Cost saving OB move for ITV Daytime

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ITV Daytime is replacing its traditional satellite OB truck fleet with custom-built eco-friendly Mitsubishi Outlander 4x4 plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, in what it says is a “complete change in workflow for ITV and a UK first.”

The ITV team worked with Mitsubishi and system integrator Broadcast Wireless Systems to create “completely new” OB vehicles for news gathering.

Inside the 4x4 vehicles there is a portable transmission unit – the LiveU LU600, which provides a 100Mbps high-speed bonded Internet connection – and a KA dish, for when the cellular signal is contended or reduced.

The change enables ITV shows to cover the UK and Europe for a fraction of the costs associated with traditional satellite trucks. The ease of use in operating the 4x4s also makes it possible, says ITV, for more staff to get involved in news-gathering.

An ITV spokesperson said: “[The vehicle is] versatile, rugged and eco-friendly. It is also congestion charge-free. To the viewer at home we are getting our correspondents and camera crews to places that a traditional OB truck could not.”

The 4x4 vehicles will be launched in November for ITV Daytime live links (on Good Morning Britain and This Morning). In practical terms, this means the links will move to bonded IP distribution via LiveU and KA, and no longer use SIS vehicles.

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How does it work?

The Cobham 8100, military-grade KA dish auto-points to the satellite within 40 seconds of deployment and provides a guaranteed internet connection into the LiveU for transmitting single camera, stand-up OBs back to the ITV Studios in London. If ITV needs to be more portable, operators can remove the LiveU unit and follow the story on-foot, away from the vehicle, using the 8 internal SIMs.