There are now 12 radio OB vans in use by the public broadcast union ARD using Lawo technology
Germany - Having updated the audio systems in its Ü2 and Ü3 radio OB trucks back in 2013, Bavarian public broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR) operates integrated systems of Lawo production and on-air products. At its Nuremberg Regional Studio, BR is now replacing another two aged OB vans (Ü1 and Ü2) with new vehicles that have a largely identical configuration.

Mixes of all kinds are handled by Lawo mc²66 consoles, providing the recording, sources and TB signals needed for large-scale live events using a sapphire mastercard-equipped DALLIS router frame. The different processes are visualized and operated by way of a multi-page graphical user interface with touchscreen operation. This is where the VisTool software provided by Lawo's radio tools portfolio comes into its own. For the playout - also in multichannel mode - it is possible to dock a sapphire console at any time.

The great benefit of this approach is that all audio and control signals are processed within a closed system. No complex or, above all, expensive integration of external intercom systems is needed. Audio signals are exchanged via MADI or Ravenna links, and control signals are relayed on the protocol layer within the network.

Additionally, this approach enables BR to operate with a streamlined personnel structure, using a standard staff of two to three persons. For large productions however, five workplaces are available, and the driver's cabin can also be used.

The main contractor responsible for equipping both vehicles was sonoVTS - the contract was awarded in October 2013 with the OB vans to be delivered during February and March 2015. In spite of additional work facilities in video and online, they succeeded in keeping the overall length under 10 metres at a height of 3.5m and a weight of about 16 tons.

(Jim Evans)

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