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Egripment: RTL augmented for news

When RTL Netherlands was planning its new virtual and augmented news studio, it wanted to have flying camera moves, but the ceiling height didn’t allow it to use a crane, so it approached Egripment to install a ceiling-mounted system to keep the studio floor clear.

Egripment already had some of what RTL needed in its Virtual/ Augmented Reality Encoded System, but additional features were needed to ensure: smooth on-air movement of the dolly, head and telescopic column; integration with a Vinten Radamec controller; all axis encoding to integrate with Orad’s HDVG graphics platform; and full automation, so that presets or pre-recorded moves could be dropped into Sony’s ELC studio automation software.

It meant that Egripment had to enhance its Generic Tracking System to link up with other vendors’ systems. “To accomplish this we have used a fully IP-based platform, and through our custom designed Trackmen software we were able to build a bridge between Egripment, Vinten Radamec and Sony, as well as the graphics engine of Orad,” explained Richard Villhaber, Egripment’s sales director.

As RTL wanted to control the Vinten Radamec pedestals and Egripment’s Tracking System using a single controller, “Trackmen wrote customised software for this special application so that we could easily integrate within the VRC infrastructure through their EPI unit, making it possible to control all robotic cameras by one single controller. The most important reason for this implementation was to keep the workflow with Sony’s ELC as simple as possible. Sony’s ELC can now easily connect to the network and drag and drop stored presets and moves to a playlist that will be used for RTL’s news broadcasting.”