Skip to main content

Alfacam to provide four OB facilities for HBS

Alfacam is building and testing four outside broadcast facilities at its Lint headquarters prior to shipping by 40ft sea containers and rebuild on-site at Durban, Port Elizabeth, Johannesburg/Ellispark and Pretoria stadiums for Host Broadcasting Services (HBS) for coverage of the 2010 World Cup.

The distances are too great to risk moving trucks around in South Africa, so for security reasons, HBS has specified an identical set of OB facilities, which will remain on-site at each of the 10 venues.

Such an arrangement also means that production is much more controllable from an HBS point of view. Only cameras and lenses will be moved from one locale to another. “My engineer could walk blindfolded from one OB facility to another and be able to recognize exactly where he was,” said Chris Demeulemeester, Alfacam’s senior project manager. “Previously, most large-scale sports events have featured multiple OB trucks or fly-aways, which may contain largely the same equipment but be configured differently according to the preferences of the crew … This time, there is one camera setup plan, one monitor layout and one cabling system across all the OBs, which will save production and engineering crew time adjusting to new routines.”

A similar arrangement can be expected for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Alfacam will engineer the OBs and provide some production crew, although the production teams have been hired, coordinated and allocated to venues directly by HBS.

Adrian Pennington
Adrian Pennington

Adrian Pennington is a journalist specialising in film and TV production. His work has appeared in The Guardian, RTS Television, Variety, British Cinematographer, Premiere and The Hollywood Reporter. Adrian has edited several publications, co-written a book on stereoscopic 3D and is copywriter of marketing materials for the industry. Follow him @pennington1