Approximately six weeks from this year’s original Federal election date of 14 September a new date, 7 September, was announced, reducing the lead time for broadcasters to just five weeks. Coincidentally and rather unfortunately, it also transpired that the new date would be an extremely busy weekend due to many Australian OB companies being occupied with finals’ season commitments, something that was not previously an issue with the original election announcement.
As one of the country’s leading broadcasters the Seven Network immediately sprang into action and according to Technical Services Manager Gary Porter a different strategy was devised. Porter said, “We were fast approaching this deadline and needed to find an alternate source of supply in Sydney that could deliver a custom-built system to expand our facilities for the evening. It became clearly apparent when reviewing the quotes we received from vendors that Videocraft understood the mission critical nature of the task at hand and could provide both the equipment and support staff to meet our requirements.”
Seven required three “hubs” consisting of a hybrid MCR/TD Tech position plus a producer position to augment their facilities and relieve the pressure that would be placed upon the Master Control and TD positions for such a challenging evening.
Porter continued, “The facilities were to be built up external to our existing systems, interconnected as required, with a 72×72 router, multi-viewer monitoring and full technical monitoring. The hubs were each responsible for one of our switchers assign lines ensuring that live remote sources to the studio were preconditioned and ready to go to air. This involved establishing communications with the remote locations, performing quality control checks and making any adjustments required to ensure a flawless transmission.
The system needed to be not only technically able to handle the task but also had to be designed and delivered to feel like a natural extension of our facilities, offering the operators a familiar environment and the level of capability that they are accustomed to during a sustained high-pressure period.”
Seven also required an additional EVS to be installed to ensure that any critical moments from remote sites would be captured using a six-channel XT3 and available for immediate turnaround.
Having chosen Videocraft to supply all the additional services they required Porter specifically went on to mention the company’s approach adding, “Videocraft delivered a complete solution tailored specifically to meet our design criteria and therefore the demands of the evening, which provided us with an easy to use platform that our operators were comfortable with. Videocraft also supported us in the lead up to the night ensuring all the gear was performing as to be expected and supplied onsite support for the installation and on the day itself to manage and support the equipment. Finally Videocraft’s attention to detail was evident in the products they delivered to us which reduced the integration time required.”