Panasonic 4K Studio Cameras Go on the Road with SAT Plus
Outside broadcast specialist SAT Plus chooses Panasonic AK-UC3000 4K camera system for the company's broadcasting vans
SAT Plus designs and constructs television studios and provides services related to television broadcasting and filming of TV shows. Outside television broadcasting is a very specific area requiring all necessary equipment to be available in the field. Depending on the type of event, it usually means a sufficient number of cameras, directing, editing, replay and audio mixing equipment, correction units, etc.
These all require cabling, power, transmission capacity and at least limited facilities. All this can be obtained in the outside broadcasting van developed by SAT Plus. When the need to provide filming and broadcasting in the field first arose, the company proposed a rack solution which for budgetary reasons could be deployed in any van.
This meant bringing packed equipment to the designated location, unpacking it, putting it into operation and, upon completion, packing all the equipment again, loading it and taking it away. It made supporting work rather demanding, and not only from the material point of view, as it was also very time-consuming.
It usually took 4-5 hours before actual broadcasting and the same amount of time after. The production team was also heavily dependent on the local conditions. As the range of filming services extended towards sports broadcasting, this approach was no longer sustainable.
In 2016, SAT Plus decided to acquire a fully-equipped broadcasting van including all the equipment integrated in it as well as room for complete processing and broadcasting. This was built in an extended length Volkswagen Crafter van with a high ceiling. The interior was designed to accommodate five staff members and all equipment. There is also space for a graphic artist and, in case of bad weather, a commentator as well.
Accompanying accessories, including cabling, are carried in a trailer. Today, preparation is very efficient and the team is able to start filming within 15 minutes of arriving at the location.
Initially, for about 10 months, traditional Panasonic P2 field cameras were used. In light of technological developments and easier options for controlling individual camera streams, these were replaced with Panasonic AK-UC3000 studio cameras.
"When designing the broadcasting van, we knew exactly what we needed and what layout would be ideal to meet our requirements. The result reflects both functional aspects and also facilitates filming with the minimum number of people."
Now, 6 AK-UC3000 studio cameras with Fujinon camera lenses form an integral part of the broadcasting van, capable of shooting in 4K. This allows broadcasting or recording to be provided in UHD quality to accommodate upcoming DVB-T2 broadcasting or existing satellite film channels.
Broadcasting is facilitated by means of internet connectivity available at the TV broadcasting location. In case internet connection is not available, the team uses special technology allowing Full HD broadcasting via 4G networks of mobile operators.
"The broadcasting van has been equipped with Panasonic studio cameras which feature the best price-performance ratio. Compared to the original field cameras, they feature large viewfinders, advanced corrections, easy tuning of individual cameras' outputs and convenient connectivity provided via a single cable for each camera.
"These are features which definitely make our work more efficient and enable us to meet even the most stringent broadcasting requirements, including conditions at large events," said Milan Hanuš, SAT Plus' co-owner.
"Within another project, we created one more, virtually identical, van. This means there are six more Panasonic AK-UC3000 cameras available for us. This enables us to provide top services to our clients, under acceptable terms, using twelve 4K-resolution studio cameras, which is unrivalled in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
"In other words, our production sticks to our basic approach to provide maximum practical value to our customers. And Panasonic technology helps us a lot to do so," adds M. Hanuš.