Royal Thai Army Television enlists OB Van from Hitachi Kokusai Turkey
THAILAND: Hitachi Kokusai Turkey has designed and constructed a multi-functional OB van for Royal Thai Army Television (Channel 5). The Thai national broadcaster required a small and versatile production vehicle that could be sent where it was not possible to deploy larger trucks as it broadcasts a range of live sporting and cultural events. Hitachi’s local representative, Bangkok-based P.S. & Sons (Thailand) Co Ltd, facilitated the sale and worked closely with the manufacturer on the project.
The OB van was formed around a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van, reportedly offering a compact and lightweight construction that houses the OB production equipment, which comprises five Hitachi SK-HD1200 multi format HDTV production cameras. There is enough room inside the van for six production engineers to travel to and operate the equipment at an outside broadcast.
The van was built at Hitachi’s facility in Istanbul, with the Sprinter serving as the foundation to which the manufacturer added modification including the installation of stabilising jacks, thermal and acoustic insulation, air conditioning and a bespoke ergonomic working environment. To enable simple setup and break-down on location, all cabling was installed and is stored on motorised drums in the back of the van.
In addition to the Hitachi cameras, the van was installed Ross Video vision switchers and 3G/HD-SDI routers, EVS slow motion servers, Inscriber character generators, Panasonic, Sony and AJA recorders, Blackmagic Design HDMI-SDI converters and a Yamaha digital audio mixer. Audio equipment from Sennheiser, Trilogy, Genelec and TASCAM was also included.
‘We were first attracted to Hitachi by the quality of their cameras, which we saw being operated at the Incheon Asian Games but then we became aware of the fantastic OB centre of excellence that the company has developed in Istanbul,’ explained Sumneang Noipasri, chief engineer of technical division at Royal Thai Army Television (Channel 5). ‘Their ability to meet our production needs so completely with such a relatively small vehicle is a big help. And the cost savings generated by this innovative approach are a big bonus for us too.’
‘Each vehicle that we produce is individually configured to meet the needs of its owner – in this case we have packed an enormous amount of production technology into a very compact vehicle,’ noted Koji Yuzawa, general manager of Hitachi Kokusai Turkey. ‘We see this approach becoming increasingly popular in many geographic regions and for broadcasters both large and small.’