ATG Danmon announces the completion of a studio control room upgrade for ITN at their Gray’s Inn Road, London, headquarters. The project included the integration of a latest-generation production switcher, control surface and production server. Transition to the new system was completed over a single weekend to ensure continuity of the facility’s daily transmission schedule.
“The ITN engineering and production teams decided to replace a legacy vision switcher and related equipment with a latest generation Ross Carbonite Black vision control platform, TouchDrive operating panel, Abekas Tria Express Duet server and Ultrix router,” comments Jonathan Hughes, ATG Danmon Head of Systems Integration. “A key challenge was the need to ensure that the upgrade could be completed without impacting the facility’s normal schedule which in this case included daily news presentations plus Monday through Friday magazine shows.
“As a Ross Diamond Elite partner, we were able to design, deliver, integrate and commission a complete system plus ancillary equipment. Production requirements included the ability for the switcher to interact with the control systems. Graphic cues and spot-on audio cues are controlled directly from the vision switcher which is linked to the sound desk. The vision switcher also interfaces to Avid iNews Command automation for clip replay, allowing the production team to set up and build the shows.
“Based on our long experience of time-critical projects, we pre-installed and tested the complete system into an onsite development environment so that daily studio and control-room operations could proceed without interruption. The development area was also used for preliminary operator familiarisation.
“We were then able to perform a complete changeover on a Saturday followed by full testing and in-situ training on the Sunday prior to the new system going live on the Monday morning. Everything went fully to plan. The new infrastructure is future proof and can be upgraded from HD to UHD and SDR to HDR if or when required.”
The Ross Carbonite Black vision control platform incorporates four independent media player channels which are available switcher-wide. Stills, logos and animated graphics are played out from on-board memory and can be loaded via USB storage devices. The attached TouchDrive control panel incorporates 25 crosspoint buttons on a 15.6 inch touch screen plus three mix/effects control rows. Operators can enable functions such as panel mapping without having to step through menus. Selected menus are complemented with touch gestures.
The Ross Abekas Tria Express Duet production server can store over 38 hours of HD 1080/59.94i video at 100 Mbit/s with up to eight tracks of digital audio embedded in each video channel.
Occupying 2U, the Ross Ultrix router includes 16 × 16 HD BNC plus two auxiliary I/O ports, expandable to 72 x 72. The integral Ultrimix allows routing, mixing and processing of all embedded audio inputs plus the ability to support up to 512 x 512 discrete mono audio inputs.
ITN has been one of the UK’s foremost television production and news organisations for over 67 years. Combining cutting-edge technology and innovation with expert story-telling flair and energy, ITN is recognised globally for its quality, integrity and creativity. ITN makes the award-winning daily news programmes for ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5, providing comprehensive and impartial news to the British public and reaching millions of viewers every day, as well as television production; sports; advertising; corporate films; education content; entertainment and news footage syndication; and post-production. Each year ITN produces over 650 hours of non-news unscripted content for UK and International broadcasters including ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, the BBC, Netflix, Discovery, Amazon and NBC. ITN’s programmes have won hundreds of major awards over the last decade, including Emmy Awards, Baftas and RTS Awards. Documentaries Watani: My Homeland and For Sama were both nominated for Academy Awards.
ATG Danmon, part of the Danmon Group, is an international systems integrator and a world-class supplier of broadcast systems planning, design, installation and commissioning services. Customers include some of the world’s largest television and multimedia networks. ATG Danmon is also active in the educational and corporate sectors. The company has partnered with many clients in the construction of IT-based automated file workflow systems, high-definition studios, master control rooms and playout facilities, as well as the upgrade of existing SD systems to HD and UHD. With offices in Asia, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom, the Danmon Group thinks globally and acts locally to support customers with its highly experienced sales and engineering teams.