Press Release

Radio OB Truck powered by LAWO

Radio OB Truck powered by LAWO technology - Interview with Alessandro Asti 

December 4th, 2018 – LAWO

Take a look inside this visual radio IP OB truck designed and manufactured by our partner Aret Video & Audio Engineering. Presented at IBC 2018, delivered to a renowned customer in the Middle-East and recognized for “Outstanding Innovation in OB Engineering 2018” with an ASBU BroadcastPro Award! Featuring Lawo sapphire & crystal IP radio consoles, Lawo VisTool touch-screen control GUI, Ross Carbonite vision mixer, Ross PIVOTCam PTZ cameras and lots more. Enjoy this quick tour with Aret’s Vice President Alessandro Asti.


Live Espresso Control

Live Espresso Control – See Aret Engineering's New IP Truck

July 13th, 2018 – LAWO

See Aret Engineering’s Alessandro Asti explaining his latest big IP production TV truck, featuring Lawo V__matrix-based multiviewers and IP encapsulation, Lawo V__pro8 base-band glue, Ross video switchers, Lawo mc² audio consoles and the Lawo VSM IP broadcast control system. The V__matrix and V__pro8 units significantly reduce the installation’s footprint reg. space, weight and power consumption – not the least issue to consider in broadcast truck design.

Don’t miss Aret Engineering at the upcoming IBC in Amsterdam, where the company will showcase two vehicles incl. their brand-new on-air radio truck, featuring Lawo crystal & sapphire radio consoles and a full-blown studio with robotic cameras for visual radio applications.


Coachwork Creations for Outside Broadcasting

Coachwork Creations for Outside Broadcasting

April 1st, 2018 – BroadcastPro ME

BroadcastPro ME speaks to the team at systems integrator ARET that custom-built the 3G HD OB van for Sharjah TV

The custom-built OB Van for Sharjah TV by systems integrator ARET went beyond equipment specs to create an effective tool for the broadcaster

This 3G truck has been designed for eight to ten cameras and is expandable on one side. The inside of the OB van is divided into four different areas that are separated using sliding glass doors: engineering and CCU, production, sound and a voice-over booth.

VAN:

  • Chassis based on Mercedes-Benz ATEGO
  • Custom made FRP panels to prevent sand and dust damage
  • Motorised cable drum system

KEY KIT:

  • Grass Valley LDX-86 World Cam systems
  • Karrera video switcher with K-frame
  • NVision 8144 video router
  • Densité 3 glues
  • Kaleido multiviewers
  • Vinten camera tripods
  • Riedel intercom systems
  • Evertz replay system
  • Genelec monitors
  • Studer audio mixers
  • Tektronix waveform monitors
  • Canon XU-81W camera

Sharjah TV recently took delivery of an OB van from ARET for sports coverage and other demanding productions. The Italian broadcast systems integrator ARET has supplied 450 OB vans over four decades since 1976, with several customers in the region, and this probably influenced Sharjah TV’s choice.

“ARET has been active for the past 15 years in the MENA region, and the Middle East is one of the leading markets for ARET,” comments Sales Engineer and Marketing Director Dr Eng Umberto Asti, who is also Vice President of ARET Video and Audio Engineering.

“Among the 450 OB vans delivered around the world, many are operating in the Middle East, including Bahrain, Lebanon, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq and the UAE. The last year has seen the completion of many outstanding projects in the region.”

As broadcasters require access to content no matter where they are, the mobile unit is now less of a workhorse of equipment and racks, and much more of a creative hub where broadcast technicians can focus on better engaging audiences through innovative live coverage. In response to the demands of the modern-day broadcaster, Dr Asti and his team at ARET created integrated workflows.

“We did all the coachbuilding. Instead of buying a pre-made coachwork from third parties, as most of the other companies do, we are very proud to have our inhouse coachwork department that relies exclusively on internal resources. Our coachwork allows us to carefully monitor every single step of the creation process. We also did the designing and systems integration.

