TV-BAY Magazine

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CONNECTED Mildred OF OB VAN THE NEXT GENERATION by Kate Phibbs A s live streaming occupies an ever-increasing piece of the broadcast industry pie, today’s leaders of the online broadcasting industry are paving the way by investing in original and status quo challenging research and development. The team of engineers at industry leader, 3xScreen Media, kept these principles of innovative and improved design in mind when they designed and built their state-of-the-art OB Van, affectionately known as Mildred. The idea behind the construction of Mildred was simple: utilize the latest connectivity, broadcast and production technologies in new and innovative ways to capture the essence of the traditional OB van with unprecedented elegance and effi ciency. Mildred takes the functionality of a very expensive, traditional OB workfl ow and with a few twists and turns, provides this functionality with the benefi t of being re-engineered for improved affordability. This may not be reinventing the wheel, but what Mildred represents is the future of outdoor broadcasting. What is being seen across the board is kit being reduced to fewer pieces that have greater functionality and mobility. Crew is smaller yet more multi-skilled and connectivity has more fl exibility and reliability than ever before. 3xScreen managing director Scott Robinson says, “what we wanted to do, and what we knew we could do very well, was replicate the functionality of traditional OB workfl ows, but without replicating the exact kit and details.” Taking 58 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 87 MARCH 2014 such a unique approach in utilizing new technologies, the team of live streaming engineers at 3xScreen Media have created a next-generation OB Van that makes broadcast quality live streaming available without the traditional OB price-tag. As far as modular OB vans go, it is what isn’t inside Mildred, which is as important as what is inside her. For example, the modern substitution for traditional Triax cabling is over one kilometre of lightweight military grade fi bre optic cabling for long-distance camera feeds that also integrates production communications. What may be surprising to many of 3xScreen’s peers is that Mildred’s permanent kit is essentially made up of a few screens, some keyboards and cabling. The heart and soul of Mildred’s functionality is the removable production pod. The ability to easily wheel the pod into the back of Mildred, and connect a few cables to transform her into a fully functioning OB van means that the kit is not restricted to vans-based production use only. The Pod A detailed breakdown of the full kit and capabilities is quite lengthy, but the key