Blackmagic provides A/V flexibility at Sindh Assembly
PAKISTAN: One of the largest provincial governments in Pakistan, the Sindh Assembly in Karachi has recorded all of its parliamentary sessions since 2010. With an outdated SD video system in place, the provincial government recently turned to systems integrator Tahir Iqbal of Integrated Media to design and install and new solution, which ultimately feature Blackmagic Design’s Atem 1 M/E Production Studio 4K as its foundation.
The client required an upgraded A/V solution that would also offer flexibility and allow for the expansion into a new 13,470 sq-m building 600m away. Integrated Media was also contracted to provide training to A/V staff on the new system following installation.
‘We needed to make sure the old and new systems could be seamlessly integrated, to allow members access to any archived video materials they required for future parliamentary rulings and motions,’ explained Mr Iqbal. ‘The previous system didn’t allow the team to use downstream keyers for adding graphics and effects to its video feed. In particular, the Assembly wanted to add a ticker across the bottom of the programme feed to provide a professional, live news feel to the production, so the Atem’s downstream keyers and DVE are powerful upgrades to the A/V system.
‘There are a number of videowalls and repeater screens throughout the new facility where live sessions are screened,’ Mr Iqbal continued. ‘However, the Assembly also provides a feed from key sessions to the national broadcaster, Pakistan TV, as well as to private television channels. So, when we started to design and specify a solution we had to balance the onsite audiovisual needs of a government complex, run by a small in-house team, alongside those of the national broadcaster.’
The team can remotely control four PTZ cameras positioned in the main hall. The feeds from these are supplied with audio and graphics to the Atem 1, which produces the live mix. An UltraStudio 4K captures the mix and distributes it via Thunderbolt to a Mac Pro for live editing. The feed is then sent through a Mini Converter SDI Distribution 4K to 3x3 and 4x4 videowalls constructed from Philips borderless LED televisions and is also transmitted to repeater screens for the speaker and in the viewing gallery and press room. A patch panel enables distribution to the older building.
‘The patch acts as the primary router between the two buildings, and a central Ethernet switch provides the bridge between the old and new file types,’ noted Mr Iqbal. ‘The team can then quickly retrieve and access archive material as required from the previous system.’
The audio feed is controlled by a 160-channel Bosch solution comprising tabletop microphones, column and bracket speakers and headphones. A Behringer audio console is employed for mixing, while the Atem 1 feeds the final programme mix. Genelec 8020A audio monitors are installed in the press room.
‘Our daily task of providing a concise and clear representation of the Assembly’s debates and decisions has become much easier,’ said Asim Ahmed, technical controller at Sindh Assembly. ‘The solution fits our needs in terms of providing excellent coverage of the sessions to anyone that needs it while also giving us the professional capabilities necessary for our television partners for broadcast purposes.’