Build of India’s First HD OB Van

OB Vehicles

When India’s state broadcaster Doordarshan decided it was time to commission their very first custom-built, high definition (HD) outside broadcast van they turned to Gearhouse Broadcast to deliver the solution.

The newly built van is part of a major investment programme in HD technology by Doordarshan and much of the system building and integration work was carried out at Gearhouse Broadcast’s Watford headquarters.

Following an initial brief from Doordarshan and project managers Agiv (India) Pvt. Ltd, a TATA chassis was shipped to the UK to be adapted by coach-building specialists JS Fraser of Oxford before Gearhouse Broadcast’s team of specialist technicians and engineers got to work.  The van was fitted with specialist equipment to meet Doordarshan’s requirements, including: four Ikegami cameras (expandable to six if needed), Canon box lenses, a multi-format Snell Kahuna vision mixer, Marshall/Barco monitors and a Imagine Communications Router.

Ten weeks later the van was ready to be shipped back to India for testing and final adjustments, carried out in partnership with a team of engineers from Doordarshan’s parent organisation Prasar Bharati, and it is now fully operational, providing news and sports outside broadcasts.

The arrival of the country’s first HD outside broadcast truck was quite an event and marked by an official visit from Ms Ambika Soni, the Honourable Minister for Information and Broadcasting in the Indian Government.An order for a second van is testament to Gearhouse Broadcast’s expertise and specialist system integration skills, and Managing Director Eamonn Dowdall says: “I believe we were selected for our proven and demonstrable track record in the provision of high definition outside broadcast instillations.”

“We have delivered many previous high profile HD outside broadcast units in the UK and Europe and now Doordarshan’s high definition van raises the bar for standards in Indian broadcasting and sets a benchmark for other to follow.”