Sony Pixel Power calrec Sony

A project years in the making': Behind the scenes at Channel 4 News' remote Leeds studio

19/05/2023

TVBEurope hears from ITN director of technology, production and innovation Jon Roberts, studio and technology manager Sam Parker, and senior programme director at Channel 4 News Martin Collett, about the broadcasters new permanent news studio, the decision to use a physical rather than virtual set, and how Channel 4 News is taking to the cloud for disaster recovery

By Jenny Priestley

Published: May 18, 2023 Updated: May 23, 2023

TVBEurope hears from ITN director of technology, production and innovation Jon Roberts, studio and technology manager Sam Parker, and senior programme director at Channel 4 News Martin Collett, about the broadcaster's new permanent news studio, the decision to use a physical rather than virtual set, and how Channel 4 News is taking to the cloud for disaster recovery

target=_blank title=Share on LinkedIn class=share-linkedin>

Earlier this month Channel 4 News debuted its new, permanent Leeds-based newsroom.

The broadcaster has operating out of a temporary newsroom since it began broadcasting from the city in early 2022. The aim of the new permanent studio is to support the delivery of its data-led journalism, with Channel 4 News' new data correspondent Ciaran Jenkins based in Leeds.

The Leeds newsroom has been years in the making Jon Roberts, director of technology, production and innovation at ITN tells TVBEurope, and was always part of the channel's plans to develop its footprint in the city.

From the very outset of the conversation about the relocation of the Channel 4 headquarters, there's been a conversation with Channel 4 News, with an ambition to get to where we now are, he explains.

Ciaran Jenkins in front of the Leeds video wall ITN and Channel 4 wanted to establish their new base in Leeds as quickly as possible, which was they took the decision to initially build a temporary facility. We built that more in line with how we build a typical remote presentation. Obviously presenting remotely is something we do regularly, adds Roberts. We knew we wanted to take our time for this permanent build and really lay in some smart infrastructure, as well as thinking about the disaster recovery offering, and we knew we couldn't do that very quickly.

Once the temporary studio was up and running, the focus turned to building the permanent facility. ITN worked with ES Broadcast throughout the project.

From the outset, ITN wanted the Leeds operation to be fully remote, with all cameras, lights, and sound operated out of the company's HQ in Grays Inn Road, London. In the conversations with Channel 4 it was clear that not only did we want to build Leeds for all the great reasons of what it's doing for the editorial agenda, but also to give them better resilience, particularly off the back of some disaster recovery challenges they and others went through with Red Bee, explains Roberts.

We decided quite early on but that it didn't stack up for us to build a control room in Leeds. The initial thought was to create strong connectivity from London to Leeds which we take through our Slough data centre, to be able to bridge into AWS so that we can build a cloud production facility for when we have an unfortunate event at Grays Inn Road, and then to select our technologies based on being able to operate in that environment.

Key technologies used to connect Leeds and London include Riedel's Bolero for talkback, Ross Video's Ultrix routing platform, EVS's Cerebrum as a remote control to enable the routing, Shotoku cameras that are all robotically controlled, and ETC lighting. We also have control of some colour addressable light boxes, including in the desk, so we can tweak the tone of the studio., adds Roberts.

Both London and Leeds are operated out of PCR 6 at Grays Inn Road. The video wall in Leeds is operated by Viz Multiplay, which has been integrated into Viz Director in London. We don't actually have any Viz operators on our operation, our vision mixers are able to control both the Viz infrastructure for playing out named supers and fullframe graphics through the London control room, but at the same time control the wall in Leeds, which means we end up with a single playlist for both a wall in London and a wall in Leeds, says Roberts.

We tried to take that integrated approach throughout. We've integrated the camera controls so that we have a single position, he continues. Again, we don't have dedicated controllers. For that we'll have our lighting director supplemented by one of our camera operators, able to control both the cameras in the London studio and in the Leeds studio through the same interface. Same for audio, one audio desk, one comms system.

In the studio One of the key features of the Leeds studio is that it has real windows as part of the set something that you rarely see on news programmes. As the production team can't control the sun, they've had to employ special measures, explains Sam Parker, ITN's studio and technology manager. We have a treatment on the windows of a .6 or .9 ND, which does help, he says. We also have the video fins, which kind of act as sun blockers as well, depending on the position you have guests. They obviously have a role to play in blocking out the sun at the moment because it literally sets behind the presenter.

I've actually put another treatment over the top windows because we find at the moment that's where most of the light is coming through. When the sun does come through, it looks really nice. To actually have sunlight into a newsroom is quite a strange phenomenon, he adds.

Parker has also been instrumental in the decision to donate the technology from the temporary studio to the School of Media and Communication at Leeds University. It was an idea I came up with alongside Channel 4's head of
LINK: https://www.tvbeurope.com/live-production/a-project-years-in-the-makin...
See more stories from tvb

More from TVB Europe

28/09/2023

Piecing together the jigsaw puzzle of Boiling Point

TVBEurope talks to editor Alex Fountain about his work on the BBCs new drama Boiling Point, and how hes followed the project from short to feature to TV By Jen...

