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Custom Consoles Reports Surge In Demand For Technical Desks

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Custom Consoles has reported a surge in demand from broadcasters for technical desks and monitor screen mounting systems.

Highlights of 2018 included projects for RT in Paris, BBC Studioworks in London, NEP Sweden in Stockholm, BBC Scotland in Glasgow, Cambridge-based Intergence, various events during the 2018 'summer of sport' plus a substantial contract currently in progress for a Greek television channel.

"Business levels in the European broadcast market have been especially strong this year with many networks renewing their technical facilities or upgrading from standard-definition to high-definition," comments Managing Director Neil Reid. "We are also seeing strong demand from the subscription-TV sector as far afield as Australia."

Working in partnership with UK based broadcast system integrator Megahertz Ltd, Custom Consoles completed a large-scale studio furniture project for the Paris studios of global news network RT. The new facility has two master control rooms, engineering and audio control, audio post-production, two dubbing suites, an Avid ProTools suite, five edit suites, and a graphics suite. MCR A is equipped with a five-seat Module-R production desk facing a 5 metre wide Media Wall. Additional desks at the rear are provided for sound director, news organiser and support engineer. MCR B incorporates a similar production desk and Media Wall combination plus three-seat and two-seat auxiliary control desks.

The BBC Studioworks project, at White City, includes electrically-height-adjustable desks have been provided for use in the edit suites, plus 20 U high equipment racks from the Custom Consoles SystemTwo product range.

Five control room desks were provided for NEP Sweden's television production facility on the outskirts of Stockholm in cooperation with Broadcast Solutions GmbH. The new control rooms replace OB vehicles which were previously used for technical supervision of three studios, Studio 1 being the largest of its kind in Sweden. The complete system is designed to operate in HD and UHD. This new facility is Sweden's top location for productions of large programmes with up to on-site 1,600 spectators.

In cooperation with ATG Danmon, Custom Consoles provided a 7 metre wide desk and 4.23 metre wide MediaWall display mounting grid for the bulletin control room at the Pacific Quay headquarters of BBC Scotland. The desk and MediaWall are designed for simultaneous use by a five-strong team.

The project for Cambridge-based IT services specialist Intergence Systems comprised seven SystemTwoLite desks, a dual MediaPost and single MediaPost display screen supports plus 10 desk-mounting computer screen support arms. These were assembled on site.

30 Custom Consoles desks were deployed across sports events this summer by the large-scale OB companies. These included the world football championships in Russia where they were used by operators controlling a wide range of technical facilities in the International Broadcast Centre. A similar number of studio control room desks were fielded on the US East Coast for tournaments in the 2018 tennis calendar. A large contingent of desks in the Module-R range were delivered to the USA for the two-week event which was broadcast live to television audiences around the globe.

High point of 2018 in terms of product development were enhancements to the Module-R range of studio control room furniture and SystemTwo edit-suite desks. Module-R was developed to give customers and system integrators the freedom to specify desks and storage pods of practically any shape and size from a range of standard modules. The new version incorporates slimmer legs plus a removable rear work surface which allows easy access to cableways. A full length rear cable brush strip provides greater flexibility for feeding power and signal cables to desk-mounted monitor arms. Optional full-height end panels are now available. Customers can now choose Compact Density Fibreboard for pods and work surfaces. CDF is increasingly being recommended by architects both for its attractive styling and its robustness.

SystemTwo has also been redesigned to match the new style and colour scheme of Module-R. Intended for use in edit suites and graphics areas, SystemTwo comprises a rectangular desk and parallel monitor shelf, both being electrically height adjustable from 660 to 1200 mm to give operators the choice of working while seated or standing. Lift load for both platforms has been doubled to 200 kg, again with a slimmer leg design and CDF desktop surfaces. Other elements in the SystemTwo series include an 11 U equipment pedestal, underslung 3 U equipment pod and 27 U equipment bay. All are available in the new styling as well as the original SystemTwo for customers who prefer the latter's light-wood desk surfaces, large-radius curved styling and silver legs.

2018 has also seen strong demand from the security and audiovisual markets. Custom Consoles promoted its full range of security control room desks at the March 6-7 SCTX show in London where a control desk from the SteelBase range also formed part of integrated-security demonstrations held in parallel with the exhibition.

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