AOL Canada – The Huffington Post

Applied Electronics Creates a Brand New Video Production Studio & Control Facility for AOL Canada’s The Huffington Post

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AOL is a media technology company with a mission to simplify the internet for consumers and creators by unleashing the world's best builders of culture and code. AOL Canada, a wholly owned subsidiary of AOL Inc., is committed to continuously innovating, growing and investing in brands and experiences that inform, entertain and connect the world through its world-class collection of premium brands, including The Huffington Post Canada, Autoblog Canada & Quebec, StyleList Canada & Quebec, Parentdish, Moviefone, TechCrunch, Engadget, and AOL Originals.

AOL Canada creates original content that engages audiences on a local and global scale, and it serves the latest Canadian and world news covering politics, business, lifestyle and the viral web through its popular digital platform, The Huffington Post.

In Spring of 2015, AOL Canada approached Applied Electronics to design and build a brand new production studio and control room for The Huffington Post, at its headquarters in Toronto, which would facilitate the recording of interview segments and the production and streaming of live shows on the web.

AOL required a highly efficient, compact production and control facility that could accommodate a small production team, yet had the capacity and capability for future growth and operational expansion.  Timeline was a concern as the new facility needed to be fully operational within six weeks of the initial order. With value engineering in mind, the Applied Electronics Broadcast Systems Group worked with AOL to define equipment, workflow and facility layout. 

Three PTZ robotic cameras were set up in the studio, on tripod with dollies, so different sets and set-ups could be accommodated.  One of the cameras was outfitted with a Mirror Image 17-inch teleprompter, while a large 55-inch touchscreen LED monitor in the studio allows the talent to call up and interact with compelling graphics and transitions.

The efficient control room comprises a console, switcher, record and playback servers, a small 20 x 20 router, an audio board, PTZ control, wireless microphone receivers, an intercom and hybrid, and a multi-viewer.  While one operator is able to produce a complete show alone, the large console can accommodate up to three people.  Web encoders are the last stop in AOL’s transmission chain, where their signal is converted to H.264 and sent out to be viewed by their audience.
The AOL studio is a showcase for the new age of journalism, and monitors throughout the facility can ‘dial in’ to view live events happening in the studio.  AOL’s Toronto studio is showcased throughout other AOL facilities as being on the edge of digital journalism. 

Equipment and Services Utilized:

  • Applied Electronics design & integration services
  • Panasonic AW-HE130KP PTZ cameras and AW-RP-120G controller
  • Sachtler SOOM tripods
  • Applied Electronics customized camera plates
  • Mirror Image PT160 teleprompting systems
  • Lite Panels LED lighting
  • Newtek Tricaster 8000 (with Talkshow)
  • AJA Ki-Pro rack
  • Fujitsu H.264 encoders
  • Black Magic 20 x 20 router
  • Avid Artist Mix 8-fader control surface
  • Sennheiser wireless microphones
  • Ross terminal gear
  • AJA FS1x universal HD/SD audio/video frame synchronizer and converter
  • Telex intercom and IFB

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