Philips Selecon and Strand Lighting bring life to Channel 5 News Room

16 April 2012,

UK - Philips Selecon and Strand Lighting distributor, Architainment has completed an installation project for ITN at the brand new, remote controlled Channel 5 News Room in London Bridge.

"ITN recently won the Channel 5 News contract back from Sky. To accommodate the contract it needed to refurbish its News Rooms," explains Key Account Manager at Architainment, Bryan Kelly. "As part of the refurbishment project the lighting team was keen to improve Presenter Lighting. The Channel 5 News Room is now entirely lit with Philips Selecon and ColorKinetics LED luminaires including: Selecon PL1s, ColorKinetics ColorBlastTRXs and ColorKinetics iW Blast units."

One of the biggest challenges is that the News Room has a very low ceiling so there is little space for dimmers. Architainment's solution has been to specify distributive eS21 bars into the trussing system with built in Relays, Blast Power Supplies and a touch screen controller. Not only do the eS21 bars deliver all the necessary power required by the Blast and PL1 luminaires, they also distribute DMX.

A further challenge is that the News Room doesn't have a significant power supply. It's therefore essential that energy draw is kept to a minimum. The LED solution has given the Channel 5 lighting team many more creative options including the ability to 'paint' the background in the Channel 5 corporate colours – in this case Orange. In addition the PL1's ability to flood wide without compromising output means that the low ceiling is not such a problem as it might have been.

"What has made this project interesting is that the News Room is remote controlled", states Kelly. "Although it's sited near London Bridge, it's actually controlled from the main ITN Building in Grays Inn Road via Strand Lighting Vision.net over an EtherNet link."

Bill Richards, head of projects for Philips Entertainment continues: "We came up with a much wider use for Vision.net than usual on this project. As well as controlling the lighting, Vision.net enables engineers to switch some signal devices over the same link, something they would normally do over the Broadcast system. We used the Vision.net system to remote control the Camera Pedestal and also to switch the Microphone "take level" plus control systems such as On Air lights, it's worked really well.

Paul Flook, head of broadcast engineering for Channel 5 is delighted: "We had a number of challenges including the low ceilings, reduced access to significant power and the necessity for a remote controlled News Room. The installed system addresses all these issues and the result is excellent. We now have a fully functioning remote control News Room that allows for creative flair as well as practical lighting for TV. I'm impressed. As soon as we set up the system it just did its work without issue every time."