7. December 2021 Mark

Minimum space, maximum UHD/HDR production.

Exactly 62.23 cm or 14 height units in the equipment rack is taken up by the entire video technology with a 240² UHD router, a 3 level UHD video mixer with 48 I/Os and 22 multiviewers. Everything for TV productions with up to 12 cameras.

Sounds like fiction? – No, sounds like Media Mobil GmbH’s (MMG) new OB truck, which was equipped by MCI with the new Ross Video “Hyperconverged” Ultrix Acuity System.

Back in 2020. In January, the Hamburg Open, the networking event of the broadcast and media industry, is taking place. This year, the focus will be on the multifaceted challenges facing the industry. The transition from HD to UHD/HDR formats, the development towards IP infrastructures and the increasing need to distribute content cross-medially and to produce TV formats quickly and flexibly in new standards are the topics that move the industry. A development that is also being felt by MMG, the OB truck service provider.

With the idea of building an ultra-compact OB truck that at least meets these future requirements in its luggage, MMG travels to the trade show to exchange ideas with manufacturers and partners about possible components and solutions for the project.

The challenge is big; to create a compact OB truck that measures 7.5m x 3.5m, incorporates a 12G single link infrastructure for UHD/HDR productions, and is equipped with video technology that can flexibly adapt to emerging production needs while maintaining familiar workflow standards and operability.

It quickly becomes clear that current technology solutions do not match MMG’s ideas and requirements in terms of compactness, flexibility and operability. Disillusioned but driven on by the idea, they finally exchange ideas with their colleagues at MCI. As a Ross Diamond Elite Partner, MCI regularly receives insight into upcoming product innovations and sees a recently announced product revolution as the “perfect match” for the requirements of MMG’s new “UHD 1”.

Back to the present. Today, the entire video technology, in the new UHD/HDR OB truck from MMG takes up just 14 height units in the equipment rack. Flexible video technology that gives this particular OB truck a competitive edge. At least future-proof for the next 10 years.

The name of this “video technology space miracle” is Ultrix Acuity – a highly integrated multiprocessor signal management and image mixer system that not only combines image mixer, routing and multiviewer in one device, but also offers audio mixing, frame synchronization and audio embedder/de-embedder in an unbeatable space-saving “hyperconverged” all-in-one solution.

Robert Hänsel, Managing Director of MMG/MCS Saxony-Anhalt: “Since November 2021, we now have a compact UHD/HDR OB van, so we can implement on-location productions of all kinds with our own resources in the new UHD/HDR TV standard.”

The compact Ultrix Acuity design, in which the image mixer and router are connected as a complete solution and communicate latency-free via the internal bus, makes lengthy router cabling a thing of the past.

“Space requirements, the amount of cabling and latency in video signal transmission are reduced to a significant degree.” Says Nicolai Gajek, Sales Manager MCI. “Especially in space-constrained production environments, it is important to use devices that are space-saving and effective. Already with an eye on future production standards, the Ultrix Acuity is designed with this in mind, interoperably networking all common signal formats in a single device.”

With a flexible architecture, the Ultrix Acuity natively processes all common signals from broadband to fiber to SMPTE, can mix them interoperably, and can output in HD and UHD in parallel. The two integrated Ultrix FR5 frames each have nine modular slots that can be equipped with SDPE, (U)HD BNC, IP and SFP blades depending on requirements. The plug-in system allows the blades to be swapped ready for use within minutes and the signal I/Os of Ross Video’s Ultrix Acuity can be adapted to different conditions.

“As for the future, the Ultrix Acuity can already handle IP-based workflows, so we can easily move to IP when we feel it’s right for us. No one can predict the future, but I am confident that we are well equipped now, to meet our customers’ production requirements, no matter what they put in front of us,” says Marcus Mathy, Deputy Technical Manager MMG.