ITN Chooses RTS for GIR Intercom Upgrade

London, UK Telex Communications (UK) Ltd can add another major UK broadcaster to their impressive client list: Independent Television News has installed RTS intercom for critical communications at their Gray’s Inn Road headquarters in London. Stage 1 has already begun with the installation of a 176 square ADAM matrix system for ITN’s master control room. Providing facilities for some 6 studios 16 edit suites, graphics and content managers, master control is the hub of the ITN operation. As a live news broadcaster, ITN takes feeds from numerous outside broadcasts every day, so an essential part of their intercom requirement was a system to route incoming and outgoing lines at the touch of a button. The new RTS ARP (Audio Routing Panel) developed for ITN achieves this with simplicity and elegance, allowing speedy switching with visual confirmation and reverse interrogation of routes throughout the complex.

Paul Flook, Head of Broadcast Engineering at ITN explained: “We were looking for a new intercom system that would fulfill not only our present but also our future needs and compared to the competition the Telex/RTS system proved more flexible both in its design and implementation.”

The ARP-32 Audio Routing Panel is used to establish audio paths (input and output) by forcing crosspoints across your intercom system. The ARP-32 is similar to the PAP-32 Program Assign Panel. The difference being that the ARP-32 routes ports together, rather than IFBs.

The keys on the left side of the ARP-32 panel are programmed with input ports, while those on the right side are programmed with output ports. If the intercom system is configured for separate input and output alphas, the input alphas will display to those keys on the left side of the panel, and output alphas are displayed for the keys on the right side of the panel.

The ARP-32 works closely with the crosspoints screen in AZedit, which allows the user to easily enable, force or inhibit ports in an easy-to-use interface.

Future expansion using VoIP connectivity was a major consideration for the project, and RTS Voice Over Network (RVON) was a key factor in the decision to buy RTS. Steve Luck, Broadcast Support Senior Team Leader at ITN, was tasked with specifying the project:

“We looked at all the various manufacturers offerings but they required bolt-on boxes to make them work, RTS was the only fully integrated solution on the market. In conjunction with the various commendations we received from other broadcasters, RTS was the clear choice.”

Stage 2 of the install commenced towards the end of 2006 and will see PCR-1 and PCR-2 upgraded, with plans to upgrade the remaining studios in the future.

When the new STV complex at Pacific Quay in Glasgow went live in July 2006, it was RTS that powered the communications behind the broadcasts. When asked why RTS had been chosen for this prestigious project, Gary Welsh, STV’s Technical Manager, said:

"We looked at all the systems on the market and as far as we were concerned, RTS was the only choice. We already have RTS in our OB vehicles and are very happy with it. Soon we will install RVON connections between Glasgow and Aberdeen. The next stage will be to roll this out for our Edinburgh studios, too."

An ADAM frame consisting of 144 ports (with 16 RVONVoIP ports plus a TIF-4000 frame) form the centre of STV’s communication system.

The latest version of AZedit, v3.2, is now available with support for the new ARP-32 Audio Routing Panel, simplified RVON setup, and improved help files.

Intercom system configuration has never been easier with the advent of RTS' AZedit Intercom System Software. AZedit is a Windows-based, full-featured configuration software, providing online and offline configuration capabilities. It gives you the ability to manage multiple intercom systems, assign and reassign users to different ports, as well as dynamically add intercom hardware to your system setup without jumper changes, rewiring, or taking the system offline. AZedit has the capability to load pre-set configuration files, which means configurations saved to a disk can be uploaded to the live application at anytime without interruption. AZedit's online and offline configuration capabilities allow you to make changes directly to the application or upload changes from a file created at an earlier time.

For more information, visit the RTS Intercom website:

Photos & commentary courtesy of Independent Television News