NEP Supertrucks

NEP builds Australia’s first 4K OB supertrucks with Draco tera KVM system

The Customer

From the Oscars to the Olympics, NEP provides the technology and know-how to produce the world’s biggest live and broadcast events. With operations in over 20 countries NEP serves premier television broadcasters, cable networks and event producers across the globe with over 140 HD production trucks, capable of handling any broadcast format. In Australia, NEP is the country’s largest and most experienced outside broadcast and studio facilities company, providing broadcast infrastructure for major sport and studio productions across the country and internationally.

The Challenge

With the global move to 4K broadcasting, NEP is in the process of constructing four new identical 4K-HD capable OB trucks that are unmatched by any other broadcast facility in Australia. The 28-camera, 34-seat, HD11 and HD12 trucks are already in operation, with HD13 and HD14 nearing completion. To build these enormous and highly capable vehicles, NEP needed an on-board KVM system to enable operators to access, manage and control the vast range of broadcast equipment carried by each truck.

The Solution

Each of the four vehicles is equipped with a 48-port IHSE Draco tera compact KVM switch, complemented by 474, 477, 478 and 482 series CPU and CON units to handle a wide range of video formats from legacy VGA equipment to Dual-Head HD and 4K formats.

Control of the Draco tera switch connections is handled locally by Keyboard switching at operator stations. It is also integrated with the Lawo Virtual Studio Manager (VSM) system to become part of the overall truck workflow
management. Control interfaces for several EVS machines, the Lawo audio mixer, Riedel communications system and other onboard equipment are made available throughout the truck for access as needed by the operators.

A centralized KVM system is essential to this design. The IHSE Draco switch is unsurpassed in quality and performance and makes this all possible. – Milan Milenkovic Project Director NEP Australia

A sophisticated KVM system is key to successful operation in such a large OB Van. VSM integrates neatly and efficiently with the IHSE KVM Draco tera system. Operators are able to pre-configure workflows and settings in advance of a production and have the ability to save and restore them for recurring productions and share them between all four OB Vans. – Jan Hanitzsch, Head of VSM  Projects, Lawo

The Benefit

The KVM system allows the 9 EVS operators, 7 CCU operators, 3 audio controllers and other production staff and video engineers to access the appropriate tools and computers necessary to complete their jobs most effectively from their own video workstation. It prevents them having to change position and disrupt the operation of other broadcast professionals.
With instant switching, no visible video latency or artefacts and freedom to select any connected devices at will, the Draco tera KVM switch contributes greatly to the overall working efficiency of the vehicles.

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