27/09/2023

The R&D and product development landscape: Black Box

By Jenny Priestley Published: September 27, 2023 Updated: September 28, 2023 John Hickey, senior director of R&D and KVM Systems, Black Box details how t...

27/09/2023

Vizrt heads to the metaverse with blinx

The company is working with start-up blinx, which delivers narratives produced by younger people, for younger people By Jenny Priestley Published: September ...

27/09/2023

Finding the heart of Welcome to Wrexham: How the show's editor turns 30 hours of footage into each episode

TVBEurope sits down with editor Michael Brown to find out how he goes about cons...

27/09/2023

Writers' Strike officially over; AI protections revealed

Writers are expected to return to work today even though the deal has yet to be voted on by the unions full membership By Jenny Priestley Published: Septembe...

25/09/2023

Maidstone Studios enters The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar

By Jenny Priestley Published: September 25, 2023 Updated: September 26, 2023 Maidstone Studios has played host to Wes Anderson's new Netflix film, Th...

25/09/2023

Terms of WGA strike deal will set the playing field for the future of the TV and film industry'

[One of the] sticking points towards the end of the negotiation process was arou...

25/09/2023

CVP opens new Central London flagship showroom

The new showroom will enable customers to interact with technology, including cameras, motion solutions, an LED volume stage, lighting solutions and a Monitor W...

22/09/2023

Warner Bros Studios Leavesden spreads its wings, becomes home of DC Studios projects

The expansion will boost the total stage count from 19 to 29 and the overall pro...

22/09/2023

IBC 2023: The vendors' view

From sustainability to AI, doing more for less and the on-going move to IP, TVBEurope hears from a number of exhibitors at IBC 2023 about the main talking point...

21/09/2023

Regaining balance in the face of citizen journalism

The rise of citizen journalism has created several issues in recent years. As news sharing becomes increasingly decentralised, audiences are more likely to ques...

21/09/2023

Rupert Murdoch's impact on media and entertainment cannot be underestimated'

Following the news Rupert Murdoch is stepping down as chairman of Media Corp and...

21/09/2023

albert aims to help productions monitor their biodiversity

The guide includes a clear categorisation of the kinds of impacts a production could have on biodiversity, including in the supply chain and production practice...

21/09/2023

Meet the SVP strategic analytics and business insights

V-Novas Guendalina Cobianchi explains why her kids describe her job as mamma looks at curves , and why she never looks back By Jenny Priestley Published: Se...

21/09/2023

Shiny happy people!

By Jenny Priestley Published: September 21, 2023 Updated: September 25, 2023 TVBEurope celebrates the winners of our Best of Show at IBC 2023 Awards. Con...

20/09/2023

IBC 2023: A showcase for how the media industry can evolve

Andy Walker, global communications and media industry lead, Accenture, outlines some of his key talking points at IBC 2023, including cloud, artificial intellig...

20/09/2023

Navigating the boundless seas of visual artistry

Laura Usaite, VFX lead on No Escape, tells Robert Shepherd about the intricate process of breathing life and vitality into the Paramount tropical thriller By ...

20/09/2023

Meet the SVP business development and partnerships

V-Novas Guendalina Cobianchi explains why her kids describe her job as mamma looks at curves , and why she never looks back By Jenny Priestley Published: Se...

19/09/2023

ITV Studios standardises post production workflows with Avid

The new agreement will provide ITV Studios' international labels with subscriptions to the Avid NEXIS F-Series storage engines, and Media Composer video edi...

19/09/2023

Blackmagic adds digital film camera controls to the iPhone

Blackmagic Camera is available from the Apple app store, free of charge, and enables users to adjust settings such as frame rate, shutter angle, white balance a...

19/09/2023

TVBEurope Best of Show at IBC 2023 winners announced

By James McKeown Published: September 18, 2023 Updated: September 21, 2023 Future's Best of Show at IBC 2023 awards have been announced, with exhibit...

19/09/2023

Rise Awards announces 2023 shortlist

Rise said it received over 300 nominations for this years awards. The winners will be revealed at a ceremony at Londons Troxy on 7th November By Jenny Priestle...

19/09/2023

IBC 2023 welcomes 43,000 attendees, 1,250 exhibitors; announces 2024 dates

Organisers hailed a show with a real sense of purpose By Jenny Priestley Published: September 19, 2023 Updated: September 20, 2023 Organisers hailed a ...

19/09/2023

Simon Farnsworth appointed ITV chief technology officer

He will take up his new role in early 2024, and be responsible for leading the broadcasters group-wide technology strategy, overseeing infrastructure, tech arch...

19/09/2023

Tales from Amsterdam

TVBEurope editor Jenny Priestley rounds up her key talking points from IBC 2023 By Jenny Priestley Published: September 19, 2023 Updated: September 20, 202...

16/09/2023

Bectu tells AMPTP UK crews are paying for failed negotiations'

Bectu head Philippa Childs said it is time the AMPTP recognises that this workforce deserves a fair contract, to work reasonable hours and to have confidence th...

