By: Andy Stout
Wednesday, May 4, 2011 - 10:23 am
UK: Systems integrator Megahertz has completed the last of three identical HD trucks for the UK’s Racecourse Technical Services after almost a year’s work. The first two vehicles debuted at the Cheltenham Festival and the Grand National, while the third rolled off the production line last week.
The trucks are based on 26-tonne, 12m MAN rigid-bodied chassis, with an 800mm expanding pod for production on one side, and an expanding internal walkway on the other. They are split into four areas: main production, VT, a dedicated Racing UK production area, and an engineering area.
“The Megahertz-built trucks have been extraordinarily successful at meeting our production needs in the field — providing us with an integral component to support the launch of Channel 4 HD Racing at the Cheltenham Festival last month,” said Mick Both, Director of Engineering and Technical Operations at RaceTech. “The vehicles were tried and tested at six race days prior to their big outing at Cheltenham and proved to be a considerable hit with both the customers and production teams alike. At Cheltenham, the truck was fully populated with 13 cameras and worked perfectly to meet the challenges presented by time critical live event production.”
Kit for all three vehicles comprises 10x Grass Valley LDKs, 3x Gigawave radiocams, Grass Valley Kayal mixer, Chyron character generation, Yamaha DN1000 audio mixer, Evertz glue, routers and multiviewers, and JVC monitors.
“It all went incredibly smoothly and RaceTech were very easy to work with,” comments Steve Burgess, MHZ’ technical director. “What’s unique about these trucks is that they always know where they will be parking and what they’ll be connecting to, so they can be pre-loomed, for instance. They don’t get the luxury of a rigging day; often they park up and have to be ready to go on air in 20 minutes.”
Also boasting 3x UPS generators on each truck to ensure they can keep going for the majority of a race meeting even if power supply is lost, the RaceTech units represent a wave of rigid 12m work for MHz as OB companies and broadcasters worldwide look to maximise manoeuvrability of their rigs. The company also has units underway for Czech TV, eTV in South Africa, Astro in Malaysia, and an uplink/production vehicle for Cyprus Broadcasting.