SRG is leading a modernisation project for Swiss broadcasters SRF, RTS, RTR and RSI to replace existing production vehicles that have reached the end of their service life and to have additional UHD-capable vehicles.
The system integrator Broadcast Solutions carried out the planning and production of the new units, called PaaM (Production as a Module).
The three identical 8-camera OB vans for SRF, RTS and RSI are designed as self-propelled trucks. In addition, SRG and all affiliated broadcasters benefit from further synergy effects with this concept. Procurement is facilitated, and the units’ production costs and purchasing equipment costs are reduced – while the quality of the individual vehicles remains at the highest level.
The standardised and identical design of the three vehicles reduces the internal training effort enormously. After thorough training, the teams can work easily and quickly on all vehicles and know which technology is located and how the workflows are designed. We are also strengthening internal cohesion and knowledge transfer with this project; the teams can train each other internally, and questions can be discussed and clarified internally in a user group, comments Tim Rast, responsible for the project at SRG.
“We worked closely with all partners at SRG right from the start”, says Matthias Hahn, senior project manager at Broadcast Solutions, “so that our specialists, external designers and acousticians could develop the workplace and workflow concept, the acoustics, the interior design and lighting concept as closely as possible together with the customer and we could respond to SRG’s wishes in the best possible way”.
The compactness of the vehicles and the requirements of the SRG result in many individual solutions that Broadcast Solutions implemented in terms of room acoustics, room and workplace concepts, design and lighting design, as well as surfaces and colour schemes.
PaaM – The Vehicle
The vehicles are designed as a truck box-body combination. With a maximum weight of 25 tonnes (max. equipped) and a length of only 11 metres, they have an extension (over the entire length) and 12 workstations. They can work with 8 cameras during productions, in special cases with up to a maximum of 10. The extension and the workstations inside offer full room height, which makes working in this area even more comfortable.
Furthermore, the vehicle’s interior convinces with a flexible workstation concept, where several workstations in a second row can be used as needed. From use as an EVS workstation to a desk for editors, many forms are possible. To this end, the work surfaces can be rotated, height-adjusted and moved along the axis and used with or without monitors.
Light and climate concept
The lighting, temperature and climate control can be adjusted to individual preferences for each work area. The modern lighting concept includes indirect lighting, ambient lighting and direct light sources for workplaces; all light sources can be dimmed and changed in colour. To ensure optimum air purification (critical not only in times of COVID-19), UVC units are integrated into the air-conditioning system’s recirculation circuit. Coordinating the supply air volume with a fine-rod filter and an actively controllable exhaust air system ensures an optimal air exchange and a pleasant room climate.
Broadcast Solutions has implemented a sophisticated control with which the user has access to all vehicle systems and parameters to control and monitor the entire technology. The users can control and change the data and status of the hydraulics, air conditioning, power management, lighting installation, and much more via a single, easy-to-use module.
PaaM – The Technology
At the heart of PaaM is Riedel’s decentralised MediorNet MicroN UHD router system. 16 MicroN UHD units distribute audio, video and multiviewer signals. The Riedel intercom system uses Artist 1024 and Bolero units. The Swiss broadcasters work in the vehicle with 8 Sony HDCU 5500 cameras each. A Sony MVS-7000 vision mixer is used in the control room. Furthermore, 2 EVS XT VIA servers are installed in the vehicle. The control of the crosspoints, UMD, tallies, and multiviewer signal switching in the PaaM vehicles is handled by the hi human interface control system, an in-house development by Broadcast Solutions, which was individually adapted to the customer’s needs.
The audio installation is also state-of-the-art, and the vehicles are one of the first ever in Europe to have the option of producing in Dolby Atmos. The audio signals are processed via a Stagetec Avartus console. Also exceptional is the acoustic concept, which had to cater for the Dolby Atmos mix and is characterised by excellent noise suppression and, in the vehicle, optimal acoustic isolation values. The technical acoustics and sound acoustics leave nothing to be desired, and reflective surfaces were further avoided in the interior. During the project, SRG also consulted an external acoustician.
Broadcast Solutions delivered the first two PaaM vehicles to the customer in 2022, which are already in use. The third PaaM unit will be handed over to SRG in 2023. Due to the decentralised structure of the Swiss broadcasting landscape, the vehicles’ areas of application are broad and include productions in the areas of sports, events and news.