Broadcast Networks Delivers a Unique Operational Area for Arqiva

Broadcast Networks was responsible for the entire project management, including interior design, construction and safety

Systems Integration specialist Broadcast Networks has supplied Arqiva with a new operational area within its Chalfont Grove Media Centre to monitor and control the playout services supported from the facility. Arqiva provides much of the infrastructure and services behind television and radio channels in the UK and internationally.

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Designed to the highest specifications, the new area enables Arqiva to achieve greater operational efficiency and provides room for the company to expand its playout business in the future.

As one of the UK’s leading system integrators, Broadcast Networks was ideally placed to tackle this project. With more than 20 years’ experience, Broadcast Networks specialises in the design and implementation of HD and SD Master Control Rooms, studio systems, Outside Broadcast vehicles, On Location communications, satellite uplinks and facilities for streaming media.

Paul Wallis, Sales Director for Broadcast Networks, says: “As well as allowing room for future expansion of its services, Arqiva’s European Playout Centre needed to reflect the company’s position as an internationally renowned provider of broadcast and media services. The design brief was an important part of this assignment as Arqiva wanted to distinguish itself from the competition by creating a facility that would immediately appeal to its top tier customers.”

Kevin Hunt, Arqiva’s Project Manager, says he is delighted with the results that Broadcast Networks has achieved.

“The new European Playout Centre looks stunning and reinforces Arqiva’s reputation for delivering high quality playout services,” he says.

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Broadcast Networks was responsible for the entire project management, including interior design, construction, CDM/health and safety supervision, systems integration and equipment and furniture installation. The company worked in partnership with interior designers Design Original, construction group Hi-Tec Building Services and technical furniture manufacturers Custom Consoles to create a space that was modern and functional as well as dynamic.

“When it comes to visual impact, Arqiva’s new European Playout Centre really has the wow factor,” Broadcast Networks’ Project Manager Matthew Slater adds. “The playout suite is adjacent to the Media Centre’s reception, which has a large picture window, glass walled corridors and a mezzanine floor where visitors view the operators as they carry out their technical duties. Large scale graphics create a visual link between the interior design of the playout suite and the Media Centre’s reception and this overall graphic style, influenced by the circular nature of the desk layout, presents a professional and dynamic feel in a soft, friendly and open way. We have used a matrix of dots instead of large blocks of solid colour to relax the eye and ensure that both visitors and operational staff experience a positive, modern, open, light and airy space that is immediately recognisable.”

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The new playout suite incorporates a horseshoe-shaped main control desk accommodating three operator positions. There is also room for a future operator position and an engineering position. A smaller desk facing the main control desk accommodates the TX supervisor. Both desks incorporate LED lighting that dramatically illuminates the legs of the desk.

Four monitor stacks, each comprising four portrait-mounted large format 52” JVC LCD screens, are positioned in front of each of the operator positions. Underneath each monitor stack is a storage unit with three 19” rackmount bays for mounting the PCs associated with the operational positions. In the corner of the room, out of sight behind a monitor stack, are three equipment racks with lockable rear doors integrated into the reception area’s dividing wall. This storage ensures the operational space is kept as free as possible from technical ‘clutter’ to maintain the futuristic, streamlined look.

Matthew Slater says: “Broadcast Networks supplied various monitoring equipment including the new JVC monitors. The rest of the equipment was migrated from Arqiva’s previous playout facility whilst all services remained on-air. To maintain the light and spacious feel, thin bezeled monitors are mounted on an unobtrusive monitor stack to give the impression that they are floating in the air. This, combined with the unusual furniture and overall colour scheme, is very effective and creates an environment that is unlike any other control room.”

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Arqiva’s Media Centre currently monitors over 50 channels, and room for expansion has been built into the design. The European Playout Centre was officially opened earlier this month and is now in use 24 hours a day.

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