Abu Dhabi buys Thomson HD OBs

Hot on the heels of yesterday’s story that some Arab broadcasters are likely to be transmitting in HDTV next year, comes news that Abu Dhabi Media Co (ADMC) has bought a “fleet” of OB truck each equipped for HDTV. The order was placed in September last year, and worth some €15m. The first pair of trucks have now been delivered.

ADMC is owned by Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayad al Nayhan, ruler of Abu Dhabi, and is said to be the first media company in the Gulf to make this investment. The first two vans have arrived following a deal with Thomson Grass Valley (TGV). TGV has also formed a technology partnership with ADMC.

“We are proud that ADMC is pioneering a new era of HDTV reporting that further reinforces Abu Dhabi’s status as the media hub for the Arab world,” said Mohamed Khalaf Al-Mazrouei, chairman, ADMC.

The first two trucks are very large production centres, based on articulated trailers with expanding sides. The other two are smaller, fixed axle units. In each case the production capability is based around a fleet of LDK 8000 multi-format HD cameras, Kayak switchers and other Grass Valley infrastructure products. “The delivery of these two vans with another two to come are further evidence of our commitment to world class content, distribution and technology,” said Edward Borgerding, chief of ADMC.

The new vans, which carry between five and eight cameras, also feature wireless HD cameras, digital sound systems, HD slow motion disk recorders, HD transmission systems and air conditioning systems that can deal with extreme operating temperatures during summer. The new vans will be operational in September, said the company.