OB van

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Broadcast van of the Hessischer Rundfunk at Ironman Germany in Frankfurt
OB vans of the ZDF in 1967 at the funeral of Konrad Adenauer
Live broadcast from UEFA Euro 2008

A transfer carriage (short form OB Van ) is a technology with the necessary a radio - or television studios equipped vehicle . It is mostly used for live reporting, where mobile technologies such as Voice-over-IP , telephone or hard disk recorders (formerly tape recorders ) are not sufficient for reporting.


Depending on the scope of production, an OB van train includes different vehicles. For smaller productions, only one OB van with a gross vehicle weight of up to 7.5 t transports accessories such as cameras , tripods and cables, as well as a transmitter . This applies e.g. B. with the SNG , therefore the name for this configuration is SNG-Wagen or simply SNG (Satellite News Gathering) for short . In individual cases (e.g. in extreme weather) reporters also use the vehicles as a television studio.

A large television broadcast van usually contains portable cameras , video mixers , video effects equipment , sound mixers, and decks . The smallest OB vans are Smarts (rather seldom, only a camera when watching TV) or vehicles the size of a VW bus . The largest units are articulated trucks with semi-trailers that can be pulled out to the side and thus provide space for numerous workplaces. Since these are no longer vehicles with only "transmission" technology, but rather a completely mobile studio picture / sound control system, such large trucks, especially at ZDF, have not been used as "OB vans" for several years, but referred to as "MP" - mobile means of production. There, around 30 employees of the latest generation MP4 / MP5 find their workplace and 16 (HD) cameras plus 2 slomo units can be processed.

For larger productions, e.g. B. Sports broadcasts , is a very large but possible composition of a vehicle fleet :

  • Control car with
    • Image direction
    • Sound control
    • Image technology
    • MAZ technology
    • Font generator
    • Speaker booth (often in the driver's cab)
  • MAZ editing mobile
  • Slomo car for slow motion effects
  • Satellite broadcasting car / SNG
  • Generator truck and UPS (power supply)
  • Public address car ( FoH )
  • Equipment trolley (so-called rescue vehicle )
  • Light car
  • Camera crane truck (sometimes rented from external companies).

Since OB vans are among the most expensive commercial vehicles due to their expensive transmission technology, they are specially guarded for longer deployments.


In 1935/36, for television coverage of the Olympic Games, the television company constructed two outside broadcast vehicles that worked according to the intermediate film process .

The first fully electronic OB van went into operation in Hamburg in September 1951. It was developed by the now Fernseh GmbH for the NWDR , and built into a Büssing AG bus . Initially, the car only allowed external broadcasts within a 20-kilometer radius of the transmitter. The first broadcasts were therefore limited to the area around the Hamburg transmitter: between Planten un Blomen , Curiohaus and Ernst-Merck-Halle , Hamburg harbor and the football field of FC St. Pauli .

In 2019, the German television service provider TVN GROUP had a new OB van designed with over 100 square meters of usable space and a total of 41 workplaces for 11 million euros. The two picture studios built in parallel offer 13 workstations each. For the first time since 1951, the room layout did not follow the usual classic processes of other OB vans and has a large, central sound control room with a Dolby Atmos mix and visual contact in both separate video control rooms.

See also

Web links

Commons : OB van  - album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Norbert Bolewski: Live plus 85 s: The era of intermediate film devices (9/15). Television and Cinema Society e. V., accessed December 9, 2019 .
  2. Knut Hickethier: History of German television . Metzler, Stuttgart 1998. ISBN 3-476-01319-7 , p. 70.
  3. TVN is spreading: New TV OB van is world class , HAZ.de, August 24, 2019
  4. New OB van: TVN-Ü6 , film-tv-video.de, August 29, 2019