Arena OB7 HD Unit Hits Road in UK; Owner Dispels Sale Rumors

Fulham take on Juventus in the UEFA Europa League on March 18 at its Craven Cottage ground, where Arena Television’s new HD truck will have its first outing. The VT7 video unit is part of Sunset+Vine’s coverage for ESPN, working with Arena’s OB7 scanner.

VT7 is claimed to be among the largest vehicles of its kind in Europe, built on a maximum length (17.5m) articulated trailer and featuring an “ultra wide” expanding side. The unit, built around a Sony MVS-8000 switcher, has four main areas and cost £1.6 million to build. It can accommodate 12 video tape operators and has HDCAM decks, and 12 LSMs. It also features a Pro-Bel 202×360 HD video and 192×256 AES audio router, with Evertz VIP multi-viewer processors running LCD monitors, a Tallyman system and Riedel assignable intercom.

On the same night Arena will be working for S+V on coverage of Liverpool’s Europa League clash with Lille at Anfield, which is being broadcast on Five in the UK. This match is being covered by OB10 and VT6.

VT7 is the ninth HD truck put on the road by Arena TV in the last four years. Group managing director Richard Yeowart says he originally planned to have only one flagship VT truck in his fleet, VT6.

“However, it has been so popular with clients there have been problems when several customers have wanted it at the same time,” he comments. “So we decided to press ahead with building VT7 as a duplicate to alleviate the problem.”

Arena plans to have its tenth HD truck in operation later in the year. OB14 is in the planning stages and will be a single expanding unit housing 16 to 20 cameras. “It will fill the gap between the articulated double expanders, OB7, 8, 9 and 10, and our rigid single expand trucks, like OB12,” says Yeowart.

Yeowart also took the opportunity to dispel rumours that Arena TV was about to be bought by a rival. “I can clarify, as the sole owner, that Arena is not for sale,” he says.