Switzerland’s tpc Ready To Roll Out All-IP OB Truck Built By sonoVTS

sonoVTS, a Munich-based provider of system integration and other services, is building what’s its calling the industry’s first pure all-IP OB truck, supporting uncompressed HD and UHD signals over IP based on the SMPTE ST 2110 standard.
The new “UHD1” is scheduled for final commissioning in early October 2017 with its first productions anticipated for the beginning of 2018.

Commissioned by switzerland ag (tpc), a technology and production center and a subsidiary of SRG SSR and Switzerland’s leading broadcast service provider, UHD1 will soon leave sonoVTS’s facility in Munich as the world’s first totally IP truck, running uncompressed video and audio data throughout its production workflow.

Toby Kronenwett, Business Development Manager at sonoVTS, “the Swiss broadcaster wanted to build a truck that is on the edge of what is technically possible.

“It’s been a very exciting project for us, for tpc, and for other manufacturers involved. But it’s not been without its challenges, the primary one being that it was completely new territory for everyone,” he said. “Almost everything is different in an IP world. Just one example of many is that because switches are moving enormous amounts of uncompressed data, they get quite hot, so a completely new cooling system had to be designed.”

The extremely high data rates processed within UHD1 equate to approximately 12GBps for each 4K signal. Among other manufacturers, sonoVTS worked with Imagine Communications, who developed and provided new interface protocols and the core infrastructure to handle up to 100GB/s. Until now, no one had completely solved how to handle such rates.

sonoVTS offers a full line of video monitoring solutions. The new UHD1 truck features 50 displays.

sonoVTS offers a full line of video monitoring solutions. The new UHD1 truck features 50 displays.

“Although the general work spaces within the truck are somewhat similar, the infrastructure required for an IP-based workflow is radically different,” Kronenwett said. “It’s challenging to plan such a truck because the planning necessarily runs ahead of the technology, but the technology is changing, too, and sometimes goes in a different direction, which may require the planning to be revised, or completely changed. We had a few ‘point of no return’ moments, which is not unusual for any project, but the key was to do a lot of parallel planning with different technical solutions to ensure that construction progress was not delayed, whatever the final decision.”

Innovation was also fundamental to the project. As a display manufacturer of the HDQLINE series of monitors, sonoVTS had to design and build displays—more than 50 overall inside the truck—with 4K IP inputs, which sonoTV said had never been done before.

In addition, manufacturers like Imagine Communications, Lawo, Sony, and StageTec had to alter their respective products in order to come up with new ways of doing things.

Due to its full IP nature, UHD1 is truly a multipurpose truck. The new truck will be a permanent part of tpc’s fleet and will be in use every day for a wide range of events including sports, news, and entertainment across Switzerland. All involved said the experience gained not only in the design and build, but also in the actual deployment, will be invaluable to their ongoing business and technical development goals.

UHD1, the HDQLINE displays and more will be on display at 2017 IBC Show. 

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