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07/04/2006

Altered Images and Avid help Wolverhampton University achieve new heights of media excellence

Altered Images Midlands, the Nuneaton office of the Shepperton-based digital broadcast systems reseller, has transformed the media facilities at the University of Wolverhampton’s School of Humanities & Social Sciences, in a major supply and installation contract.
The brief involved upgrading and networking the department’s video editing resources, and creating new TV and radio studios.
Stuart Turner, Altered Images’ Project Manager, and colleagues worked closely with Max Caines, head of Wolverhampton University’s IT resources department, and Louise Ranford, the Technical Support Manager of the School, to design and agree the ideal infrastructure for this growing part of the University.
The project was two years in planning, evolving with the plans for the School’s new building and redeployment of existing premises: the installation took three weeks, including off-site preparation.
First, Altered Images enhanced Wolverhampton’s video editing facilities with a new Avid Unity network server with peripherals and Avid’s renowned Media Manager software. The new Avid network solution allows the School’s 20 Avid video editing systems, located in two separate buildings, to store all their media centrally, improving students’ access to their work.
Altered Images also installed a new three-camera TV studio featuring a Panasonic studio camera and two remote robotic pan & tilt cameras, plus a new sound recording studio, in a new building on Wolverhampton University’s main campus.
The new TV studio is to be used for training students in TV news and interview techniques, and creating sign language programmes for the University’s deaf students. The radio studio is for Wolverhampton’s journalism students: plans are in hand for them to run a University radio station via the campus computer network, as part of their studies.
Student access to Wolverhampton University’s video editing facilities has been a recurring problem. Normal video edit systems store recorded files on the hard disk in a given computer, to which students must return to continue working. This can be difficult at busy times. With the new network system, students can log onto any of Wolverhampton’s 20 editing systems and carry on working, with full network bandwidth available on all 20 systems simultaneously.
In the other part of the project, the three-camera studio, the main issue was the small floor space in front of the camera. Hence the two robotic cameras are used, controlled from the studio’s gallery, to increase the angle of view and maximise the floor area. With rising numbers of smaller TV studios using unmanned cameras, the new installation gives students valuable experience in a ‘remote’ environment.
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