“Another strong point of ARET is the ability to combine coachbuilding and systems integration towards creating a state-of-the-art product. This technique allows us to have strict connection among all the parts and variables of the project that need continuous feedback. As a result, all our coachwork creations are instruments for broadcasters built around equipment specifications, and this OB van is proof of that.”

Recalling the timeline of the project, Dr Asti says: “After an initial draft for the project was submitted, we at ARET proceeded with the analysis and modified it accordingly. Following the client’s requests that arose during the development phases, we then revised it and further customised the system. Every detail has been monitored with maximum precision and expertise. The van was completed last year and commissioned the following month.”

Giving an overall perspective of the OB van, Dr Asti says: “This 3G truck has been designed for eight to ten cameras and is expandable on one side. The inside of the OB van is divided into four different areas that are separated using sliding glass doors: engineering and CCU, production, sound and a voice-over booth.

“It features a telescopic mast with a PTZ camera on top and a flexible layout that allows adapting to different types of productions. The robotic PTZ camera, installed on the top of a pneumatic telescopic mast, can be raised up to eight metres. The pan-tilt head system incorporates a camera with 20x optical zoom that can supply high-resolution and high-magnification video in real time. The system is managed by an active control installed on the CCU desk that provides smooth transitions of the pan-tilt head.

“The voice-over booth, designed as per the customer’s requirements, is used for live commentary and features dedicated acoustic treatment. A satellite antenna, used to receive digital TV and radio signals, is also mounted on the roof. Each area is also monitored by a closed-circuit surveillance camera system.”

Highlighting the wide interiors of the OB van with dedicated lighting in every area, Dr Asti also remarks on the finishing details, from the designed tapestry to desk materials. He adds: “The power supply can be selected between the public network and a diesel generator. On the back of the truck, there is also a motorised cable drum system.”

Despite all the buzz around live remote broadcasting, OB trucks will remain on the front line of production, especially when it comes to covering live events. Having an in-house coachwork department has helped the team at ARET to custom-design each van according to the client’s requirement, Dr Asti stresses – especially in the case of Sharjah TV, which requested a full expansion to be able to adapt its workflow to every type of event.

“The chassis of the OB van is based on a Mercedes-Benz ATEGO. Modifications have been carried out by ARET in its internal coachwork department.”

“Our coachwork allows us to carefully monitor every single step of the creation process. We also did the designing and systems integration”

 

Dr. Eng. Umberto Asti
Vice President of ARET Video and Audio Engineering

The technicians at ARET also accounted for the harsh summer temperatures in the region, as Dr Asti explains: “The vehicle has been specially built to endure harsh weather conditions, with particular attention paid to the climate of the region. ARET has developed a unique coachbuilding technique dedicated to OB vans working in hot, dry and humid countries, that includes using custom fibre-glass reinforced plastic (FRP) panels and dedicated solutions to prevent sand and dust damage, as well as internal water condensation from the AC system. In addition, the careful selection of the materials, together with their assembly methods, guarantees perfect resistance in every weather condition.”

The new 3G HD van joins a fleet of OB vans already with Sharjah TV.

“This brand-new truck is a vital addition to their fleet that allows for the proper distribution of workload, optimisation of the overall workflow and significant improvement in video quality,” says Dr Asti. He explains that partnership with more than 30 broadcast brands has helped ARET “select the best equipment for every turnkey project”.

“Most significantly, partnering with the major broadcast brands has enabled ARET to be flexible and cost-effective, allowing the customer a tailored configuration instead of an all-in-one brand solution.

“The OB van uses Grass Valley’s LDX-86 Worldcam cameras and a Karrera video switcher with K-frame, NVision 8144 video router, Densité 3 glues, Kaleido multiviewers, Vinten camera tripods, Riedel intercom systems, an Evertz replay system, Genelec monitors, audio mixers by Studer (Vista 1 for the main mixer, On Air 1500 as a back-up) and Tektronix waveform monitors. A Canon XU-81W camera is mounted on the telescopic mast.”

