Astro Productions on the road with Megahertz

Posted on: 2nd Sep 2013

Ely, UK, 2 September 2013 - One of the most attention-grabbing exhibits at last year's IBC was a new, large-scale outside broadcast truck on the Megahertz booth. Immediately after the show it was delivered to its new owner, Astro Productions in Malaysia, where it joined a sister vehicle. Between them the two trucks now cover at least 10 productions a week, ranging from major sporting events to entertainment spectaculars.

Astro and Megahertz worked closely to design the trucks, working to twin goals. First was flexibility in operation, so it is easy to move from football to music to golf to dance. Second was reliability, ensuring that the trucks were up to a life on the sometimes challenging roads in this steamy, tropical environment.

The trucks are readily re-configurable, around a standard 20 camera capability. As the requirements of entertainment and sports are very different, it is important to be able to reset the functionality virtually instantly, so that the production team can get to work as soon as they arrive on site. Extensive use is made of Ethersound and Madi, for example, to get complicated sound rigs established quickly with the minimum of fibre cables.

This flexibility could not be at the cost of additional weight in the vehicle. With rough roads minimising wear and tear on the vehicle, and protecting tyres in the tropical climate, is important to ensure that the units arrive safely at their location.

"I am very proud of what we did with Megahertz to make the trucks more flexible and still meet our practical considerations," said Dennis Dovale, head of operations at Astro. "The air conditioning is the best I have ever seen, running cold inside the trucks on barely more than half the capacity. And we built big UPSs into each truck, which run the whole system apart from the air conditioning. It smoothes the power as well as providing protection until we can run up the generator.

"We take a lot of Astro's popular entertainment shows on the road, and audiences expect to see exactly the same production values they get from a studio," he added. "We can do this on a fast turnaround, thanks to the flexibility we built into the design."

Steve Burgess, technical director at Megahertz, said "The art of OB design is all about the art of the possible. What we discussed with Astro was the need for a powerful unit, capable of covering sport and entertainment equally well, which could move over difficult roads without problem, and provide comfortable production and technical space even when it is very hot and humid outside. Megahertz has the experience to take this list and turn it into reality, and we are delighted to continue the relationship with Astro in Malaysia."

Megahertz will be demonstrating its comprehensive systems integration and vehicle design capabilities at IBC2013, on stand 11.F20.

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About Megahertz Broadcast Systems
Megahertz Broadcast Systems is a leading independent broadcast systems integrator. Its highly experienced engineering team provide a complete service from engineering planning and design through product evaluation and project management to commissioning, training and support. The team is as adept at file-based architectures as it is in traditional broadcast infrastructures. Recently completed projects include outside broadcast vehicles, high definition studios, playout facilities and earth stations, as well as audio visual installations for applications as varied as mosques and the London Stock Exchange.


What our customers say...

  • "The two trucks you built are the best money this company has ever spent. Other companies including BT sport are hiring us out now, that's never happened before."

    5 out of 5

    Edward ODonnell - STV

  • "Thank you; your team has built us an outstanding Satellite, production vehicle that will move us forward into the changing market place."

    5 out of 5

    Andrew Jones - Globecast

  • "Both projects are of excellent engineering design and meet very high technical standards. Technical Specifications set in Tenders were met and the coordination and project management between CyBC and Megahertz engineering teams were perfect."

    5 out of 5

    Grigoris Maliotis - PIK

  • “Megahertz has always been grounded in solid, practical broadcast engineering skills,”

    “We have worked closely together, of course, but I have been able to let them get on with the job safe in the knowledge that they had anticipated all the problems and pinch points. The move was seamless.”

    5 out of 5

    Dave Stewart - ETV (Pty) Ltd

  • "Thank you for looking after my team during this and all the other acceptance weeks. I am very pleased with the end result of these vehicles and I continue to believe that we have an excellent partnership when it comes to the build and ongoing maintenance of BT's TVOB vehicles."

    5 out of 5

    Neil Spencer - BT

  • "we're saving money and making money. Can’t praise it highly enough."

    5 out of 5

    Edward ODonnell - STV

  • "In my many years of OB and build projects I can say without hesitation that this project has been the most successful that I have been involved with which again is due in no small part to you and your team."

    5 out of 5

    Mick Both - RaceTECH

  • "Today we had an open day for the new truck & our colleagues were very impressed.
    The truck looks great, thank you to everyone who worked on this project."

    5 out of 5

    Mark Woodyatt - Head of Operations - Globecast

  • "Both pojects awarded to you following public Tenders, have been completed by Megahertz in due time and within very tight time limits for the Cyprus Presidency of the European Council."

    5 out of 5

    Grigoris Maliotis - PIK

  • "I want you to receive from me, and from the ViVe team, our sincerely appreciation for your professionalism to leading your team on both projects, and for your effort understanding our needs and providing solutions."

    5 out of 5

    Eduardo Rojas - ViVe TV

  • “Any project which involves picking up eight busy channels and moving them across town is always going to be a challenge on a knife-edge,”

    “Even while the planning and moving is happening, we still have a station to run and channels to put out. So we needed a partner we could trust to come in and take responsibility for the move."

    5 out of 5

    Dave Stewart - ETV (Pty) Ltd