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Altered Images Completes Coventry University Project

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Coventry University is a forward-looking, modern university with a proud tradition as a provider of high quality education and a focus on applied research.

Its students benefit from state-of-the-art equipment and facilities in all academic disciplines, including health, design and engineering laboratories, performing arts studios and computing centres. The university has been chosen to host three national Centres of Excellence in Teaching and Learning, which has enabled it to invest substantial sums of money in health, design and mathematics. Through its links with leading edge businesses and organisations in the public and voluntary sectors, its students are able to access project and placement opportunities that enhance their employability upon graduation.

The university's latest investment has resulted in the opening of a state-of-the-art, flagship television studio, named The Tank. Designed as a creative space for media students across the university, The Tank provides practical, hands-on experience with industry-leading products. Located on the ground floor of The Hub, the university's home-from-home facility on campus that gives students access to extensive social and learning zones as well as healthcare, counselling, advice on employment and enterprise opportunities, The Tank is fully sound proofed and has a production gallery the size of a classroom, as well as an open space for other students to complete work in a creative atmosphere.

Coventry University put out a tender for the studio design, equipment supply and installation for The Tank project last year, which was won by Altered Images and its partner Academia.

To answer the university's need for a state-of-the-art television studio, Altered Images supplied a Ross Video backbone in the gallery, featuring the Carbonite production switcher, XPression motion graphics system, XPression Clips production clip server for live production and a Ross 72x72 router with openGear frames for the peripheral hardware. Carbonite seamlessly fits into an academic production environment providing students with the capabilities, features and reliability required to do the job right. Integration with the Ross production system, coupled with high efficiency gained from easy to use and intuitive operation, means no compromises in production quality.

The gallery features a custom designed Custom Consoles operator desk with a second desk for students and lecturers to oversee operational procedures. Gallery wall monitoring was achieved using Custom Consoles Dual Monitor posts. The Gallery features full talkback and selectable exterior feeds directly to monitoring screens within the building. A Quicklink server via Skype ensures the gallery can receive external sources and can upload content to assorted web platforms.

The three-camera "green screen infinity studio" was equipped with GY-HM890 Fibre connected studio cameras from JVC and a prompting system from CueScript. A fully automated lighting grid was installed to allow green screen lighting as well as required drama, interview and presentation lighting, with the additional options of 360 degree green, black and white backdrops.

One of the key issues in the new studio was acoustics. With glass walls running along two sides of the studio the sound quality could have been hampered, however AlteredImages' Studio Design team, in agreement with the architects, approved secondary double-glazing and a uniquely designed deployment of acoustic curtains and drapes.

By integrating live production into the curriculum at academic establishments such as Coventry University, traditional learning can be augmented with media elements and alternative perspectives. Besides having an additional teaching tool for all students, participants in media courses acquire useful technological skills. Students also benefit from team-building and creative collaboration be being empowered with the tools and knowledge that future communicators need to succeed. Video production further contributes to the livelihood of the educational institution by producing student news, community outreach information, sports, and other activities.

The project, which was completed in 2016, has been a great success thanks to the quality of products selected and the team involved. Coventry University now has one of the country's finest university studios that will enable the students to achieve a strong understanding of equipment and production techniques, learning on the same equipment that they will encounter in their professional lives.

Craig Goddard, Senior Media Technician at Coventry University, said: "This new state-of-the-art TV studio gives our students the opportunity to gain vast experience in a working environment that will mirror their professional careers. We worked very closely with Altered Images to ensure that all of our requirements were met. We're delighted with the result, it's a superb installation that was delivered on time and on budget."

This article is also available to read at BFV online here, page 31.


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