Medcom, a major Latin American broadcaster in Panama City, Panama that operates three terrestrial channels and four cable TV channels, has upgraded the studio of its Cable Onda Sports cable TV channel to robotic camera operations with a new robotic camera system from Telemetrics Inc.
The remotely controlled technology is now helping to produce approximately 27 hours of sports content per week in a cost-effective way, according to the companies. Medcom said that moving to robotically controlled production systems has helped it realize a two-thirds reduction in operating costs.
The new studio robotics, which was installed in the popular sports channel’s 28 x 30 ft. studio, went on air in the fall of 2018 and includes a Telemetrics RCCP-1A Robotic Camera Control Panel with Studio (STS) software and a PT-HP-S5 Pan/Tilt Head. The Telemetrics systems are operated in tandem with a studio automation system from AVECO and an AP ENPS newsroom system to automate shot selection.
“This was a very smooth installation and we are very happy with the results,” said Carlos Rodriguez, technology manager at Medcom. “The system helps us do more productions with the same personnel. In fact, we are creating more shows than we ever have before with the Telemetrics camera robotics systems.”
Telemetrics designs for broadcast, legislative needs
Designed for larger broadcast studios and legislative production centers, the new RCCP-1A includes a high-end processor that supports complex keyframe based-motion paths.
The STS software helps control a host of new features, such as Telemetrics’ exclusive reFrame Automatic Shot Correction technology. This automated shot trimming feature helps users of automated news studios overcome unpredictable occurrences in the studio — like the talent slightly moving out of frame or an ill-positioned over-the-shoulder graphic or two-shot — and make quick adjustments automatically, on the fly.
Telemetrics was founded in 1973 and began designing, manufacturing, and supporting its own camera robotics systems in 1979. It started designing and making is own ceiling and floor camera track systems in 1981.
Today, the Allendale, N.J.-based company offers the OmniGlide Robotic Roving platform, the ever-expanding series of Robotic Camera Control Panels, the S5 line of Pan/Tilt heads, the Televator family of motorized columns, and ceiling- or floor-mounted TeleGlide track systems.
Medcom minimizes human studio intervention
As part of this overall facility upgrade, Medcom has also purchased a new Telemetrics OmniGlide Robotic Roving Pedestal, which it plans to use for its Eco TV cable TV news channel.
Now fully operational, the OmniGlide is providing the crew with the freedom to move the camera to different positions using the RCCP-1A control panel, all while eliminating human intervention in the studio.
“The OmniGlide is really helping us bring our robotic operations to another level,” Rodriguez said.
Unlike anything before it, the Telemetrics OmniGlide rover features a three-point-contact design for tripod-like stability while enabling the pedestal to turn more sharply and smoothly thanks to advanced omnidirectional electromechanical servomotors integrated into the pedestal base.
With the OmniGlide Platform’s new XY scanners, the roving pedestal can “learn” the room’s physical details and auto-correct for its position and orientation, avoiding obstructions without operator intervention and ensuring crew safety.
An optional feature offers artificial intelligence algorithms that allow the pedestal to analyze its surrounding environment and correct itself automatically by learning the studio parameters.
“Medcom is the latest example of a multi-use production facility that understands the power of camera robotics and how it can help improve operations and productivity,” stated Michael Cuomo, vice president of Telemetrics. “It’s also proving to have a significant financial and practical impact on the way productions are completed. We’re pleased to be working with Medcom as they continue to expand their facilities and improve content creation for its viewers.”