Sony Professional has today announced that it has worked with broadcast and professional solutions provider CVP to kit out Birmingham City Universitys extensive new media facility. As part of a five-studio building project, Birmingham City University (BCU) invested in twelve Sony HXC-D70 studio cameras and twelve of Sonys market-leading OLED professional monitors, as well as Sony switchers, audio equipment, and multi-view monitors, to create one of the leading educational and media installations in the UK.
The project was undertaken as part of a relocation and modernisation effort by the university, for three particular departments: the Faculty of Performance, Media, and English; the Faculty of Technology, Engineering, and the Environment; and the Birmingham Institute of Art and Design. Moving from a single-studio space to a purpose-built five-studio facility was crucial for the media department in particular, with three of the five studios (Studios A, C, and D) able to work together and collaborate on a single project using the latest broadcast-quality equipment. Studio B is a dedicated green screen facility for animation, while Studio E is an empty, blank-canvas space.
The de facto choice for many UK broadcasters, each of the twelve HXC-D70 studio cameras for the new BCU facility feature a 2/3 inch Exmor CMOS sensor for capturing Full HD and SD images. Camera control units and RCP-1000 remote control panels were also provided with the cameras, for straightforward remote operation.
Phil Thicket, Head of Media at Birmingham City University, said: Given their widespread use and acclaim within the broadcast industry, Sonys studio cameras were top of our list when we began looking for the equipment for our new facility. By providing these cameras for our students, were enabling them to work in an environment that is as close to a broadcast studio as possible, ensuring they have the hands-on experience they will need in their careers.
Known for their high-purity deep colour reproduction, superb black performance, and wide colour gamut, Sonys TRIMASTER EL PVM-2541 Full HD OLED monitors were a natural partner for the studio cameras. Eight of the twelve monitors installed at the facility will be used for output monitoring, with the remaining four being used for craft edit suites, including one specifically for grading and another for a dedicated Audio Pro Tools suite.
Dave Cheesman, North Region Sales Director at Sony, added: Access to market-leading equipment is critical to attracting students today, and BCU wanted to set a benchmark for having one of the best equipped facilities in the country. By using leading-edge Sony technology to create a real-life production environment the university is enabling the best in teaching talent with the best learning environment.
In addition to the cameras and OLED monitors in the studios, two of Sonys award-winning KDL-55HX75 LED monitors have been installed as multi-view screens in the galleries of each of the three broadcast studios, providing detailed images for production teams. Three Sony switchers an MVS-6530, MVS-6520, and MVS-3000 form the backbone of the system, facilitating seamless production capability, and 16 Sony wireless microphone kits (UWP-X7s and UWP-X8s) match HD images with exceptionally clear audio.
Philip Hatch, Head of Systems Integration at CVP, commented: We were in constant consultancy with BCU to ensure we delivered the highest quality equipment possible. The result is a professional-level facility and one of the leading educational studios in the UK. The fact that BCU opted for Sony equipment as part of this new build highlights the leading position of Sonys technology throughout the production chain.
CVP is continuing to work with BCU, providing technical support and consultancy for two years. In the future, BCU aims for the facility to be used on a commercial basis as well as for educational purposes. In addition to strong existing links within the industry through its other courses, BCU is also currently developing partnerships with local production companies and the Birmingham City Development Project regarding the commercialisation of the studios. Using the studios professionally will not only create work experience placements for the students, but will be a valuable revenue stream for the university, helping to refresh technology in the future and keep the studios fully up to date.