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Work On Nova TV News-gathering Vehicle Is Completed Within Eight Weeks

Ely, Cambridgeshire, UK, 11th September 2008: Dominating the new-look MHz stand at this year's IBC show is a brand-new DSNG vehicle, only completed at MHz's factory and head office in the first week of September 2008. The vehicle was commissioned by Nova TV, one of Bulgaria's largest private national TV companies, and was required by the Bulgarian broadcaster as quickly as possible to supplement their single existing DSNG van, also built by MHz back in early 2006.

The Nova vehicle provides an excellent example of how quickly the MHz team can turn a design into a finished vehicle. Plans were finalised in June, the basic chassis — a nearly new VW Transporter — arrived at the MHz factory at the end of the same month, and the vehicle was completed just in time for shipping to Amsterdam and inclusion on MHz's stand at IBC.

Nova's initial requirements were for a fairly simple modern, single-thread SD DSNG to work alongside their existing DSNG, and most of the finished design is a straightforward one, based around a Harris 8x8 SD router, a 200W Xicom XTD-200K Ku-band HPA and a 1.5m NewSwift antenna, with a Fischer Panda generator. Discussions with MHz's design team, however, led to the incorporation of some other useful new technologies into the finished vehicle. Nova's engineers had noticed that in operation, the 3.2-ton weight capacity of their existing DSNG had been something of a restriction, and asked MHz to see if they could help. The VW Transporter chassis of the new DSNG has a maximum capacity of 3.5 tons, thanks to the incorporation of a new air-based suspension system.

A new type of wireless camera system from Link Research was also proposed by MHz's design team to help resolve another operational concern of the Nova TV engineering staff. Nova TV's news service often has to cover parliamentary and other indoor events from its outdoor news vehicle, making the use of wireless camera systems difficult. MHz suggested the incorporation of one of Link Research’s latest wireless camera systems, which offers a fibre-optic extension option. The two cameras connect to a local base station wirelessly as usual, but rather than being based in the DSNG, this base station is powered and connected to the DSNG by a lengthy fibre-optic connection (alternatively, co-ax or tri-ax may also be used). The base station can then be placed indoors in close proximity to the cameras, and the cameras may be used wirelessly as usual without running the risk of exceeding their transmission range.

Ivan Ivanov, Chief Systems Support Engineer at Nova TV, comments: “We entrusted MHz with the task of building our first DSNG vehicle, and we knew from that experience that we had made the right choice. Coming back to work with them on this project was a pleasure — they met our requirements and then exceeded them with some creative suggestions of their own. We will certainly be working with them again in the future.”

"This is a classic DSNG vehicle, of the kind MHz design best," adds Managing Director Greg Hoskin, "and despite the very tight production timescale, our team have managed to incorporate some neat design touches that set the vehicle apart from the competition. This is a time of great technological change in broadcasting, and there will be many demands on broadcasters' budgets over the coming years — so ‘time is money’ like never before. If you need a well-designed, expertly constructed broadcast vehicle on a tight budget, and you need it fast, talk to us."

Following the IBC show, the Nova vehicle will return to the MHz HQ in the UK. Nova TV engineers are due to perform their commissioning checks on the vehicle and take final delivery later in September.