German media and broadcast specialists Studio Hamburg MCI have followed up the installation of four independently-configured BroaMan automatic routing systems for Swedish national broadcaster SVT, by specifying the same brand for an OB van fit-out at NRK in Norway.

This was the first project MCI had executed for NRK and was the result of winning a competitive tender. A BroaMan fibre solution had been in their mind right from the outset, according to project manager, Götz Ahlert.

Explaining the challenge, he said, “The task was to set up quickly, and with a minimum of cabling, a reliable connection between up to four TV cameras and an OB van — connected via satellite to the broadcast centre in Oslo. The BroaMan fibre units are designed to be located in a stagebox on the camera side, and inside the OB truck on the corresponding side.”

BroaMan supplied was a small custom box with an SDI input and a fibre output to house a single camera on one side, mechanically connected to a camera battery on the other. “In that way the fibre connection is made directly with the camera unit without any additional cables or separate boxes — giving maximum flexibility to the operator,” he said.

In addition, BroaMan’s V3R-FX-IC444-SDI — a 4LI/4LO board with four GPIO’s — enables four camera signals to be routed via a single fibre connection to the vehicle and be uplinked to the broadcast centre. Transmitted in the opposite direction a monitor picture can be sent to the camera set, which is required if a speaker is communicating with the studio.

Summarising, Götz Ahlert says, “NRK’s aim was to have a simple and easy-to-operate connection between camera and OB van for distances in excess of 100m — and this is not possible with coax cables. BroaMan provided us with a small, cost-effective solution with the ability to transport video, audio, data and GPIO’s on one fibre cable.”

The new VW T5 vehicle is one of two small OB vans fitted by MCI for NRK which are used for quick news reports, sport and cultural events — one operating in the north of Norway, the other in the Oslo region. In addition to the BroaMan signal transport, the Hamburg company supplied a small video mixer and 16 x 16 matrix, Lawo audio mixer and self positioning satellite system with carbon antenna as part of the contract.