On the critical issue of testing and training, Dr Asti spells out the exacting procedure that ARET followed.

“The first part of the training was carried out at our headquarters in Milan. We verified that the coachwork corresponded in all of its details to the project specifications. The same meticulous check-up was carried out for the broadcast and electrical systems. The whole system was then validated and tested together with all the supplied devices, always including the broadcast, electrical, air conditioning and hydraulic systems.

“The second part of the commissioning was carried out on-site in Sharjah, where ARET’s engineers fine-tuned all the configurations, verifying that the OB van operated without any issues in every condition. Both phases of the training were carried out flawlessly and the customer was pleased with the support received.”

To understand the potential uses of the OB van and provide solutions to suit the client’s requirements is at the heart of the success of such a project, Dr. Asti underlines. Signing off on our conversation, he adds: “We have received positive feedback from the client, and we are looking forward to the next collaboration.”

About BroadcastPro ME

BroadcastPro Middle East is a monthly publication covering television and radio broadcasting technology as well as filmmaking trends in the Arab world. The magazine focuses on the entire broadcast chain from content acquisition and editing to media asset management, and playout and transmission across both traditional and new media platforms. Also, BroadcastPro ME is the official media partner for CABSAT, the region’s largest broadcast show. The Editor of BroadcastPro ME is also the only representative from the Middle East to be part of the jury for the IBC Innovation Awards.


ARET upgrades RAI studios and OB vans with Lawo V__pro8 video processors

ARET upgrades RAI studios and OB vans with Lawo V__pro8 video processors

Italian public broadcaster RAI, a long-time user of Lawo products and solutions, has just taken delivery of 37 Lawo V__pro8 8 Channel Video Processing Toolkits.

The new Lawo equipment will be employed in a nationwide technical upgrade and renovation of studios and OB vans located all over Italy. System integrator and Lawo partner ARET Video and Audio Engineering, headquartered in Milan, won the tender after participating in a test procedure which scrutinized prominent brands’ ability to process video in broadcast environments.

Alessandro Asti, ARET’s VP of Sales comments: “The unique features and flexibility of V__pro8 – its ability to synchronize, convert, embed / de-embed and apply delay to both audio and video, as well as monitoring eight inputs at once – received the maximum technical marks in the tender. Thanks to the outstanding performance of the V__Pro8, it is the perfect tool for signal monitoring in RAI’s studios and OB vans.”

The RAI project is the latest in a number of successful joint projects between ARET and Lawo.  Another notable project, from 2017, was the outfitting of Italian production company NVP’s OB4 OB Van. The heart of OB 4’s audio systems is a pair of Lawo mc²56 production consoles, a Nova router and DALLIS interfaces. The complete OB Van is controlled using Lawo’s VSM (Virtual Studio Manager) system; Lawo’s V__pro8 eight-channel video processing units give producers control of the complete broadcast production workflow using just 1 RU of rack space. Together, these Lawo systems deliver the versatility required for multiformat operation on Europe’s most challenging productions.

About V__pro8 eight-channel video processing toolkit

V__pro8 is a compact, fully digital eight-channel video processor with all of the “glue” features needed for today’s broadcast production workflows. It works as a flexible matrix system: using its 8 x 8 video matrix and 384 x 384 audio matrix, it is possible to switch any signal to any other. A modern GUI (based on HTML5) provides an intuitive interface for fast handling of day-to-day work.

V__pro8 connects differing video formats, with high quality format conversion, color correction and audio embedding / de-embedding capabilities. It also combines video and audio management, with a high-density MADI audio connection providing efficient video-to-audio bridging within the studio infrastructure. This combination of video and audio management in a single unit guarantees maximum operating efficiency by significantly reducing required space, wiring infrastructure and cost.

