Sydney Uni installs three camera studio

10 October, 2008 by IF

[press release from Well Above]

The University of Sydney is the latest in a long line of educational institutions that have used Videocraft to significantly upgrade their media training facilities.


As the university’s Media and Educational Training Officer Daragh Lane explained the upgrade was a necessity. “The competition for new enrolments is fierce.” He said. “In order to successfully attract students, especially from overseas, we had to make sure our facilities were second to none. That’s when we approached Videocraft.”

Over the last two years Lane and colleague Adrian Langker, worked closely with Videocraft’s Andy Liell and his Sydney team to design and install a full 3-camera studio complete with lighting grid, vision control room and audio control room, all of which were linked to each other and the university’s editing ‘labs’ via LAN.

Lane continued, “All the facilities at the university are for our Media and Communications Programmes in the Faculty of Arts. The group that works closely with Videocraft in all installations is called Arts Digital and we are responsible for making sure all the kit we have is right for today’s market. The students are trained as broadcast journalists which involves shooting, editing, compiling, presenting and broadcasting. It’s a very comprehensive programme.”

For their portable acquisition the university chose 32 Sony HVRA1P cameras and for audio 32 Marantz PMD660 digital audio recorders.

Lane continued, “Videocraft had a challenging set of requirements as, although the university is currently tape based, we are looking at a full HD workflow and production facilities with file based systems in the near future. This meant wherever possible that we had to look to future proofing, something Videocraft did very well, especially in the studio.”

Part of the university’s expansion plans involve also building two new multimedia editing labs which will integrate into the network and studio and are scheduled for completion in March 2009.

Videocraft’s NSW state manager Andy Liell commented, “This is a truely PC based production facility based around a B-Pix Slate 2100 switcher and a Playbox PC-based capture and playout system which includes one Airbox playout server and 3 Capture Box recording servers. This efficient set up can easily automate files that are captured into the playout environment.

The B-Pix switcher solely handles switching and monitoring of multiple SDI input sources, as well as chroma key and character generation. The audio control room centres around a Mackie 1402VLZ 14 channel mixer and in addition to sound for the studio programmes, is also used for professional audio recordings.”

The system is linked together using a Codan Broadcast 32×32 SDI router with extensive manual patching facilities allowing any audio or video to be sent anywhere in the facility. Codan Broadcast perhipherals, including A/D and D/A converters, an ARC and a TV One Scan converter allow flexibility for many different input sources to the vision switcher. The studio and control rooms were built in an existing space so several structural modifications were required, including core drilling for cable access, and the installation of a load rated lighting grid from the overhead concrete slab

Daragh Lane said, “It’s in the studio that Videocraft’s expertise is really paying dividends. Andy and his team designed and installed a full 3 Sony HVRZ1P camera studio (2 with ProPrompter Autocue units) complete with chroma key screen, Clearcom talkback and 6x6m lighting grid. The studio has a full SDi backbone making it fully future proofed and allowing front and back end to be upgraded and upscaled very easily indeed.

"I have to make special mention of the lighting grid with its 850kg load, it was a big job and very typical of Videocraft’s approach to the entire project. They always found the best solution and wouldn’t stop until it was absolutely perfect. We are delighted with our facilities and with Videocraft’s service, support, knowledge and expertise. All of which have contributed to excellent feedback from current students and prospective ones."