Bespoke 1RU point-to-point bi-transmission for advanced large-format IP OB truck

London-based Spiritland Productions recently commissioned its new state-of-the-art large-format ‘Spiritland One’ sound and video OB truck, featuring a BroaMan point-to-point fibre transport system running between the truck and the stagebox.

The one-of-a-kind luxury mobile production vehicle, built by Megahertz Ltd, contains an end-to-end IP infrastructure, and audio runs entirely on a Dante network, which the BroaMan environment supports. Their system is based on two new Repeat48WDM-24 with 2Fiber boards, the layout allowing BNC SDI ports to be combined with SFPs, with all signals able to be multiplexed into common fibre.

Spiritland Truck Control Room

Spiritland Productions co-directors, Gareth Iles and Antony Shaw, adopted this solution following a meeting at IBC 2018, and the order was duly placed with BroaMan UK dealers, HHB.

Built around a single 1RU device, the BroaMan architecture allows bi-directional multi-format, multi-signal transport via a quad fibre cable. Explained BroaMan Technical Sales Manager, Maciek Janiszewski, “This is a bespoke truck and the specific configuration of each device was equipped with 12 3G-SDI coax ports—which can be used for video or MADI—and six bi-directional SFP slots which can be populated with any SFP transceiver to transport different signals.”

Both the Repeat48WDM on the truck and the similar device on the stagebox connect via two DUO singlemode fibres, and also tied into the system are the SSL System T production desk (via singlemode fibre SFP), and 1G Ethernet for AES67 used in the Riedel Bolero comms network (via multimode fibre SFP). Spiritland One also has Dolby Atmos capability.

Spiritland Truck Machine Room

Spiritland has the ability to deliver all sizes of live or recorded audio projects. Over the last ten years, they have worked on a variety of complex projects, including many major UK festivals, and are also the main provider for Chris Evans Breakfast Show’s ambitious on-location projects for Virgin Radio.

Antony Shaw recalls that the moment they had decided on adopting the SSL System T, based on its outstanding sonic performance, they knew the infrastructure needed to be end-to-end IP. “This would allow us to be very flexible with our I/O design and adapt the truck to the job or client’s needs; we can easily add additional inputs or have multiple locations or stages.

“Having witnessed how well the BroaMan / Optocore system fitted on the BBC Scotland DSV OB truck we investigated how it could help us cut down on the amount of fibre needed between our truck and stage boxes.” And so, tipped off from their friends at BBC Scotland, they approached Maciek Janiszewski at IBC 2018. “We came up with a rough plan based on 8x MADI, 2 x HDSDI and 3 IP networks—all based around their Repeat48 Custom.”

Spiritland Truck

Clearly in an OB truck rack space is the most important factor, “especially when trying to squeeze in a full-size fridge and a coffee machine,” quips Shaw. “Therefore, in that respect the BroaMan solution has absolutely been a success. It just worked straight out of the box, and a 1U box in the truck and at the stage has really streamlined our stage delivery system.

“We had all our connectivity on two opticalCON DUO SM Fibres and it hasn’t dropped a beat. I would thoroughly recommend these products!”

Spiritland say they cannot conceive of any job that this system isn’t capable of delivering. “And if we do find that job, expanding the system is also easy!” Antony Shaw concludes.

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