About Lawo

Lawo designs and manufactures pioneering network, control, audio and video technology for broadcast and post-production, as well as live performance and theatrical applications. Products include control and monitoring systems, digital audio mixing consoles, routers, video processing tools as well as solutions for IP-based A/V infrastructures and routing systems. All products are developed in Germany and manufactured according to highest quality standards at the company’s headquarters in the Rhine valley town of Rastatt, Germany.


ARET Becomes Ross Video’s First EMEA Certified openTruck™ Systems Integrator

ARET Becomes Ross Video’s First EMEA Certified openTruck™ Systems Integrator

Ross Video is pleased to announce that ARET Audio & Video Engineering, based in Milan, Italy, has become our first Certified Systems Integrator for the openTruck™ standard in EMEA.

Launched at NAB in 2014, openTruck is an open-access performance blueprint for mobile production that delivers a predictable production experience and the highest quality content. Whether customers require a network broadcast, Internet delivery, or OTT and VOD services, openTruck helps maintain high-quality production values and consistency of final product, ensuring a healthy return on investment.

The openTruck initiative involves partnerships with equipment manufacturers, system integrators, truck builders, mobile producers and freelance operators. openTruck designs support varying crew capacities, sometimes even supporting twice the number of positions normally found in a vehicle of a particular size. Smaller vehicles and enclosures provide better fuel efficiency, which leads to significantly lower costs to travel from event to event. openTruck is also vehicle agnostic and can be built in varying sizes depending on specific needs. Flight packs, Sprinter-type vans, trailers and forty foot boxes have all have been created around the many advantages of openTruck.

Commenting on the relationship with ARET, Steve Romain, Director of Special Projects at Ross Video, notes “ARET has been a Ross Video partner for a number of years now and is a very forward-thinking company. openTruck is an incredibly  progressive standard which is open to all and totally focused on helping our customers. I’m therefore delighted that ARET has become our first Certified integration partner for openTruck and look forward seeing openTruck grow in EMEA as it has in North America”.

Alessandro Asti, Managing Partner of ARET, is similarly enthusiastic. “ARET has worked in OB van turnkey design and integration for 40 years and we’ve delivered over 450 vans worldwide in that time. We firmly believe that the openTruck initiative is badly needed; it offers an extremely high level of production consistency, and customers want the certainty and quality that it provides”.

ARET will be showcasing openTruck at IBC 2016 in the outdoor exhibition area – plot number 0.E01. Ross Video will be exhibiting our full range of Smart Production solutions on booth 11.C10.

About OpenTruck

Powerful, consistent, and cost-effective mobile production

Live event coverage of any type is a capital-intensive endeavor, and the cost of building and maintaining production vehicles represents a significant overhead. By enabling lower-cost remote production while retaining the quality and standard expected of high-profile broadcast events, openTruck™ levels the playing field for smaller companies and gives producers an all-round better way to expand their coverage and meet consumer demand for coverage of more local sports and other live events.

openTruck is a viable alternative to traditional truck design. Rather than using overly expensive technologies that lack smooth integration, this new construct emphasizes equipment and workflows that complement each other for better efficiencies at lower costs. A healthy return on investment is delivered using the openTruck blueprint as vehicles are precisely engineered to maximize space, minimize risk and consistently deliver faultlessly efficient production workflows, uncompromising video quality, and rapid reconfiguration from event to event.

This innovative initiative provides a standardized yet customizable way to design affordable mobile production vehicles equipped with the power and technology necessary to deliver the highest quality content. Trucks built using the openTruck™ initiative, deliver a predictable production experience and outstanding results—all the time, every time. Whether you require a network broadcast, Internet delivery, or OTT and VOD services, openTruck™ is exactly what you need to maintain high-quality production values, and consistency of final product that ensures a healthy return on investment.

