Megahertz Ltd, a leading systems integrator and mobile broadcast production specialist, has completed a time-sensitive project to implement a broadcast-quality studio at Havering Sixth Form College to the east of London. The studio provides all the facilities students need to create studio programmes.
“We won special funding through the Mayor of London’s Skills for Londoners Programme,” said Brian Martin, Faculty Leader responsible for Media at Havering Sixth Form College. “We wanted to create a space that allows our students to design, execute, produce and evaluate digital solutions to a variety of creative briefs, a space that inspires, challenges and develops the employability skills of all of our students, many of whom are from disadvantaged backgrounds, to experience a state-of-the art industry standard studio first-hand”.
To meet the requirements on a limited budget, Megahertz developed a system largely based around Blackmagic technology, including the Blackmagic Studio Camera. Fitted with Panasonic Lumix lenses, the three cameras are mounted on Sachtler pedestals with FSB fluid heads. One camera has an Autocue prompter.
“One of the advantages of the Blackmagic camera is that it has full camera control, through a CCU-like device, making it feel like a full studio camera,” said Steve Hope, project manager at Megahertz. “From an installation point of view, though, it is simple because the control signals are embedded on the return video feed to the camera, so all we need to install are two SDIs and the DC power.”
Signal control uses a 40 x 40 router and a 2 M/E production switcher. Audio functionality is all contained in a Behringer X32 compact digital mixer, which hosts all the tools which would normally be outboard.
A Blackmagic Hyperdeck provides iso recording for each camera as well as the programme output. The Behringer X32 also provides iso recording for each audio source, as well as eight outputs.
While three cameras have been supplied as part of the contract, the whole system has been wired for a fourth, should the college decide to expand its capabilities either temporarily or permanently in future. The system is also 4K Ultra HD ready.
As well as the challenge of designing a comprehensive system to a budget, Megahertz faced the constraint of converting a classroom into a broadcast studio over the summer holidays. The company managed subcontractors to meet the deadline, including LCC which provided the lighting grid, DMX control and luminaires as well as a range of drapes.
To speed the installation, much of the wiring was pre-fabricated in the Megahertz workshop, meaning it just had to be laid out and loomed on site. The contract also included a short training programme to get the college staff up to speed on the system. Megahertz has provided Havering Sixth Form College with an extended warranty to July 2021, with remote support available from the Megahertz head office.
“This is an important project,” concluded Hope. “Obviously we are demonstrating what can be achieved in limited space and with limited budget. Much more important, though, is that this is an investment in the future of our industry. We are giving young people the opportunity to get enthused by the technology and the creativity of television, which we hope will encourage them to join us and companies like us in the years to come.”
Megahertz is trusted by the world’s leading broadcasters, content owners and media service providers to design, engineer and consistently deliver high quality fixed and mobile turnkey systems. As a leading systems integrator in an industry that is in the midst of transitioning to multiple new formats, including 4K, 8K, UHD, Cloud and IP-based workflows; its expert team of skilled engineers and solutions architects, are drawn from both broadcast and IT backgrounds and are dedicated to ensuring that an imaginative, forward-thinking and highly efficient approach is taken to both traditional and cutting edge projects.
Pushing the boundaries to find the right solutions for its customers with a focus on quality and cost-certainty, Megahertz provides dynamic and resilient bespoke systems that balance the individual technical and commercial challenges faced by the proprietors and operators of such facilities as news and sport production sites, state-of-the-art studios, network operation centres, educational facilities, and mobile outside broadcast/newsgathering vehicles.
Serving its clients from a 2000 square metre engineering facility in Cambridgeshire, UK and a Singapore office, Megahertz is able to pre-fabricate even the largest of systems and carry out its own coachwork for vehicles.
With a reputation for excellence since 1982, Megahertz is an independent global leader in systems integration with solid financial backing and one of the longest standing histories in the industry and constantly winning repeat business from high profile customers such as BBC, BT Media & Broadcast, Globecast, RaceTech, Vive TV, RT, and e.tv. For more information, please visit: www.megahertz.co.uk .