UHD STUDIO & PRODUCTION GALLERY WITH OTT PLAYOUT

TypeSTUDIO
Date of CompletionAPRIL 2021
Client67 Pall Mall

Housed within a Sir Edwin Lutyens-designed Grade II-listed building in the heart of London’s historic St James’s district, 67 Pall Mall is a private members’ club for wine lovers.

In 2021, 67 Pall Mall had plans to launch its own in-house channel 67pallmall.tv from a custom-built TV studio housed within the club. With a continued drive to develop the way it interacted with members following the Covid-19 pandemic, the club had a strategic vision for the in-house channel to create a more immersive relationship with wine enthusiasts. Innovative content plans included live on-air wine tastings and access to on-demand content such as documentaries which would provide viewers with a high-quality service from the comfort of their own living room. This would not only pave the way for 67 Pall Mall to expand its service offerings but also propel them to the forefront of the industry.

CUSTOMISED STUDIO ENVIRONMENT DESIGNED TO DELIVER ORIGINAL PROGRAMMING FOR WINE ENTHUSIASTS

ES Broadcast was commissioned to work alongside studio design and construction partner Croga Studio Builds to deliver system integration services as well as the supply of key broadcast equipment and technical furniture. 67pallmall.tv would be produced from studio facilities located in a building opposite the central London headquarters from which the award-winning fine wine club derives its name. The channel intended to offer original programming in UHD for wine enthusiasts around the world, plus direct-to-home wine deliveries across Britain and mainland Europe.

This was a complex undertaking requiring a studio customisation, lighting, cameras, control room, audio, graphics, playout, scheduling and editing facilities to be designed and delivered as a single studio solution.

The newly launched television channel would be transmitted worldwide on Red Bee Media’s OTT streaming platform, with content driven by a Veset Nimbus Cloud Playout platform. The playout solution required configuration to ensure integration with all streaming services and media asset management control via the platform. This would be based on a hybrid infrastructure, utilising 67 Pall Mall’s on-premises services together with two public cloud platforms, AWS and IBM.

With the studio’s crew not hailing from a broadcast engineering background, ease of operation, especially of the playout system, was crucial to enable them to focus their efforts on the production itself.

IN-DEPTH TRAINING KEY COMPONENT OF DELIVERY

A period of detailed training and handover was integral to supporting the core team at 67 Pall Mall, most of whom had no prior experience with the majority of the new equipment installed, and to ensuring a smooth transition as operations at the new studio launched.

During the handover period, ES Broadcast delivered a combination of hands-on operational training across the camera equipment, control room and editing facilities, and specialist manufacturer-led training on key components such as the playout system. It was essential the team at 67 Pall Mall should feel confident in delivering a professionally streamed broadcast to their members across the world.

INSTALLING A MODERN TV STUDIO IN AN HISTORICAL BUILDING

Building a TV studio and control room in a listed building not designed for such an installation presented some challenges. Following a site survey of the listed building, a number of potential obstacles to delivery were identified that would need to be managed correctly.

One challenge was that normal cable containment routes used in a broadcast installation were not available, so new routes in sympathy with the surrounding architecture had to be created. Workspaces were designed to fit inside the building without affecting the overall fabric. This required custom desks and creative layouts to make best use of available space. The result was a low-impact build delivering maximum screen impact.

BUILDING OPTIMAL FUNCTIONALITY INTO CONFINED SPACES

To optimise the space at 67pallmall.tv’s disposal, a compact dual-operator Custom Consoles desk was installed, combining a high level of operational versatility with storage space for IT and ack-mount equipment. ES Broadcast designed a four-bay inline production console spanning just over two metres, with each bay fitted with front and rear equipment access doors to simplify both installation and servicing. Rack-mounted hardware sits across three of the operator bays, with 45-degree upward-facing front panels to ensure maximum visibility of each device. The left-hand bay has a clear front-to-rear worktop to accommodate a production script. Full cable ducting is included to accommodate power and signal wiring between each bay and through to floor level.

STREAMING NEW CONTENT AND LIVE TASTING ON AIR

Following the implementation of the new studio facility, the Wine Channel has enabled wine club members to watch live wine tasting sessions and taste samples of their pre-purchased wine simultaneously.

In addition to the live tastings, 67pallmall.tv can now stream documentaries and other on-demand content. While the live tasting kits could only be shipped to the UK and Europe initially, 67 Pall Mall was investigating establishing additional hubs in Asia and North America as it sought to offer the ‘live tasting’ experience globally.

KEY EQUIPMENT

  • Veset Nimbus Cloud playout management platform
  • Adobe Premiere
  • Avid Nexus on-premises media storage
  • Vinten Vantage remote control pan/tilt tripod heads
  • Blackmagic ATEM Production Studio 4K switcher
  • Blackmagic Smart Videohub 12G router
  • vMix 4K live streaming software
  • LiveU 4000 decoder and LiveU Video Return live feed software
  • Unity Intercom Talkback
  • Iconik media asset management platform
  • Sennheiser microphones and IEMS

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