VAC-23SHU3 angled 2

TV is changing our viewing experience, at least for the time being. With lockdown and self isolation ruling out any chance of producing traditional dramas, comedies and reality shows, TV production companies are turning to entertainment that can be made in homes across the country. To this end BBC 3 has been shooting a pilot gameshow with a difference, assisted by outside broadcast consultancy Proimage Solutions.

James Bonnar of Proimage Solutions explained the task. “The show involves four family teams, a presenter and a special guest. All participating from the safety of their own homes. We considered the usual Zoom call but felt that it was too low quality and limited by the webcams and the audio quality of the traditional PC. Our need was for a way to brig proper broadcast cameras into the Zoom environment. The kit needed to be simple enough for a layman to set up the camera, lights and microphones, as the homes would be situated anywhere in the UK so sending a technician to set it up was not practical.”

James found the answer in Marshall’s advanced instant, plug and play, SDI/HDMI Video to USB 3.0 adapter, the VAC-23SHU3.

He continued: “There are a number of converters on the market but we felt that that Marshall unit fit the bill best for the price and the ease of use. Especially as it can take SGI as well as HDMI. The units are ideal for this project as there is no software to install.“

Proimage purchased six of the Marshall units from UK distributor Cache Media Ltd and, along with laptops, six Canon XF305 cameras, tripods and lights, they were sent to the six locations.

In order to keep control of the shots, we ran software on the laptops which split the feed into two, one straight to Zoom and one which was streamed back to Frametrunk, the post production house who also used it a s a feed to Zoom. This was we were able to start work on the editing and post production immediately. We could have used the cards from the cameras but it would have taken too long to get them all back.”

The shoot has been very successful and we look forward to seeing the show soon. James added: “The units were perfect for us. You simply plug in the camera and the laptop and it is ready to use. Even the frame rate you need was automatic. They simply worked perfectly straight from the box! “

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