Projects Department Transforms Pinewood Sound Stage for Use as New Television Studio


IBC 2013, 12-17 September, Stand 11.D43

Last Updated: September 9, 2013 10:06 am GMT
(Amsterdam--September 9, 2013) Professional lighting services consultancy Projects Department Ltd today announced that is has designed and installed a new and improved lighting infrastructure that is helping to convert a Pinewood soundstage into a fully functional television studio.

The Projects Department-supplied infrastructure includes the lighting grid, lighting barrels, distributed IgbT silent dimmers, Non-Dim relay packs, a DMX network and electrical distribution system provided by Photon Beard.

Pinewood’s new ‘TV Three’ measures 16 x 14 metres and will be the most recent addition to its television production studio facilities, which already includes Television One and Television Two. The expansion is designed to address existing and forecast demand for UK television production facilities at Pinewood.

According to Pinewood Director of Broadcast Paul Darbyshire, “The existing infrastructure of the soundstage we wanted to transform was not strong enough to take the load of the professional lighting grid we needed for television production. Projects Department produced a design that not only enables us to handle the lighting grid but easily reposition its fixtures for any production requirement.”

Projects Department recommended that Pinewood add I-beams running the length of the studio on each side to anchor additional structural elements on each wall. Projects Department was then able to design, size and install a series of six, 14-metre, heavy-duty, studio-spanning trusses that spread the lighting fixture load to the reinforced side elements.

Projects Department also supplied and installed a series of standard 48mm lighting barrels with customised ‘roll over’ brackets to allow full movement of a roller trolley along the full length of each barrel.

TV Three’s electrical distribution system, which feeds half of its socket outlets from a UPS source and all others from standard mains power, was also designed by Projects Department. Because of ancillary space limitations, conventional dimmers could not be used so Projects Department supplied Photon Beard’s ‘IgbT distributed dimmer’s which can be safely installed directly into a lighting grid without fear of the electrical or audible noise. The package also includes Photon Beards ‘DMX Non-Dim Control’ pack, which is part of the company’s ‘silent’ dimmer range, a new generation of dimmer that eliminates the heavy, noisy chokes of conventional triac dimmers.

Moreover, although the increased use of LED and other remote devices in the studio enable illumination output to be reduced to zero, they still cause a considerable power drain. This is because the devices, even when reduced to ‘no light output’, remain on power-consuming standby and are often out of easy physical reach to disconnect completely. Again, Projects Department recommended Photon Beard’s DMX-controlled Non-Dim Relay Pack which enables individual sockets to be controlled from a lighting desk and not only be reduced to their minimum output, but be completely powered down. The Non-Dim package designed specifically for Pinewood’s TV Three is now available as a standard Photon Beard product.

The final part of the design process was to supply and install a highly flexible DMX network that would easily handle four universes of DMX and cater for a multitude of individual DMX controlled devices. XTBA rig-mounted smart splitters were used to provide an opto-isolated DMX supply from each DMX universe which can then be further distributed via additional splitters, thereby ensuring that DMX is available at every point required.

Projects Department Managing Director Peter Daffarn said, “One of the beauties of researching and resolving issues for specific projects is that so many new ideas emerge, not only in terms of creative problem solving but in developing new procedures and products from which other television, theatre or photographic studios can benefit. Pinewood’s Television Three is a perfect example of how an elegant solution can resolve an issue faced by many facilities, i.e., make existing space more productive by circumventing infrastructure limitations.”

From October 2013 TV Three will host the weekly draw of the UK’s National Lottery, which airs live on the BBC every Saturday night. The studio’s state-of-the-art production, sound and lighting galleries will offer exciting new production options not for only lottery proceedings, but for musical performances, guest interviews and special events.

Projects Department will be featured on Photon Beard’s stand, 11.D43, at IBC 2013.

About Projects Department

Projects Department Ltd is a specialist company dedicated to provide an exceptional service to the entertainment lighting industry. It is an independent consultancy, design, supply and installation company that has links with all manufacturers of professional lighting equipment but maintains its independence to ensure that it selects the most appropriate lighting products for he requirement.


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