RT Equips its London Studios with NEXEDGE® Digital

RT UK is the latest TV news channel from RT (formerly Russia Today), a global multilingual news network.

From its headquarters and production studios in Millbank Tower, overlooking the River Thames in London, RT UK broadcasts news and current affairs programmes focusing on UK issues.

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RT is the winner of the prestigious Monte Carlo TV Festival Award for best 24 hour broadcast and the only Russian TV channel with three nominations for the International Emmy Awards for News. RT is also the #1 TV news network on YouTube with nearly 2.5 billion views.

RT UK has two production studios and in February 2013 solutions provider CVP was contracted to equip the studios. Philip Hatch, Head of Systems Integration at CVP comments: “Our brief was to bring together the most appropriate equipment within the budget ensuring that we kept an eye on the future expansion needs. Apart from a need to integrate the news feed system with the one operating in the Moscow and Washington facilities we were free to recommend suitable equipment.”

The equipment list was extensive and included cameras, audio and vision mixers, microphones, teleprompters, displays and communications equipment. For the studio communications CVP installed an RTS intercom with operator panels in the gallery and portable Kenwood radios for studio support personnel. The combination of desk based intercom units and Kenwood portable radios enables communication between the studio director and studio personnel such as floor managers, cameramen, makeup artists and programme support staff.

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The Kenwood radios are integrated with the RTS intercom through two talkback base stations connected to the 4 wire ports on the intercom giving radio access from all the intercom operator panels.

NEXEDGE Digital walkie talkie
The compact, portable Kenwood NEXEDGE® radios use lightweight headsets with earpiece and microphone and can be carried in belt packs allowing staff to work hands-free while listening for instructions and monitoring the feed from the program director.

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The RTB6211D talkback base stations are manufactured by JVCKENWOOD integration partner Raycom using Kenwood digital NEXEDGE® radios. The NEXEDGE® technology allows the radios to work in digital as well as conventional analogue mode. This enables full spectrum analogue transmission of speech and music out from the gallery to studio floor managers and cameramen. The analogue transmission ensures there is no delay effect when studio staff are hearing the live show at the same time as the gallery transmission over the radio. When studio staff talk back to the gallery the NEXEDGE® radios use highest quality digitally processed audio to ensure excellent range, speech clarity and background noise cancelling even from a noisy studio environment. This significantly improves the intelligibility of communications from the studio staff back to the gallery.

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Philip Hatch of CVP added “The digital/analogue hybrid nature of the setup with the digital transmission talkback from the radio handset results in reliability of signal and battery life and the best RTB clarity I have heard”.

Although currently working in a studio environment, the Raycom talkback base station and Kenwood radios also meet the demanding requirements for outside broadcast communications.

The benefits of extended range and background noise cancelling have been particularly evident at outside sports events.

Chris Wood, Director of RT UK, emphasised that with 5 live broadcasts each evening, equipment reliability and clear communications were essential to RT UK. He concludes: “The development work has been smooth and we appreciate the work that CVP has put in on our behalf. Our communications improvements will be a great asset as the channel continues to expand its programming to meet the needs of the UK audience”.

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