Broadcast equipment will comprise of professional broadcast quality studio cameras, camcorders, and associated lenses, camera support and ancillary equipment; video walls; editing systems, routers, switchers, encoders, monitoring and sound equipment capable of recording, editing and distributing HD and UHD content and programming. In some cases equipment may be capable of accommodating resolutions above UHD broadcast standards.
While it may seem relatively recent that HD has become widespread, the 4K Camera and UHD television revolution is coming at a much faster rate than HD. UHD television provides the viewer with approximately four times the definition of HD, making it particularly ideal for Aviation and Air Show coverage. The Network believes that in order to be ready for the widespread worldwide availability of UHD broadcasting, the equipment must already be UHD capable, to avoid a retrofit of new technology and equipment shortly after launch. Such a retro-fit at an early stage would not be cost-effective, and a lack of preparedness for this technology would appear to lack significant foresight and planning for the future. Additional budget has been allocated for 2018/19 to allow for adoption of IP (Internet protocol) based Broadcast Systems.
Each facility will feature a large video wall 12.6m x 3m (41ft x 9ft 10″) for use during news segments and program production. While representing a considerable investment per installation, they are capable of adding significant production value to all studio based productions – Displaying maps; advanced graphics and studio backgrounds; and enabling links to other studios for interview or presenter interaction. Video walls are a keystone of the modern news studio, and should be viewed as an essential equipment item.
Robotic Studio Camera Systems
Robotic Studio Camera Systems represent another considerable equipment investment, but are capable of offsetting the equivalent in labour costs within the first three operational years, and every year thereafter, prior to consideration of savings in shift patterns, overtime, social security and healthcare. The systems typically have a life in excess of the depreciation period, and a number of service contract options are offered.
A system comprises of robotic pedestal and remote head on which the camera and teleprompter are mounted. Operation with self-correcting laser accuracy is from a single console within the gallery control room.
The number of systems due for installation varies in each location as per the allocations in each Budget Tier.
Camera Support & Lighting (Grip) Equipment
Camera Support and Lighting Equipment, also known collectively in most parts of the World as ‘Grip’, is considered to be equipment used in the studio or the field other than cameras and lenses. Network camera support equipment will mostly comprise of Pedestals for studio cameras, tripods and fluid heads for location work and studio and location lighting. Specific requirements for camera dollies, track and cranes are expected to be hired in from specialist suppliers, with experienced crew on an as needed basis (See Equipment Hire).
Efficiency in the case of studio lighting will be of key importance. Traditional lighting technology for Film & TV Lighting is power hungry and generates high volumes of heat, which in turn requires high levels of air-conditioning. Significant savings in power consumption and heat generation requiring air-conditioning will be achieved through the use of LED lighting technologies.
Backup Power Generation
Three-phase power will be taken from the grid in each territory. In the event that there may be a power outage, generation will be required on a backup circuit to power all key systems – Generation equipment is normally located in the building basement, and has suitable budget per installation has been allocated, to include supply, location and connection with facilities, and has been discussed with specialist contractors.
Equipment Hire & Contracted News Crews
The Network intends to maintain a small volume of its own mobile camera equipment, primarily setup for single-user operation; News crews, inclusive of their equipment will be outsourced from specialist industry agencies around the world, to reduce personnel obligations and ensure flexibility and mobility of news gathering assets; this is accounted for within the production budgets.
From time to time, either due to an equipment failure, fleet servicing; or abnormal excess requirement, it may be necessary for AVTN to temporarily hire additional or replacement equipment. This is common within the Broadcast Industry and a broad-range of professional equipment hire companies exist for this purpose around the world, particularly in the Group’s key locations.
Professional studio and lighting designers, experienced in the design and lighting requirements of Newsrooms and multi-purpose studios are to be contracted. Studio specification, layout and video wall allocation are set out in the Tier tables of each project element in the Proposal. A small audience seating area for between 75 and 100 audience is also budgeted for. Set designers will advise on all possibilities, and initial discussions have already been had with industry-leading Design Companies
System Integrators (SI)
The Network has the option to either: (i) Appoint experienced Systems Integration companies to oversee the provision and installation of Broadcast, IT and Telecommunication technologies, with one supplier having overall responsibility, and answering to the management via the Chief Technology Officer with a number of companies being considered; (ii) Recruit an experienced System Integration Team of its own, achieving further cost savings and flexibility for the project. This recently proved an extremely efficient methodology, in a $150m project.
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