EMG has launched four front-end OB vehicles that enable broadcasters to harness the benefits of remote production.

Broadcast service provider EMG has ensured that the vehicles meet high standards of energy efficiency and reduced staff requirement on site while providing a state-of-the-art technology infrastructure.

The design of the vehicles – NOVA 51, NOVA 52, NOVA 53 and NOVA 54 – is underpinned by seven years’ experience of remote production for Premier League Production’s football coverage, as well as incorporating learnings and technological advances from the wider industry.

The NOVA 51 was the first vehicle to make its debut at the Oval on 11th May, providing coverage for Sky Sports on the LV County Championship first division between Surrey and London rivals Middlesex for the start of the domestic cricket season. A core team of vision engineers and audio were set up in the truck with signals going back to the Sky Sports production team at Osterley.

EMG UK sales director, Angela Gibbons said: “The feedback from our clients has been really positive. They’re just as passionate as us about the future possibilities of these trucks and how they contribute to the reduction of production’s footprint on site.”

The vehicles can be used standalone or can be scaled up to work together – while still providing more cost and energy efficiencies than a traditional OB truck.

They have been designed for traditional, remote surface, full remote, cloud and simplified production.

All equipment purchases for these new vehicles have factored in power efficiency, weight and size.

Using less power-hungry equipment has been a major factor, along with the use of hyperconverged (multi-use) integrated SI equipment resulting in smaller form factor, flexible workflows and more efficient use of power.

The vehicles use biodiesel which significantly reduces CO2 emissions compared with regular diesel. The bespoke vehicle dynamics means each vehicle will save in excess of 2000 litres of fuel per annum, thereby reducing the CO2 emissions further.

The 1700w solar mats fitted to the roof help create fuel efficiencies and internal battery power. There are plans to install an internal UPS system within each vehicle in the near future for hybrid use of shore power and battery when required which will be used instead of diesel generators on certain broadcasts.

External panels are made from recycled polypropylene and the internal acoustic wall coverings are made from 100% recycled P.E.T felt. Additional thermal insulation has been installed to maintain better cabin temperature and minimise the workload of air conditioning.

These front-end OB vehicles, while much smaller than traditional articulated OB trucks, still feature four bays of equipment including a gallery space and can accommodate up to nine people. Video and audio signals are captured in the truck and backhauled either to a remote production centre or to the cloud for programme production.

Technological advances in recent years have enabled equipment efficiencies, such as a single router handling multi-viewers, embedders, de-embedders, MADI channels and more, yet drawing only 2.5kw instead of 8kw. The technological set-up on board is user-friendly and easy to learn, reducing the number of staff needed at the event location.

With a long term plan to continually appraise the EMG fleet and upgrade to ever more sustainable vehicles the body of these new units has been designed to be easily transferred and adapted to a cleaner, more efficient power source, such as an electric system or a hydrogen fuel cell system, when the technology and infrastructure become more established.

Sean Mulhern, EMG UK’s Chief Technology Innovation Officer, said, “We have been engaged in conversations with our clients to identify the most cost-effective and energy efficient solutions for each type of production. These remote production vehicles have been specifically designed with efficiency and sustainability at their core, at a time when broadcasters are becoming more open to the possibilities of remote production. As the first OB specialist to achieve the DPP Committed to Sustainability mark, we continue to make every effort to seek out opportunities and take concrete action to improve our sustainability record, while fully supporting our customers’ needs.”


Pippa Considine

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