ITV Studios Select Hitachi to Provide a New OB Trailer for Coronation Street
“The Coronation Street technical team has known of Hitachi for many years. The capability to build a mobile gallery to our specification was initially investigated after seeing the OB-BOX at IBC in 2016’’ said Gary Westmoreland, Director of Technical Operations Continuing Drama at ITV Studios. Hitachi faced several challenges in order to meet ITV’s requirements. The trailer had to be light enough to be towed by a normal vehicle, it had to be small enough to be able to pass along narrow streets and also provide the best quality production capabilites. Mr. Westmoreland added “Hitachi's team were extremely flexible and proactive from the start. Their practical advice and technical know-how collaboratively shaped our thinking to develop a solution that introduces efficiency and new ways of working into our existing workflow.’’
The brand new production trailer is designed to work as a mobile production gallery for the programmes additional new studios and their existing facilities. The specified equipment had to interface easily with those existing systems in a way that's operationally efficient. Simplicity of operation is key given our production turn-around. The totally customized Hitachi OB-BOX™ trailer is equipped with four of the customer’s Ikegami HD Cameras, Clear-Com intercom System and ETC lightning system. It is also fitted with a FOR-A 1ME Video Switcher, 40x40 video router and FOR-A Multi-viewer and frame sync. Crystal Vision Glue products are employed, including audio de-embedding and embedding facilities. The trailer is equipped with Studer Vista 1 Black audio mixer, Evertz SPG and Ikegami monitors.
The OB trailer operates as a mobile production gallery, giving all the facilities for Production, Sound, Vision Engineering and lighting in whichever studio it is connected to. Recording and playback is done remotely on the Avid Airspeed in the Coronation Street stiudios’ CAR. All the studio wallbox signals are fed via fibre systems from the mobile gallery.
The OB trailer will also be able to be used off-site with on-board recorders for ingest later into the television programme’s servers, giving fabulous flexibility from this new facility.
Mr. Westmoreland interprets the project process as follows; “To date we've found Hitachi to be extremely helpful and supportive. The project involves a build outside of the UK and whilst we were nervous about this initially, the Hitachi team in the UK and in Turkey have made the experience seamless. The whole team have been a pleasure to work with.”
Hitachi Kokusai Electric Turkey (HKTS) was formed in the Tuzla free trade zone near Istanbul to provide innovative approaches to broadcast and communication challenges. From its 8.000 square meter production facility, HKTS serves to international broadcast industry and government institutions with flexible, customized, cost effective and value added turnkey solutions. With based on the Kaizen Philosophy and a concentration to only high technology products, systems and solutions, HKTS make life easy for broadcasters.
Hitachi’s strategy has been to create a centre of excellence in OB facility creation and broadcast systems integration all under one roof within the Tuzla free trade zone. The company has brought together many of the broadcast industry’s most creative minds: their skills stretch from strategic conceptualization and systems integration, through to specialist coach building capabilities.HKTS utilize a blend of their own broadcast system components and also equipment from many of the world’s leading technology vendors. The objective is always to blend the perfect combination of production tools to meet the specific requirements of each customer.