French networks have new HD OB option

By Kevin Hilton
SVG Europe correspondent

French facilities provider SOFT has invested 4.4 millions euros in its latest high definition (HD) outside broadcast truck, which has already worked on a number of major sporting events. Car 5 is now the company’s flagship HD vehicle, equipped with up to 14 Sony HDC 1500 cameras, Snell & Wilcox Kahuna HD/SD vision mixer and Studer Vista 8 digital audio console.

The truck is the result of eight months work and features some of the latest HD equipment available, with accompanying 5.1 surround sound facilities. Technical engineer Yves Pianfetti comments, “Our objective was to increase the range of services available from SOFT by taking advantage of the latest technologies; we were looking for the best and latest equipment on the market.”

Distribution is through Pro-Bel routers; a Sirius HD 96×96 and a Sirius SD 96×256, with accompanying control system and panels. These integrate with a Snell & Wilcox Kahuna HD vision mixer, which is able to accommodate simultaneous HD and SD operation.

The audio section includes a 52-fader Studer Vista 8 console, Dynaudio 5.1 monitoring and fibre optic stage boxes. Intercom is provided by RTS and Telex ADAM systems, with an 88×88 ADAM matrix. Playout sources for effects are from a selection of CD, K7 and DAT.

Car 5 has already worked on coverage of Grand Prix tennis from Lyon and has regular contracts with leading French broadcasters, including Canal+, Sport+ and France T l vision.

SOFT has its headquarters in Lyon, with offices in Paris, Marseille, Annecy, Clermont Ferrand, Dijon, Grenoble, Nantes and Poitiers. It provides facilities for the broadcast and live event sectors, including sports coverage, with a fleet of OB vehicles and flight cased mobile production units.