QVC UK has extended its robotic controlled camera operation with the installation of a significant complement of Shotoku Broadcast Systems equipment.
A sophisticated configuration comprising customised multi-camera control panels, pan and tilt heads and height drives has been integrated into QVC UK's Battersea Broadcast Centre to achieve the network's objectives without loss of legacy equipment.
Following a thorough evaluation of competitive manufacturers, QVC identified Shotoku as providing the best operational facilities and compatibility with the network's existing system without compromising its requirement for highly accurate and resilient performance for years to come.
"Having investigated a number of solutions, I was satisfied that Shotoku's robotic systems were accurate enough for our extremely fine moves, tough enough for our 17-hour-a-day live environment, and intuitive enough for our busy operators to use without trouble," stated David Tidd, QVC UK's broadcast project leader.
QVC, no stranger to robotics, has been using remotely controlled camera systems as an extension of its manual operation for many years. Shotoku's advanced technology has allowed QVC to move to robotic-based operation whilst retaining one manual camera in each studio without any loss of existing equipment. The upgrade included the installation of two Shotoku TR-16T latest generation touchscreen panels in QVC's production galleries. The TR-T systems, capable of controlling both Shotoku and third party robotic cameras systems, enable a single operator to control up to 16 cameras.
The configuration also includes six Shotoku TG-18 & 19 pan and tilt heads and five Radamec channels under Shotoku Phoenix control, installed throughout multiple studios. The heads, designed for medium or large payloads and offering manual operation if required, integrated seamlessly with QVC's existing cameras and lenses. The Phoenix control capability of the TR-T system, combined with QVC's legacy robotic heads, allowed ageing system hardware and software to be replaced with up-to-date technology while leaving the core electro-mechanical subsystems intact. The system enabled QVC to closely manage its budget and upgrade cost effectively.
In addition, six Shotoku T1-12 height drive units were supplied to be mounted on QVC's manual pedestals to further extend the range of shots available in the studios.
The change to a predominantly robotic-based production technique resulted in significantly reduced production costs and enabled QVC's operational staff the opportunity to continue to cultivate creativity and talent.
David Tidd added that Shotoku's intuitive control panels, ability to customise the system to address QVC's live requirements, and the ease of working with the company's team were all pivotal factors in the selection process. He noted: "Shotoku's support staff have been extremely professional and helpful throughout the project and have often gone the extra mile to make it all work to our very demanding specifications."