Niagara College - School of Media Studies

Applied Electronics Delivers Brand New Niagara College TV Studio in Under Six Weeks.

Niagara College TV Studio

At Niagara College, more than 9,000 full-time students study in over 100 diploma, graduate certificate, apprenticeship and Bachelor’s Degree programs, and more than 15,000 Continuing Education students study in 600+ credit, vocational and general interest programs. Niagara College has three specialized campuses located in the Niagara Region: Welland Campus, Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus and Niagara Falls Campus.

With state of the art technology facilities and a community focus, the Welland Campus was recently the recipient of a Niagara Design Award, with its recent multi-million dollar green sustainability additions and expansions. Part of the expansion plan was the Broadcast Studio renovations.

Niagara College is the only post-secondary institution in Ontario to offer Radio, Television and Film in one program. Students in Broadcasting – Radio, Television and Film (BRTF) produce their own programming in two TV studios, shoot and edit on industry standard equipment and use digital audio recording and production equipment. The modern studio will enhance the student learning experience and offer greater skills development.

"Niagara College’s goal is always to provide outstanding, hands-on learning experiences for our students," says Linda Roote, Associate Dean of the School of Media Studies at Niagara College. "And in this particular case, we wanted to update our TV studio to make sure that when our students came through our program and graduated, that they’re totally industry ready. Applied Electronics was really a one-stop kind of shop for reinventing our TV studio."

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Applied Electronics provided technical consultation and was contracted to design, supply and build the new HD studio, which included a new fully equipped production control room and an upgraded audio control room - all within a short six week timeframe.

"We needed everything, basically from the ground up – from the planning, the wire run lists, the equipment installation, and of course, commissioning and test at the end," says Byron Gracey, Engineer for the Broadcast - Radio, TV & Film department of the School of Media Studies. "So the deadline was basically when the students started arriving, and Applied [Electronics] was able to work with us a little bit beforehand to get some idea of where we were going — and once approval actually came through, we were able to work together and get it done in roughly six weeks. So it was pretty amazing."

"I think the benefits of this technology is that it’s speeding up the students’ learning," says Alysha Henderson, Professor for the Broadcast - Radio, TV & Film program. "And we can get them a lot further ahead in first year than we could even five years ago – and further ahead, not just in terms of the technology, but in terms of their own ideas and how they can use the technology to explore their creativity."

The Studio:

The Studio boasts three JBL 5” Master Reference Monitors integrated with Applied Electronics custom designed bulkheads. Three Clear-Com PTX-3 UHF Wireless IFB (interruptible fold back) systems were used for talent cueing and crew communications during production. In other cases, the IFB system is used by directors and other management to monitor program audio during a production. Additionally, six Clear-Com PRC-2 Wireless IFB UHF multi-frequency belt-pack IFB receivers and a Clear-Com HME DX121 Wireless Intercom Base Station are part of the system.

For the Floor Director in the studio, an Anchor Audio BP-2000 PortaCom Intercom Beltpack with volume control is used to communicate with the control room operators. The Blackmagic Design Videohub Smart Control router lets students work as a cut bus control panel where all buttons can be programmed as separate sources. Students can also select multiple destinations and a take button, and it is powered via DC and Ethernet. An Ikegami 17” HDTV/SDTV Multi-Format LCD Color Monitor is also used in the studio.

The Control Room:

The control room is equipped with two Samsung 65” UHD Multiview monitors and two JBL 8” Master Reference Monitor, which are ideal for multi-channel monitoring in post rooms, broadcast facilities and trucks. A Viewsonic 23” LED display, a Marshall VS-PTC-200 Compact PTZ Camera Controller, four Panasonic AW-HE40S HD PTZ Camera with advanced features including Power over Ethernet+ (POE+) and IP-live video monitoring, and a Panasonic AW-RP50N Sub-compact remote camera controller, which can control up to one hundred cameras via IP and up to five Panasonic cameras and pan-tilt heads using RS-422 serial control. The RP50 is capable of accessing up to 100 presets for each Panasonic Integrated PTZ camera.

Also included in the system is an AJA FiDO-T Single channel SDI to LC Fiber Converter, which offers unmatched flexibility and cost efficiency for SDI-Fiber conversion, allowing for long cable runs up to 10km with electrical isolation - useful for eliminating ground loop problems. FiDO converters use a compact, low-profile enclosure that works well in tight spaces around and behind equipment racks, trucks and on camera.

The Central Equipment Room:

The CER houses a Blackmagic Universal Videohub 72 Rack frame, which includes removable fan tray and fans, can accommodate the addition of up to 18 BNC SDI or optical fiber SDI interfaces, plus a single 72 x 72 crosspoint and power card. Includes removable fan tray and fans. A Blackmagic Universal Videohub 72 Crosspoint, which is compatible with Universal Videohub 72 and 288 frames, supports up to 72 x 72 SDI and control, ethernet and serial router control, genlock and alarm indictors. A Blackmagic Universal Videohub Master Control Panel and a Blackmagic Universal Videohub optical interface are also part of the system.

The Intercom:

The intercom system includes a Clear-Com i-1200E 1RU 16-key (2 x 8-key non-display) push-button panel with gooseneck and headset connections, and a loudspeaker with level control (no keypad) for the Technical Director in the control room, as well as for each of the Director, Script, DMT, Producer, CCU, CG, Audio, and Faculty positions in the studio. A Clear-Com Eclipse HX-PiCo 36-port Matrix Frame ensure high-quality full-duplex communications in a compact 1RU form.

The project was completed in advance of the end-of-August deadline, which gave faculty and instructors ample time to become familiar with the new systems prior to student arrivals.

“Studio looks great,” says Joanne Fedosov, Project and Operations Manager for Niagara College Canada. “It was such a pleasure working with professionals who delivered a quality job, on time.”


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