Each system is built around Grass Valley (formerly SAM) IQ UCP 25GbE Gateway cards
NEP UK has unveiled Venus and Ceres, the latest outside broadcast vehicles in its fleet and part of the SMPTE ST 2110 IP system. The vehicles will be used at major events, sports fixtures and other large scale productions. “We needed to replace two of our older vehicles, which gave us the perfect opportunity to invest in our first future-resistant IP capable trucks,” said Rob Newton, Engineering and Technical Director, NEP UK.
With Venus and Ceres, NEP believes it has created a new industry benchmark for OB platform topology, as the Arista switches provide ample data throughput and data linking capacity to realise NEP’s ‘single virtual truck concept’. The ST 2110 system infrastructure is identical in both vehicles. Each system is built around Grass Valley (formerly SAM) IQ UCP 25GbE Gateway cards, which provide two-way links between the all-new robust and resilient IP-based equipment and the existing baseband technology that is still needed to accommodate clients using SDI feeds. The trucks can also offer dual level UHD and HDI-SDI simultaneously.
Other equipment installed in each vehicle includes Grass Valley Kayenne Video Production Centers and Kahuna vision mixers, Calrec sound desks, PHABRIX HDR and IP-enabled test and measurement solutions, Telex Talkback system, Arista 7504 IP switches and Axon Cerebrum control systems.
The system requires far less fibre optic cable compared to the miles of coaxial cable previously required
The other major differentiator for these vehicles is the significant reduction in cabling; the system requires far less fibre optic cable compared to the miles of coaxial cable previously required, which proves quicker to integrate and is much lighter. The new equipment requires greater cooling; therefore, the truck design takes into account the ability to provide greater air conditioning and all equipment can be cooled separately in operational areas.
Venus and Ceres can also expand their capacity and facilities exponentially via modular connection with multiple IP flypacks. “This is the first time we’ve been able to effectively make our trucks larger – the only limit is the number of ports available on the switch,” adds Newton. “We can put the truck in any location and connect multiple IP systems, be they our flypacks, our trucks or our media hubs, creating fully scalable and large broadcast system – the kind that you would only previously find in a fixed studio set up.”