The openTruck™ initiative is helping to fuel an expanding live production ecosystem and make cost-efficient, high-performance production vehicles readily available along with a pool of talented and fully trained freelance operators.

openTruck™ is suitable for a wide range of applications and events including:

  • Educational and amateur sporting events
  • Local and regional professional sports teams
  • Local and state political events rallies
  • Corporate events
  • Live concerts and performances
  • Community parades and festivals


Al Rayyan TV on wheels

Doha-based satellite TV channel Al Rayyan TV has deployed a state-of-the-art 18-camera OB van to cover live events in and around Qatar.

Doha-based broadcaster Al Rayyan TV recently had a state-of-the-art 18-camera OB van delivered by Italian systems integrator Aret. The 1080i/720p HD OB van features the latest Grass Valley LDX 86 Premiere cameras and LDX 86 HS high-speed cameras with twin Triax-Fibre CCUs. It also boasts two wireless cameras and two super slow-motion cameras.

The main vehicle, 14m long with double expansion sides, comes with a support truck with a 70kVA diesel generator, an audio OB van and a DSNG van. It boasts a fully integrated seamless workflow with multi-format cameras and other sound and video equipment integrated into a flexible and redundant signal path. The camera format in the van is 1080i/720p switchable, but the workflow and equipment are based on the 1080p format.

This OB van will cater to the increased programming demand of the broadcaster, which has introduced a second channel to air live events. Al Rayyan will be using the new van to cover high-profile live programmes such as Qatar National Day celebrations, camel racing events and hunting and equestrian sporting events in and around Doha.

Mubarak Alawammi, General Manager of Al Rayyan TV, says that the channel’s remit is to deliver high-quality cultural and sporting programmes using the latest technologies.

“Launched in May 2012, Al Rayyan Satellite Television is a subsidiary of Al Rayyan Media and Marketing Company. We aim to deliver a variety of content and media relating to the identity and culture of Qatar. We will continue to invest in new technology in order to fulfill the channel’s aim of delivering high-quality content that is up to date with current technology.”

The broadcaster awarded the multi-million dollar contract to Italian OB specialist Aret at the beginning of 2015, following a tendering process. The OB van was ready to be shipped at the end of 2015.

“With 40 years of experience in OB vans and more than 450 OB vans delivered throughout the world, Aret seemed like a good choice for us, as it offered us a complete solution right from coach building to systems integration and training. Many of their vans have been deployed in the Middle East, which gave us the assurance that the company will be able to meet our specifications,” comments Alawammi.

Aret handled the complete end-to-end service for the van, starting with consultancy, structural design, electrical engineering and air conditioning, and systems design, right through to coach building, systems integration, commissioning, training and after-sales support. The end user, therefore, has a single point of contact for any requirements.

Umberto Asti, VP International Sales at Aret, comments that Aret’s end-to-end approach and the company’s extensive Middle East experience helped the broadcaster zero in on Aret. “Our end-to-end approach is a great time-saver. In Aret, we keep the original drawings and the hardware inventory of every single component installed in the OB vans, along with the basic configuration inventory of equipment. While designing our vans, redundancy and emergency mode are top priorities. Because we also design the van’s mechanics, hydraulics as well as air conditioning, we can assist the customer in case of a fault or failure, offering a one-stop shop for any after-sales requirements.’’

The trailer tractor, the grip truck and the small vans are all from Mercedes and comply with destination country specifications. The trailer chassis is designed to offer robustness and flexibility; its expandable sides and large side openings give full access to the rear of the racks and cable ducts.

The coach is made of fiberglass, aluminum, and stainless steel, in order to give flexibility and keep it lightweight and to avoid corrosion.

All hydraulic parts (expansion sides, jacks, and movable floors) can be operated automatically and manually.

The van takes into account the high temperature during the summer months and comes with a patented frame bar structure with foam. These are embedded in the walls of the van to allow working in temperatures as high as 90°C. The foam walls take care of thermal insulation as well as acoustics.

Special care was given to soundproofing all the production areas, especially the sound room, which has been covered with different layers of special soundproofing material inserted in the walls, in the floor and in the ceiling and then covered with a layer of sound-absorbent fabric.

