UK broadcaster ITV has been remodelling its studios for its regional news production, with new facilities built in the Wales, Channel, Tyne Tees, Central, West Country, and Anglia regions – all of which have SSL C10 HD Plus broadcast consoles.
It was important to ITV that the newsroom technology could be configured to be as straight forward for the operator as possible and different levels of production complexity could be managed.
Steve Teague, head of technical services for ITV News Group says: "There are fundamentally a number of positions that have to be filled to put a normal programme on air … Producer, technical direction, vision, sound, and so on. For early morning and late night bulletins, the sound operation can become a remote panel in the main gallery. The workflow is changed at that point."
To make things more demanding, most of the new galleries have more than one output. For example, in the Central region there are East and West outputs. Normally one of those outputs is live and one is pre-recorded, though those can be opted in or out so there is also the option of switching to a single 'pan-regional' output when required.
Teague sums up the key aspects of the C10 console that make it well suited to the new ITV studios: "Reliability and ease of use," he says. "People like the interface - the logical layout." When asked about particular features he cites the console's Automix and C-Play (spot and music playout) features: "Automix is great for when we have multiple guests, and C-Play has been very useful"
Broadcast systems integrators IPE Systems was involved in the original facility 'template' design and was responsible for delivering the studios at the Tyne Tees, Central, West Country, and Anglia ITV regions, adapting the basic infrastructure requirements specifically for each one.
Ray Bragg, Director at IPE Systems, says: "Each studio has a production control room, a sound control room, several edit suites, a news room, and a voice-over booth. One of the key features of the studios is the tight technology integration we were able to achieve with SSL, Clear-Com, and the Axon Cerebrum broadcast control system.
"For us, a key feature of the C10 is the ability to present the surface to operators in a relatively simple way so you don't need an audio specialist to drive it. A competent person can drive a show even though there is some quite complex configuration hidden underneath.
"The other useful aspect was a generous pool of delays that we are able to control remotely, enabling the user to see and hear lip sync at the flick of a button rather than having to do it externally, which makes things much more straight forward."