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Remote Camera Technology provides custom features for Canadian House of Commons

CS-2 Control Surface consoles are installed in several studios throughout the Canadian House of Commons in Ottawa.

CS-2 Control Surface consoles are installed in several studios throughout the Canadian House of Commons in Ottawa.

As part of a massive multi-year project to renovate the Canadian Federal Government Parliamentary buildings and infrastructure, new committee rooms, some with broadcast capability, have been created in the West Block and Government Conference Center buildings to support the daily business of House of Commons and Senate.

Each committee room with broadcast capability has six Panasonic AW-HE130 PTZ cameras which are controlled both by a Broadcast Pix production switcher for automatic touch screen shot recall, along with an RCT CS-2 camera controller which allows fine control and shot adjustments during the production. Each committee room has a Bosch interpretation system, and the content produced is available in English and French, in addition to the ability to add an additional language as required. The committee rooms also have video conference capabilities, which allow up to four remote witnesses to participate while receiving interpretation in the language of their choice.

As each committee room has multiple layout configurations, the system can be used to recall different setups which correspond to the room configuration changes, such as the number of seats, which simplifies the daily operation. The productions are streamed live on the ParlVu internet service, in addition to being offered on the internal Parliamentary television network and being offered to the public via the Canadian Public Affairs Channel (CPAC).

RCT worked closely with the House of Commons broadcast engineers and designers from Engineering Harmonics to customize the CS-2 software in order to provide features that optimized their workflow. For example: the CS-2 controls the Broadcast Pix switcher auxiliary bus cross-points to perform source selection for monitoring at the camera operator's position. It also receives tally information from the switcher. Additional interfaces to routers will be implemented.

Peter Desjardins, CEO of Remote Camera Technology said: “We were honored to have our CS-2 Control Surface chosen for this project and working with the team at the House of Commons and Engineering Harmonics to provide enhanced functionality via software additions has given us the opportunity to learn more about parliamentary broadcast requirements.”


Remote Camera Technology helps CBC/Radio-Canada with Remote Acquisition Portal (RAP)

CS-1 Control Surface installed at the CBC/Radio-Canada Network Control Center in Montreal

CS-1 Control Surface installed at the CBC/Radio-Canada Network Control Center in Montreal

To address a perceived audience expectation for more live and local news and resolve their requirement for greater regional representation, CBC/Radio-Canada set out to implement a new approach to deliver “live hit” elements of their newscasts from their production centers and news bureaus in Canada and around the world.

The recent availability of higher quality and more reliable and affordable PTZ cameras, audio and lighting devices, all with published APIs, enabled the design of a browser-based application for device control and administration of user rights at both device and geographic (station) access levels through their corporate LAN/WAN login credentials. The application is called Remote Acquisition Portal - RAP - and a key design element was the desire to augment the user experience of the GUI-based controls at head-end workstations by the addition of a hardware-based control panel for more tactile, accurate and detailed camera controls than intended in the simple unified multi-device pre-show-setup application.

Remote Camera Technology (RCT) offered a flexible solution with their CS-1 Control Surface. The camera vendor agnostic nature along with the unique ergonomic design, integrated touch-screen display, high quality joystick, zoom, and focus controls of the CS-1 provided the user interface they were looking for. 

RCT worked closely with the CBC/Radio-Canada design team as the RAP platform evolved and were able to develop custom software integrating login through the RAP system allowing only users with specific credentials to access the CS-1 panel paired with the workstation. Additional software features, such as router and switcher integration, can also be implemented should the needs arise.

CBC/Radio-Canada Network Control Center in Montreal

CBC/Radio-Canada Network Control Center in Montreal