To further improve thermal insulation, additional layers have been placed under the floor, while special gaskets and controlled positive air pressure throughout the OB van minimise sand pollution. The air conditioning in the van is capable of 200,000BTU/h and uses the Aret semi-customised technique, combining the optimum performance of a custom design with the easy maintenance of industrial components.

The layout of the OB van provides a spacious production room, a sound room, a camera control and Slomo /VTRs control room and a completely separate equipment room. The van is also equipped with 16 custom motorised XY 500-metre triax/fibre cable drum system. Wireless links from Cobham, 500mW, H.264, are integrated with the LDX cameras and give up to eight-way true diversity, complete with camera control and with telemetry receiver.

The cameras are equipped with Canon lenses, including long lenses such as 100x and 86x, and GVG super expanders and fibre conversion boxes. The van boasts two networked Grass Valley K2 Dynos servers, one of them with extreme replay 6x capability for the slow-motion section. The vision mixer in the van is the Grass Valley Karrera K-Frame 3ME.

A Calrec Artemis Beam with 48 faders is capable of 340 DSPs. The fully redundant audio mixer provides 464 mono equivalent input patches and 432 mono equivalent outputs. The audio system features a Dolby E encoding/decoding and surround system in production and sound areas with Dynaudio AIR6 loudspeakers.

Grass Valley has also provided the video matrix (180×216), and everything in the van is managed by AXON Cerebrum supervision and management system with dedicated panels.

This system is fully redundant and controls router crosspoints, video mixer tallies, IMD and UMD labelling, SNMP traps, and configurations of complex workflows and control devices, via an intuitive, user-friendly graphical interface.

The van also features a Riedel Artist digital wireless intercom system, a Riface Motorola radio system and a Mediornet interface to support the transit of signals to and from the OB van.

“We provided the commissioning and training for the OB last month, and now the van is ready to use,” says Asti.


Kuwait Broadcast Services Upgrades Radio Studios With Calrec Audio Consoles

Kuwait Broadcast Services Upgrades Radio Studios With Calrec Audio Consoles

State-run Kuwait Broadcast Services (KBS) has installed two Calrec digital audio consoles in its Kuwait City facility as part of an effort to refurbish its radio studios and update its technology. Studio 8, which is dedicated to sports programming, and studio 11, which broadcasts classical music programming, each got a new Calrec Omega console. Italian integrator ARET Video and Audio Engineering and Kuwait Cable Vision were chosen to provide the consoles, workflow customization, training, and support after a government-issued public tender process.

“We recommended Calrec to replace KBS’ incumbent products because Calrec represents state-of-the-art audio technology. The DSP, the reliability, the flexibility, and the built-in redundancy meant that the Omega consoles could not only meet but far exceed KBS’ performance criteria put forth in the public tender — and at a competitive price,” said Umberto Asti, vice president of sales and marketing at ARET Video and Audio Engineering. “All Calrec consoles are designed to be similarly straightforward and intuitive, so you can do everything in a snap without having to navigate multiple menus like you would with other consoles. I’ve received nothing but positive feedback from the KBS operators since they started using the new consoles.”

Each of KBS’ Omega consoles contains 24 faders in a 40-fader frame to allow for future expansion. The consoles can process up to 160 channels each thanks to Calrec’s Bluefin high-density digital signal processing technology.

The Omega consoles satisfied KBS’ requirement for a flexible, turnkey audio solution that could be customized to fit its specific workflow, with dedicated aftermarket support and training. The console’s reliability and flexibility of workflow have proved to be two of the most important features given KBS’ live-production environment.

“KBS is a flagship customer for us in Kuwait that is taking advantage of our consoles’ reliability, performance, and ease of use to advance itself in a budding broadcast market,” said Anthony Harrison, Middle East sales manager, Calrec. “ARET, which shares our philosophy of strong customer support, was instrumental in making this sale happen and continues to be an important partner for us in the region.”