by Mike Nichols
NASHVILLE, TENN. Nashville is known the world over as the home of country music and the Grand Ole Opry. It's also the home of Great American Country (GAC), which broadcasts a wide variety of country music to cable, satellite and radio. In addition to country music videos, GAC features original programming, special musical performances and live concerts, and is the exclusive television home of the Grand Ole Opry. GAC is a property of Scripps Networks.
Last February, we commissioned two new GAC studios, located in the middle of Nashville's Music Row. Our studios are equipped with a total of seven cameras, three of which are remotely controlled by a Telemetrics camera control system. The GAC studios feature a variety of capabilities, including server-based recordings of studio productions that are then immediately available to the three fully equipped edit bays, as well as a complement of switchers, audio boards and graphics equipment.
One of the Telemetrics-equipped cameras at the new Great American Country facility in Nashville.USER-FRIENDLY FACILITIES
The design concept was to build a studio that would be flexible and simple to use. Telemetrics was a perfect fit for this model, given the products' versatility, affordability and expandability, in addition to operational performance and reliability. I've seen Telemetrics products in operation in several facilities and have been impressed with the overall quality. Our system integrator and design firm, TI Broadcast Solutions Group, was also on board with the decision based on their experience with Telemetrics.
The system here includes three Televator elevating pedestals, outfitted with the Telemetrics PT-LP-S4 servo pan/tilt heads. Each studio control room is equipped with the Telemetrics CP-D-3A robotic pan/tilt desktop control panel. The three motorized elevating pedestals provide fluid vertical camera positioning from different perspectives, while the pan/tilt mechanisms mounted on the Televators are sturdy enough to accommodate a wide range of cameras. As our freelance personnel have varying degrees of experience, the system's features, such as preset/motion control and smooth slow/high speed camera operator-like movements help to ensure a consistent and professional look to our shoots.
SCALABILITY AND FLEXIBILITY
What I appreciate most is having a scalable and affordable product that can grow with us. The Device Server interface can integrate all the Telemetrics control panels and robotic devices onto an Ethernet network. Any control panel on the network can control any device attached to the Device Server. This means we can readily add or relocate devices as needs change.
Since its commissioning, our Telemetrics system has lived up to its reputation for performance and reliability. The system fully meets our needs for operational simplicity. For example, a tilt limit came loose on a camera and I was able to reset the limit correctly in about two minutes, as the limit switches are conveniently located on the outside of the housing. In another example, I was able to reprogram buttons on the remote control panel with just the help of printed instructions sent by the Telemetrics customer support desk.
Since this was new construction, we were not trying to solve any past problems—just ensure that we didn't create any new ones. The Telemetrics camera control systems are the perfect solution for a problem-free system.
Mike Nichols is currently a broadcast engineer with Great American Country and has worked in the broadcast industry for more than 28 years He may be contacted at MNichols@scrippsnetworks.com
For additional information, contact Telemetrics Inc. at 800-424-9626 or visit www.telemetricsinc.com.
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