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Metropolitan South Institute of TAFE (MSIT) prides its self on “empowering individuals, industry, and communities to achieve their career and business goals.” The refurbishment of their creative arts building saw the allocation of new space to their studio and TV control room.

The challenge

Lead Vocational Teacher at MSIT Kevin Young described the existing studio as having “never really worked properly and taking up to 3 hours to get the control room operational. Vision switching, signal routing, and audio mixing are unnecessarily complex operations and students find it impossible to remember the settings required between classes. The biggest problem is a 180 millisecond audio delay which makes everything you are watching in the control room out of sync.”

Many of these issues developed from the back end of hidden infrastructure not being correctly installed initially.

Manager of MSIT Product & Innovation Bryn Warren-Giles said “Having a control room and studio that is easily upgradable when new equipment comes on line will give MSIT greater flexibility in current delivery and more opportunity in future delivery of screen qualifications. (This) will benefit all MSIT Screen students by exposing them to the processes and technology used in a modern broadcast facility.”

The Solution

A redesign of the whole studio to create a teaching space on level with an industry standard broadcast studio both aesthetically and in operation.

An emphasis was placed upon repurposing existing equipment into the new design where possible. The original camera chains, tripods, prompters, monitors, computers, and lighting were all able to be utilised. The Clearcom talkback systems, headsets and controller microphones were also re-installed correctly giving them back functionality.  This allowed the remaining budget to be attributed to new equipment, resolving the recurring issues that the existing studio faced.

Patch bays were installed into the studio and the equipment rack to make connecting into the system easy. An audio delay unit was also implemented to keep everything running in sync.

The addition of a new fibre connection running between the studio and the editing suite above allows these systems, as well as the four computers in the control room to be connected into the Autocue server, allowing for fast and easy file transfer.

 A prerequisite of the project was to create an exciting control room atmosphere for students, generating a desire to learn its functions.

LED lighting illuminating various features was installed and a new desk with the equipment sunk into it was fitted, achieving an authentic control room feel.

In order to future-proof the studio control room, a Full-HD infrastructure was also cabled. Up and Down converters were then installed where existing non HD equipment remained.

Creating a fully functional studio, has been a rewarding result for everyone involved in this project. Mr Young commented that “Students can now concentrate on learning its functions and creating content...The end result is far better than we expected.”

The studio is so sucessful, that Tafe Brisbane have featured it in their performing arts promo, watch it here>>

the technology

  1. Techtronics Waveform Monitor and Vectorscope,
  2. Panasonic AVHS410 Vision Switcher
  3. Allen & Heath 24 Channel Audio Mixer
  4. Philips Lighting Desk
  5. Ross Routers
  6. Opengear DA’s
  7. Redbyte and AJA converters.
  8. Avid PC system upgrade incorporating a Nitris DX breakout box, to allow for editing of the program feed
  9. HD/SD 4 channel Autocue ‘play in play out’ video server to allow for ISO camera recording and playback
  10. FULL HD Cable Infrastructure

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