SCREEN AFRICA EXCLUSIVE: Broadcaster SuperSport, part of the DStv pay-TV bouquet, invited the industry to visit the new premises for their Outside Broadcast (OB) services at the OB City Open Day on 3 July. They moved to the new location in Strijdom Park, Johannesburg at the beginning of 2012.
According to Johan Chandler, head of Outside Broadcast at SuperSport, the new site is a huge improvement. “We were never in a position where all our OB vans could park undercover. They were exposed to the weather and elements, and if we needed to do maintenance on the vans and it rained, we were stuck. This is a heaven sent solution to our problems,’ said Chandler.
He added that the new site has easy access to the N1 highway, enough space at basement level for all their OB vans, and sufficient Eskom power so that they don’t need to run on generators as before. “That makes it more environmentally friendly as well,’ said Chandler.
The Open Day offered access to SuperSport’s two standard definition (SD) and four high definition (HD) OB vans, including the new 28-camera OB4 HD van.
Unit supervisor of OB4 HD, Nqabomzi Rozani, showed visitors around the new van. “This van can do any production you can think of. It’s a bigger facility than the others to accommodate big events and save costs, because it’s a one-stop shop,’ said Rozani.
He added that Sony won the tender to supply the van, so it has all the latest cameras and monitors from Sony. “We also have a Snell Sirius 840 video router – we saw it displayed at IBC in Amsterdam in 2011 and this one is only the second one issued in the world.’
Among other improvements in the new van are a wireless network, improved cooling system and audio embedded into video, which Rozani says will sort out some problems they’ve been having with audio.
According to Rozani the van will be going to the Craven Week rugby tournament, where they will have a chance to play around with the equipment and make sure everyone is comfortable with the new facilities before it heads off to big events such as the Super15 rugby.