In these days of 24 hour commerce, downtime for a major retail TV channel that broadcasts on Sky, Virgin, Freeview and Freesat is not an option - which meant some serious planning was required when The Jewellery Channel (known as TJC) needed to move to a new, larger studio.
“We had two criteria for the move,” says Vivek Jain, Head of Group Finance, The Jewellery Channel. “We needed to stay on-air throughout and, importantly the move had to fit our budget constraints.”
With a quote from the incumbent supplier that far exceeded TJC’s budget, they searched the Internet for other possibilities and found Trickbox TV’s website. Liking what they saw, they invited Trickbox’s Liam Laminman to TJC’s offices and gave him the brief.
“We were very impressed with Liam’s approach,” Vivek recalls. “He did a thorough audit of our existing equipment and set-up, and came back to us with a much more realistic and very detailed quote. He looked at all the challenges and presented us with a plan so that we could think through everything that was involved, not just how to save money in the short term but where we should spend money to keep us live and future-proof.”
After visiting Trickbox TV’s offices and performing the requisite background checks, the TJC team were convinced that Trickbox TV was the right company for the job.
Trickbox TV planned out the new facility meticulously with full CAD schematics, detailing the wiring, lighting design and installation of all the equipment, with a goal of facilitating the move within just four weeks.
Then the project hit a snag. “The building work on our new studio was delayed by around three weeks, and the deadline to vacate our old building would expire before we could move into the new studio,” explains Vivek. “Liam and his team took on the challenge without a fuss, working alongside us to achieve our objectives and remain on air at all times.”
TJC had a complete spare set of studio equipment that the Trickbox TV team set up in a temporary studio, providing engineering support to move the production seamlessly across without a break in transmission.
As the new building was nearing completion the Trickbox TV team project-managed the integration of associated services such as air conditioning, electrics and the installation of two fibre circuits. The team designed and custom-built the gallery control room furniture to maximise on space and improve the operation of the shows, as well as suggesting and implementing some new redundancy features into the system design including a backup video server.
The studio offered much more space than the old one, so Trickbox TV also changed the system design to accommodate more cameras. As Vivek explains, “We had been working with a three-camera set-up but the bigger space and set meant we would need at least four or five. We had some spare Panasonic HD cameras that were in the temporary studio so Liam worked out how we could incorporate those three HD cameras with our three Sony SD cameras and an SD switcher.”
The final transition to the new studio was smooth, on budget and, apart from unavoidable building delays, on schedule.
“We have been most impressed with Trickbox TV throughout the project,” says Vivek. “Liam is absolutely up front and honest and will not make promises he cannot keep. When the schedule had to change due to the building issues he never once complained or made any excuses, he just readjusted his plan to accommodate the situation, and always keeping our brief of remaining on air and on budget at the forefront. Trickbox TV enabled us to achieved our objectives and we certainly feel we got value for money.”
“Trickbox TV enabled us to achieved our objectives and we certainly feel we got value for money.”
Vivek Jain, Head of Group Finance, The Jewellery Channel