Custom-Built Multi-Format HD Trailer For M-NET


M-Net is a South African pay-TV satellite broadcaster based in Johannesburg. Founded in 1986, M-Net currently operates nine channels, broadcasting both local and international programming. Genres include general entertainment, children's series, sport and movies.


In 2010, M-Net needed a high specification, high definition outside broadcast vehicle. It had to support 28 cameras and the broadcaster needed it rather quickly. Pleased with three flyaway systems supplied previously, M-Net approached leading broadcast solutions provider Gearhouse Broadcast. The expert system integrators there were able to offer M-Net a custom-built, multi-format trailer specifically designed to fit the broadcaster’s requirements and budget.


Known for its innovative solutions and unrivalled technical expertise, when kitting out the trailer for M-Net, Gearhouse Broadcast made careful selections from only the very latest and best equipment available at the time.

Expert systems integrators focused on providing the South African broadcaster with OB solutions that were not only state-of-the-art, but reliable, cost-effective and flexible, too.

The trailer integrated by the Gearhouse Broadcast team was a triple expanding high definition outside broadcast unit catering for 28 high definition cameras and up to 3 versions of 5.1 Dolby surround sound.  

The unit featured a large, spacious, air-conditioned lateral production area with 3 tiers of desks seating up to 12 production staff.  The front desk housed a 4ME vision mixer and space for 84 monitors. The second desk provided 16 monitors and comprehensive communications. The third desk featured 32 monitors, as well as comprehensive comms and monitoring facilities.

The third expand provided room for a second desk in the VTR area to provide space for up to 11 operators and a co-ordinator. The unit was wired for up to 12 EVS/ 14VTR.  

In the vision area, there was control for up to 28 cameras by 7 operators, plus an engineering test position. The vision router was  576 x 576 and the audio router 256 x 256 AES and analogue. The unit was engineered with a large in/out capability making it ideal for major events.


Following successful delivery of the trailer to the client, Andre Venter, then-Head of M-Net Broadcast Services Africa said: “We were looking for a solution to our outside broadcast requirement and as Gearhouse Broadcast supplied us with three flyaways in the past, which were delivered on time and to budget, we turned to them to assist us with a highly specified, time sensitive requirement for a 28 camera HD OB vehicle, the vehicle was again delivered to South Africa well within the specified time frame and budget”.

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