Charles Sturt University (CSU)’s Wagga Wagga Campus delivers a unique course in Broadcast Television Production, titled Bachelor of Stage and Screen (Television Production). This course has run in various guises for more than 20 years and has become a key provider of operationally ready graduates for the television and related industries. The Wagga Wagga Campus houses a three-camera purpose-built multi-cam studio, 12 edit suites, 3 audio suites, 20 field camera kits and a six-camera HD outside broadcast truck. With the studio facility due for a technical upgrade, CSU took the opportunity to bring it up to full HD production standards, a process that involved a significant amount of Sony equipment and one of Sony’s top Australian dealers, Videocraft.
CSU’s Television Production team explained, “We replaced the entire video chain in the studio including cameras, vision mixer, router, prompters, interfacing (glue) and recording and playback systems. The new equipment was required to be of an operationally equivalent standard to that commonly in use in the industry while fitting within our budgets and it needed to be reliable given that refits are approximately 10 years apart.”
Following an initial in-house design stage, Sony National Account Manager Randall Titus and Videocraft Sales Manager for the ACT and Southern NSW James Gilchrist worked closely with the CSU team in researching and proposing various products to meet the university’s requirements.
Patrick Sproule, who until recently was in charge of the television program at CSU, said that “Sony and Videocraft also negotiated on our behalf, seeking industry support for our course and endeavours through considerable discounts and or specification upgrades in an effort to help us meet both our budgetary and industry relevance requirements. Randall and James also organised product demonstrations both on-campus and at the SMPTE Conference and Exhibition in July in order to allow us to evaluate each device against our needs.”
After the assessment period CSU purchased three complete camera chains based around Sony HXC-100 cameras utilising digital triax, Sony RCP-1500 CCU remotes, HDVF-EL75 OLED viewfinders, prompter systems, mounting hardware and a Sony MVS-3000 vision mixer.
The CSU Television team explained, “The Sony HXC-100 cameras were chosen based on a number of factors; triax rather than multi-core cabling was a key requirement as was perceived quality and longevity of the equipment. A bonus is the fact that the RCP-1500 CCU panels are common to a wide range of Sony professional cameras and thus students will have familiarity with larger systems commonly in use. The Sony MVS-3000 vision mixer was chosen both for its all-in-one – as in no options to add – capabilities versus price, and its GUI which shares much familiarity with the larger Sony consoles.”
Sony worked closely with Videocraft to ensure the deal went as smoothly as possible with Videocraft also providing CSU support with digital interfacing, monitoring and recording systems. The efficient working relationship between manufacturer and dealer was something that impressed the entire CSU Television team.
“We understood from the outset that our budget was extremely tight and that this would limit us to smaller scale equipment. However Sony and Videocraft have worked together to enable us to get into much higher-end equipment than we ever thought possible, thus ensuring that our students gain the most relevant experience throughout their course. This will ultimately benefit the industry as our graduates are able to transition smoothly into network and production facilities utilising similar equipment.” the CSU team said.