Gencom + Clear-Com partner up to provide upgraded talk-back system for TVNZ

Gencom + Clear-Com partner up to provide upgraded talk-back system for TVNZ

Wednesday February 28, 2024 16:03

TVNZ Nationwide Production Communications

Watch the Video Case Study

TVNZ is New Zealand’s largest broadcaster and the country’s #1 source for news. Their operations are spread throughout the country, and effective communication among production teams is essential to their operation. When the time came in 2020 to refresh their aging production talkback systems, TVNZ knew they wanted a modern solution that would provide opportunities for tighter integration of connected systems, added flexibility and greater certainty of ongoing support. 

The initial scope of the project was strictly for supply of equipment, which Gencom tendered for as the New Zealand agent for Clear-Com. The brief was for a system that would combine wired physical panels, wireless production systems and virtual (software-based) panels that enable journalists in the field and others working remotely to connect to the system via the Internet. The system also needed to be able to connect different studios and production crews around the country (or even internationally) and provide modern control capabilities so that the solution could be configured with ease to accommodate real-time, planned, and unplanned operational requirements.

Clear-Com was selected based on the range of products available to suit TVNZ’s various operations, the robust support for advanced technologies including AES67/SMPTE 2110 for real-time communication over an IP network, Virtual Panels running on laptop PCs and mobile devices, and Clear-Com’s established track record in the region. 

Following the selection of Clear-Com as the technology vendor, TVNZ approached Gencom about providing integration services as a separate scope of work. While TVNZ had originally reserved this work for themselves, operational constraints and a backlog of technology projects brought about by COVID meant that TVNZ’s resources were stretched and thanks to Gencom’s long track record of delivering integration projects for TVNZ, the broadcaster knew that Gencom could be relied upon to deliver the project without a hitch.

Gencom provided technical project management and did the detailed design of the system, working closely with TVNZ’s engineering team. All systems were pre-staged at Gencom, where they were fully tested and pre-configured before being delivered to site. Physical installation was a shared responsibility between Gencom and TVNZ. While several integration issues did arise, Gencom worked closely with Clear-Com and TVNZ to identify and resolve them quickly. A particular challenge was getting Precision Time Protocol v2 working across TVNZ’s Auckland LAN, as the requirements for real-time two-way communications are very stringent and not all network equipment vendors implement PTP in exactly the same way. Gencom’s expertise with media networks proved invaluable, and TVNZ expanded the scope of integration to assist with their internal network configuration. The system completed acceptance testing in April 2022, and TVNZ went live with the new system in June

Watch the video case study here. 

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