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ABC TV Perth OB activities

Posted by ken On May - 27 - 2011


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ABC TV OB at Leederville Oval 2011


ABC Technical Producer Mark Hird has kindly provided us with details of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s television outside broadcasting activities in Western Australia.


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Mark Hird


Unlike the commercial TV stations in WA, the ABC outside broadcast section remains busy, not only servicing ABC productions but also hiring their facilities for a wide range of broadcasts.

Mark, picks up the story…



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ABC TV OB at Leederville Oval 2011


Over the last ten years or so Perth TV OB’s have not been totally idle.

In addition to our core ABC work (At the moment WAFL, Anzac Day and occasionally other minority sports and the odd “One Off event”) we have been contracted to provide OB facilities in the commercial arena.


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ABC Typical setup with commentators truck at Dampier 2010


These include AFL for FOX and Channel 7, Men’s Basketball and Soccer for ONE Ten, Athletics for McGuire Media and Hopman Cup for Channel 10, the Christmas pageant and the yearly Telethon at the Convention Centre Auditorium for Channel 7.


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(Left) Andrew Dolberg – (Right) Armin Azad at Dampier 2010


Often these Outside broadcasts are a mix of ABC core staff and casual staff, but have a commercial Production team calling the shots.

Each OB varies in complexity and staff numbers can vary according to requirements. The ABC can no longer provide enough staff without enlisting the pool of casuals.


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ABC TV at Dampier 2010


We can normally handle two OB’s on the one day. Recently we managed three but this is a real stretch, not so much with gear, but with staff, with the shortfall coming from interstate on that occasion.


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(Left) John Leeming – (Right) Rick Harvey at Dampier


As part of our contract with WAFL we are expected to cover at least one game in regional areas of WA. In recent times they have included; Esperance, Broome, Port Hedland, Newman, Albany, Corrigin, Dampier and shortly Geraldton. In order to facilitate the coverage of the game we hire Satellite uplinks which enables us to transmit to WA via a number of hops which include Sydney and Newcastle (Media Hub – presentation).


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Garth Caird at Albany 2009


In addition, the OB van is the control room for Studio 61 and Studio 620 when they’re used for TV. We also did an election coverage in Studio 61, which was a tight squeeze as the tally room. On that day we had a WAFL game at South Fremantle, and because of security back at the station we parked the OB van on return in the old building garage overnight.


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(Left to Right) Gary Carr, Mark Hird, Brett Robins, Cyril Culverhouse and Armin Azad at Dampier 2010


The MediaHub which Mark refers to above is the digital playout facility co‐owned by the ABC and WIN TV, that is housed in a refurbished sheet metal factory in Ingleburn, a south western suburb of Sydney, NSW.

MediaHub centralises each broadcaster’s presentation and Master Control Room (MCR) facilities. This means content from each of the broadcasters is switched and routed from studios, outside broadcast vans, overseas news feeds and from the ABC to external providers and transmitters.

At the heart of MediaHub is a new British playout system called Morpheus, which is also being used in Australia by Prime TV.

Playout system is an industry term used to describe the equipment, software and/or processes—typically within some kind of broadcast environment—responsible for “playing” source media and converting or rendering it into a form which may be “put to air”, or presented, for external use.



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ABC TV at Claremont


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