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23/02/2004

Digital media server technology used for ‘Jet Set’

Television lighting designers/directors Mark Kenyon and Will Charles are pioneering new visual horizons in the world of broadcast television with the use of digital media servers.
The pair have recently invested in two High End Systems Catalyst systems from Projected Image Digital, specialists in the supply and support of digital media server technology and digital content.
The Catalyst is an Apple Macintosh computer-based system. Video clips, graphics and animations are stored on its hard drive, and then called up, manipulated and changed as easily as a moving light - via any DMX lighting desk.
Fusing the technology and operational ideologies of lighting and video is creating an exciting, new and highly flexible presentational medium. Up to this point in television, lighting and projection have always been treated as completely separate departments. Now lighting and video cues can be changed simultaneously and instantly – at a touch of a button on the lighting desk.
Kenyon, Charles and their dual Catalyst systems are all in action on the current series of the ‘Jet Set’ National Lottery show, being recorded in TC4 at the BBC TV Centre in Wood Lane. The show is produced by the BBC’s LE department, directed by John Spencer and presented by Eamonn Holmes.
Kenyon is Jet Set’s lighting director, and Charles operates the Catalysts with his WholeHog II lighting console.
The set, designed by Chris Webster, features a spectacular 180-degree curved projection screen, onto which sources from the servers are projected via 9 Sanyo XP55 projectors. The Catalyst images are used as constantly changing backgrounds throughout the whole show.
The Catalyst V3 systems are each powered by a Macintosh G5 computer fitted with an ATI Radeon 8500 video card. They’re both configured as two output layers, and the projectors are grouped into 3 sets of 3. The left hand 3 projectors are fed from Catalyst 1 output 1, the centre 3 by Catalyst 1 output 2, the right 3 by Catalyst 2 output 1 and Output 2 of Catalyst 2 is used to produce backgrounds for the show’s final.
The 4-way Catalyst split is available to vision mixer and ties in with all the other broadcast pictures including VT run ins and camera feeds. The special flightcases housing the Catalyst G5s were designed and built by Projected Image Digital.
Jump Graphics produced the digital content run by the Catalysts for “Jet Set”, and also supplied the show’s other graphics. The Catalyst content includes an eclectic mix of abstracts and more literal images, including spinning globes, rotating planes, purple clouds, starbursts, etc.
Stills – like skyscapes, beach panoramas, etc – are also lifted from the show’s weekly on-location TV package and imported into the Catalyst, then output as projected backdrops.
The show is lit with a large rig of LED light sources – supplied by Richard Martin Lighting – which are also controlled by Will Charles from his WholeHog, along with 8 Clay Paky Stage Zooms. The key lighting is achieved with Source Four Zooms, controlled off the studio’s Galaxy lighting console operated by Darren Lovell.
(GB)
VMI.TV Ltd

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