Studer in French HD OBs

Identical Studer Vista 8 consoles have been specified for 'The Benjamins', two new HD OB vehicles commissioned by France 3, the second largest French public television network and part of the France Télévisions group. The first of the two trucks is already on the road, operating out of France 3 Marseille Région, and its matching pair is expected to be delivered at the end of the year, assigned to France 3 Rennes.

The OBVs are mid-size additions to the FR3 fleet; 12 metres long, fully expandable to 4 metres wide, and carrying up to 12x HD cameras. Particular emphasis was given to the on-board audio control room, featuring a 52-fader Studer Vista 8 digital console, which is surrounded by more than a tonne of acoustic insulation material.

The Vista 8 has SDI inputs and Dolby E decoder, and 11x D21 racks of I/O. It uses the new SCore Live DSP, and is similar in specification to those Vista 6 desks installed in 2004 in 'the Twins' OB trucks, also part of the France 3 fleet. There are two Studer Stageboxes (each with 32 mic inputs, plus another 20 locally available on the truck), and it was this feature that proved conclusive in FR3's choice of console.

"We cover a lot of football matches where the Stagebox has to be carried long distances," explains sound engineer Christian Mouttet. "We preferred the size and weight of the Stagebox, and its more efficient cooling systems." Mouttet also points out that France 3's existing confidence in Studer was boosted by the company's ability to meet the OB's delivery deadlines.