KUVN-TV stands up to the ENG challenge in a Sprinter-based news truck
January 10, 2005
A five-member crew can operate comfortably inside the Sprinter, which gives them the ability to edit, create voice-overs and monitor and feed video and audio back to the studios in a spacious environment.
St. Louis-based Television Engineering (TEC) has developed a new news truck for Univision affiliate, KUVN-TV in Dallas, based on the Dodge Sprinter chassis.
As opposed to traditional news vans – often built on a Ford E350 chassis - the Sprinter has room for the crew to stand comfortably inside the truck.
The news van was built for nightly newsgathering and editing, as well as to serve as a base for remote newscasts. A five-member crew can operate comfortably inside the vehicle, which gives them the ability to edit, create voice-overs and monitor and feed video and audio back to the studios in a spacious environment. The Sprinter, which was configured for ENG microwave transmission can be upgraded with an additional digital satellite uplink system.
According to TEC sales manager, Jack Vines Jr., the Sprinter offers several advantages over the Ford E350 chassis, including longer service intervals and longer overall useful life. Oil changes are required every 10,000mi. That translates into fewer disruptions to regular ENG operation.
The Sprinter features a vehicle safety interface that warns an operator whenever the microwave mast is extended. Strobe lights are mounted on the roof deck to alert other drivers of the vehicle's presence, as well.
In terms of costs, the Sprinter is about 10 percent more expensive than a comparably equipped E350 – something Vines acknowledged as a serious consideration for stations struggling to stay within a budget. However, he said, the added room and longer vehicle life more than offset the difference.
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