Gearhouse Broadcast, a leading provider of specialist broadcast solutions, has supplied OBLite, its live production HD OB trailer, to Sky Sports News for its coverage from the 145th Open at historic Royal Troon in Scotland. The 24-hour sports news television channel provided live links from an on-site studio, as well as reporting from locations across the golf course as the action from the third major championship of the year unfolded.
OBLite was selected because it was ideally suited to Sky Sports News’ requirements due to its flexibility and the short amount of time it takes to set up. Because the trailer can be pre-rigged to the customer’s specification before it arrives on site, it doesn’t need unloading or cabling, meaning it can be operational within a day.
For this project, Sky Sports News wanted to bring in a lot of HD cameras over fibre runs to a production unit and then send the signals into an encoder circuit located in another OB truck within the TV compound. Because the broadcaster was at Royal Troon in a newsgathering capacity, OBLite’s existing eight production camera channels were replaced with Sky Sports News’ own ENG cameras and fibre adapters.
To make room for the additional camera feeds, any equipment that wasn’t absolutely essential to the production was removed. Supporting equipment such as extra frame synchronisers and the Lawo V_Pro8 video processor were installed, as was an EVS XT3 live production server to record everything being captured. This also meant that the director could play out from the XT3 directly into the vision mixer during Sky Sports News’ regular updates.
“OBLite has been perfect for this project as it’s so quick and easy to set up,” said Keith Lane, Sky Sports Director of Operations. “It’s flexibility means we’ve been able to gear it up for our specific ENG purposes, which has been a big help when covering an event like The Open.”
Mike Colyer, the vision engineer in charge of OBLite for Gearhouse at The Open added: “OBLite is a powerful production platform that’s ideal for applications such as this where space within the TV compound is limited, and set-up needs to be swift. The flexibility is a big advantage as we’ve been able to configure the unit specifically for this job, meaning every piece of equipment we’re carrying has an important role to play, and we’ve not had to compromise on anything.”