pop concerts to classical concerts and any kind of sports.”
The unit is also ready for Ultra HD as it includes a Virtual Studio Manager (VSM) control system from L-S-B Company that can be configured for 4K by taking four HD inputs and outputs and creating a single 4K signal.
The truck sports plenty of HD cameras, too, with the company deciding that Ikegami HDK97s offered the best picture quality after extensive assessments. In total, TV Skyline purchased 22 Ikegami Unicam HDK-97A/970A and one Ikegami HiMotion Ultra Slo Motion.
“We did some tests to see which camera provides the best picture quality, the lowest amount of noise, and handles bad lighting the best and for us the best picture was from the Ikegami cameras,” he says. Fujinon lenses are also on board as he says they do the best job of handling the resolution of 1080p cameras.