15/09/2023

BlueBolt brings visual effects to The Great season 3

BlueBolt delivered 369 VFX shots for season three; recreating 18th century Russia with crowd duplication in key settings, squib hits, and muzzle flashes, in add...

15/09/2023

UK government responds to petition calling for more support during Hollywood strikes

The petition, launched last month, states that the UK's freelance production...

15/09/2023

How Vizrt is aiming to marry broadcast and Pro AV under one brand

TVBEurope talks to Vizrt CEO Michael Hall n about the companys recent decision to bring NewTek and Vizrt under one brand By Jenny Priestley Published: Septem...

14/09/2023

How cinematic tech is adding artistry to the world of sport

TVBEurope speaks to a cinematic lens manufacturer, service provider and leading sports broadcaster to get their thoughts on why cinematic technology is seeing b...

14/09/2023

The R&D and product development landscape: Cinedeck

By Jenny Priestley Published: September 14, 2023 Updated: September 15, 2023 Jane Sung, COO, Cinedeck tells TVBEurope how the company quickly developed c...

14/09/2023

Adobe adds new AI and 3D innovations to its video and audio applications

All the new features are available now in beta and are planned to be generally available later in the autumn, said the company By Jenny Priestley Published: ...

13/09/2023

Sony introduces new camera designed for single-camera operators and small crews

Using the colour science of Sonys VENICE cameras, BURANO features an 8.6K full-frame sensor, as well as the ability to shoot at full-frame, Super 35 By Jenny P...

13/09/2023

Ten reasons why we're excited about IBC 2023

From new technologies to flash mobs, this years keynote speaker to our own Best of Show Awards, this is whats on the TVBEurope teams radar at IBC Show 2023 By ...

12/09/2023

EditShare, Shift Media merge to increase global reach

Speaking exclusively to TVBEurope, CEO Ramu Potarazu says the decision to merge the two companies will give the new entity a global reach, and a broader solutio...

11/09/2023

My IBC: Olly Strous, chief technology officer, Zinc Media Group

By Jenny Priestley Published: September 11, 2023 Updated: September 12, 2023 Zinc Media Group's Olly Strous explains why IBC is critical for cultivat...

11/09/2023

Framing Fear on The Nun II

Renowned cinematographer Tristan Nyby tells Robert Shepherd about his approach to lighting and capturing the highly anticipated horror sequel, The Nun II By C...

11/09/2023

TVBEurope's September 2023 issue now available

The new issue focuses on remote production, the cloud, and takes a look at how artificial intelligence is generating a new approach to content creation By Jenn...

11/09/2023

Report reveals shifts in media technology buying decisions

The report, by Bubble Agency and Caretta Research, also found three-quarters of vendors and buyers are seeing the need to tighten belts By Jenny Priestley Pu...

08/09/2023

The R&D and product development landscape: Videndum

By Jenny Priestley Published: September 8, 2023 Nicola Dal Toso, CEO, Videndum, tells TVBEurope about the company's focus on finding lower-emission alt...

08/09/2023

Grass Valley reports it doubled its earnings in the last year

As part of its update, Grass Valley revealed Jon Wilson is joining the company as chief operating officer from 1st October By Jenny Priestley Published: Sept...

08/09/2023

Meet the business development manager

By Jenny Priestley Published: September 8, 2023 Updated: September 11, 2023 Ben Gunkel, business development manager, Verso Live, reveals how he got his ...

08/09/2023

The convergence of video and social responsibility

Media has the power to democratise access to information and enables like-minded individuals to connect, collaborate, and advocate for a better future. They jus...

07/09/2023

The R&D and product development landscape: Appear

By Jenny Priestley Published: September 7, 2023 Updated: September 8, 2023 Annette Hopland, product owner at Appear, tells TVBEurope why she believes SRT...

07/09/2023

Polly Cochrane joins NFTS' board of governors

According to the NFTS, Cochranes extensive experience in marketing and communications will prove invaluable to the school as it looks to deliver a step-change a...

06/09/2023

Cooke Optics debuts new lenses aimed at owner/operators

Cooke said the boundaries between cinematography and videography are blurring with the launch of the new lenses By Jenny Priestley Published: September 6, 20...

06/09/2023

Signiant, TMT Insights aim to help content creators optimise their supply chains

The companies plan to jointly deliver an early adopter bundle that includes a headless, API-only implementation of the Signiant workflow offering working in con...

06/09/2023

Merapar appoints new CEO

Alex Terpstra joins the company from previous roles with the likes of Civolution and Philips, and has a strong track record in building and scaling high-growth ...

06/09/2023

Are you being served? The changing customer-supplier relationship

TVBEurope columnist Neil Mayock looks at how the technology shift in the media industry to IT and software is also changing the supplier/customer relationship, ...

05/09/2023

Sky Studios Elstree installs 3MW solar roof panel array

A total of 7,400 solar panels have been installed, which will reduce the studios carbon emissions by 487 tonnes By Jenny Priestley Published: September 5, 20...