Turkey-based firm HD Protek recently upgraded its OB van to include a modular infrastructure. The revamped van offers flexible work space with the ability to expand or contract as per project requirements.
Turkey-based firm HD Protek recently upgraded its OB van to include a modular infrastructure. The revamped van offers flexible work space with the ability to expand or contract as per project requirements
Turkish OB company HD Protek, a division of Saran Media, provides engineering, broadcast and production services throughout Turkey and internationally. Among its many technical accomplishments is the fact that HD Protek is the first OB company in Turkey to design a 16-camera HD live-broadcast vehicle. The OB company recently worked with Turkish systems integrator Teratek to overhaul its HDP 04 OB van with all-new HD equipment.
HD Proteks main market is sports production, but it also covers other live TV programming and events such as concerts and festivals. With these events growing in popularity, the aim was to make HDP 04 even more flexible so that it could easily accommodate any type of production, and at the same time, ensure it would be compatible with the latest post-production elements of its customers workflows. That meant outfitting the van with all the essentials of a modern broadcast facility, such as up-to-the-minute encoding technology and broadcast equipment, and the latest data connection and communication protocols.
Yucel Ozacar, GM of HD Protek, gives an overview of the project. He says the foundation of the overhaul was a modular infrastructure that allowed a flexible work space.
We had to ensure that all of the various production elements were located or relocated in different places within the van, and the capabilities could be expanded or contracted as needed to suit the requirements of any given project. For example, during productions that require both a video mixer and a director, HD Protek can convert the space next to the video mixer into a production area and relocate the slow-motion server operators to behind the director position. Also, depending on the number of cameras used in the production, HD Protek can easily turn the shading area into a recording area. With HDP 04 producing an average of four sporting events each week in addition to a growing roster of other live programming, the versatility of a modular infrastructure is important, he explains.
Besides its modular design, the upgrade resulted in another significant change: the move from tape to data. HD Protek removed its old tape recorders and replaced them with Blackmagic HyperDeck Studio, AJA Ki Pro and EVS XTnano data recorders to accommodate the modern data-based workflows more common in todays broadcast environment. Furthermore, with HD Proteks specially developed control software, crews can control all the recorders from one location. Now, HDP 04 can support a wide range of popular formats and codecs, such as DNxHD, ProRes and XDCAM HD, and can transmit signals over IP and fibre.
The nine-metre-long van can accommodate a crew of 10, with different workstations for system control, operation functions and wireless signal encoding/decoding, along with a separate audio control room. The van is wired for up to 12 Sony cameras. Other major equipment inside the van includes Sony switchers and monitors, Pesa video routers, Crystal Vision video distribution and synchroniser products, Canon video projectors, an Imagine Communications video matrix, a Calrec audio mixer/router and a Clear-Com intercom system.
Overall, the upgrades HD Protek made to HDP 04 have significantly accelerated the workflow for its busy and dynamic production schedule and helped to make the OB company more competitive. For example, installing a Calrec Summa broadcast-grade audio console the first Summa in the Turkish OB market saves HD Proteks sound engineers a lot of time and effort compared to the old tape-based audio setup.
HD Protek needed HDP 04s equipment to be as flexible as the truck, such as being able to configure audio meters to meet changing requirements, and rapidly reconfigure audio I/O and system setups. It was able to work alongside equipment manufacturers to ensure that these requirements were met. The Calrec Summa, for example, helps streamline the audio workflow. Knowing that engineers can easily track the signal and that the console will work without question is a big comfort and enables HD Protek to handle more complex shows more easily.
The Summa makes it possible for HDP 04s sound engineers to configure the meters however they want, tracking every output, aux output, main and loudness meter on-screen in any layout, to follow the signal visually as it flows through the system. I/O patching is easy, as the system identifies the I/O box before patching a signal on an empty fader, and I/O ports can be grouped logically using port lists.
The Hydra2 matrix system and the simplicity of operation make it easy for sound engineers to reconfigure the console from one show to another, which happens daily with HD Proteks full schedule and variety of events. All these features accelerate workflow and fit the design principle for the truck.
Given the market demand for an OB van with HDP 04s size and capabilities, taking the van out of service to complete the renovation was the biggest challenge we faced during the process. In fact, because customers were desperate for this particular truck, there were a few instances in which HD Protek had to send it on assignments while the renovation was still in progress. The project was finally finished in March 2016. The end result was well worth the time, says Ozacar.
HDP 04s first live broadcast was The Voice Turkey, and it has since covered volleyball and beach volleyball. Its latest project was managing the host broadcasting operation for the 2016 UEFA European Under-17 Championship in Bakü, Azerbaijan.
HD Proteks engineers have a keen sense of technical trends and what our customers need. In this case, meeting that need required brand-new equipment and workflow and a commitment to short-term downtime, which was very difficult in a busy market like ours. Thanks to this overhaul, we now have the resources to take on more complex productions more easily for our customers, so we are well positioned to be a force in the market well into the future, concludes Ozacar.