Sky Deutschland's latest channel, Sky Sport News HD, is using a variety of products from Vitec Videocom for its slick new automated production, including Autoscript prompting, LED lighting from Litepanels and camera robotics from Vinten Radamec, writes David Fox.
Rather than isolate the channel presentation and programming in a separate studio, Sky Deutschland has built a 360˚ studio space in the centre of its new newsroom. The challenge for the designers was to maintain high production values in relatively confined space, not least with limited headroom of approximately 4m.
Central to the design is a sophisticated camera robotic system, using six Vinten Radamec Fusion FP-188 robotic pedestals with FH-100 heads. These, along with two Telemetrics camera systems, are controlled using a Vinten Radamec HDVRC control system. A large number of pre-set positions are programmed into the controller in advance, and during transmission camera angles are selected by the Mosart production automation system. This means that, during normal programming, the studio needs no operator for cameras, with the floor manager providing any manual adjustments necessary to accommodate guests.
Sky Deutschland is an advocate of good environmental stewardship and energy reduction is an important goal. This was a key driver in the choice of low-energy LED lighting from Litepanels. The limited ceiling height would also have caused problems with excessive heating if conventional fixtures had been used, so the dramatic reduction in power consumption using LEDs has proved a double bonus.
Sky channels in Europe are regular users of Autoscript prompting systems, making them a natural choice for the new studio. In this application their seamless integration with the iNews network means scripts are automatically downloaded, updated and cued up for the presenters as required.
"Launching a new channel is always an exciting challenge. We already had good experiences with Vitec at Sky Italia and again they have supplied us with great equipment here in Germany for our new 24-hour, sport news channel, Sky Sport News HD," said Francesco Donato, Sky Deutschland's VP for Broadcast Operations. "Due to the excellent experience with Vitec Videocom group products we felt complete confidence in specifying Autoscript, Litepanels and Vinten Radamec.”