UHD VIDEO & IP AUDIO STUDIO UPGRADE

TypeSTUDIO
Date of CompletionIP AUDIO UPGRADE: MARCH 2018 | VIDEO UPGRADE: JUNE 2020
ClientH STUDIO LONDON
The audio control room at H Studio, following its audio upgrade

Renowned central London TV studio h Studio engaged ES Broadcast to carry out two upgrade projects to overhaul the audio and video capabilities of the facility, with the goal of better meeting the future needs of its clients.

Beginning with the audio upgrade project, the client not only wanted to replace its ageing console but also to completely reshape the way the studio’s audio worked by installing an IP-based network solution. The music control room was upgraded to the latest audio technology with the installation of a Solid State Logic (SSL) System T broadcast production environment. This in turn allowed the audio to move to a network-driven stage-box solution, giving audio engineers much greater flexibility to move connectivity around the facility with minimal core connectivity requirements.

As well as SSL’s proprietary IP network for console and stage-box connection, the solution enables third-party interfacing via Dante networks – future-proofing the studio for any forthcoming expansion. This ability to quickly and easily change audio configuration is crucial for h Studio, where audience-based productions ranging from multi-stage live music performances to light entertainment and comedy panel shows such as Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two and Richard Osman’s House of Games are a staple on the production slate.

AUDIO UPGRADE SEAMLESSLY INTEGRATES NEW HARDWARE INTO EXISTING SET-UP

The audio upgrade project needed new hardware to slot seamlessly into the studio’s existing architecture. ES Broadcast undertook all necessary systems integration design to ensure compatibility between new and old technology, with minimal disruption to the ongoing production schedule.

Meanwhile, the existing TV audio control room next to the main TV gallery was removed and repurposed into a multi-function space that allows studio audio operators to create a more comfortable production area for larger teams by moving vision control, graphic effects and replay between the main gallery and the new second gallery. Video and control upgrades were also included in the overhaul, along with the installation of new Sony OLED and JVC LCD video monitors.

PRODUCTION CAPACITY BUILT ON ULTRA-FLEXIBLE CONFIGURATION

With a fast turnover of productions and production teams, offering flexibility of set-up without compromising on audio capability was essential for h Studio. The new studio’s audio upgrade delivers the ability to quickly reconfigure the System T console to the preferences of the operating engineer, while routing and system navigation is very user-friendly.

The three-bay, 48-fader S500 control surface, coupled with a 16-fader remote tile, means the studio is easily capable of handling large multi-stage productions. An SSL Tempest T80 800-path audio engine and a range of SSL Network I/O units, in both the machine room and flight-cased stage racks, further augment the system’s expansive capabilities.

FUTURE-PROOFING FOR INCREASED UPTAKE OF UHD PRODUCTIONS

The second phase of h Studio’s technology upgrade involved bringing the core video system up to spec to be UHD-ready, with the aim of broadening the attraction of the facility to potential clients. This required ES Broadcast to remove all legacy 1080i infrastructure, from the cabling to the core router, and design and install a new 1080p system. Specifying a 1080p 3G-SDI solution rather than opting for 12G technology allowed interoperability with existing equipment such as the studio’s Sony MVS-7000X vision mixer, which can operate in quad-3G UHD but is not 12G-compatible.

Beyond the practical installation work implemented, one of the major, but very necessary, undertakings was to provide the client with a definitive set of documentation for the upgraded UHD studio system. Years of paperwork produced by previous integrators needed to be reviewed, collated and updated or superseded to generate a comprehensive and accurate account of the studio system. Added to that, the project demanded new working methods to be quickly adopted to ensure safety in light of COVID-19, which occurred in the midst of the build.

COLLABORATING TO ACHIEVE THE IDEAL STUDIO SOLUTION

Throughout both projects, a key aspect of the service ES Broadcast offered h Studio was the ability to develop an ongoing collaborative relationship resulting in designing and delivering a precise solution that puts the client in the best possible position to attract future business. This consultative approach was central to the success of the video and audio upgrades, and even saw ES Broadcast lend h Studio a new core router prior to the UHD studio upgrade to enable the studio to remain fully operational.

KEY EQUIPMENT

AUDIO UPGRADE

  • Solid State Logic System T Broadcast Production Environment, including:
    • SSL S500 three-bay 48-fader control surface with 16-fader remote tile
    • SSL Tempest T80 800-path audio engine
    • Mutliple SSL Network I/O units
  • Pro Tools Suite
  • Grass Valley multiviewer upgrades
  • Sony OLED video monitors
  • JVC LCD video monitors

UHD VIDEO UPGRADE

  • Grass Valley NVision NV8280 hybrid router
  • Grass Valley Densité digital infrastructure
  • Tektronix Prism media platform
  • Courtyard CT460 universal multi-format master sync pulse generator
  • TSL Products TallyMan TM1 MK2 broadcast control system