German facilities company nobeo has installed AES audio and high-definition video routers in two studios at its production centre outside Cologne as part of a HD upgrade, writes Kevin Hilton. Despite the increase in demand for high-def programmes in Germany, nobeo continues to work mostly in stereo with analogue consoles. Studios 1 and 7 are the latest to be switched over to HD at nobeo's headquarters in Hürth. Video equipment, including vision mixers, has either been replaced or upgraded in the move to HD but the major change on the audio side is the installation of two Harris Platinum routers. These handle both video and sound, with support for mux/demux audio processing, mux/demux for 16 channels of audio per video stream, mono breakaway audio routing, multiplexing of 16 channels of audio into each video output, MADI for connecting to audio equipment, discrete audio routing, balanced and unbalanced AES signals, conversion of AES audio to analogue stereo/mono using I/O modules and support of up to 16 embedded AES streams for each video input. Both control rooms retain their existing Amek Recall analogue mixing consoles, which technical manager Guido Amann says have been used at the nobeo centre for "many years" and there was no reason right now to replace them. "Despite having HD we haven't gone 5.1 yet," he comments. "No customers are using it for their productions at the moment but we do have a Lawo mc²90 in Studio 6 if anyone does need surround sound." Studio 7 (gallery pictured) is currently used for the German version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire? but the new control room equipment has been flight-cased so it can be used either elsewhere in the nobeo complex or on location. A Yamaha PM5d desk is available in a flight case for outside broadcast flyaway jobs. www.nobeo.de
HD OBs - trucking on a road near you
They're everywhere - at cricket grounds, football stadia, conference venues, theatres, local arts centres or just generally slogging up and down motorways - and, as Kevin Hilton reports, there looks like no stopping the growing number of high definition outside broadcast trucks. This perception is confirmed by figures in the latest edition of the HD OB Van Directory, which details 42 new vehicles across the Europe, Middle East and Africa region.