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Saskatchewan Legislature in Control With Shotoku

 The newly installed system supports five Hitachi HDV-5W cameras on Shotoku's TG-27 robotic pan/tilt heads.

The Saskatchewan Legislature made broadcasting history in 1983 when it became the first to employ an automated, computer-driven system to televise gavel-to-gavel coverage to the sparsely populated province’s constituents.

Now, it has upgraded its aging robotic camera system with a five-channel Shotoku Broadcast configuration.

The newly installed system supports five Hitachi HDV-5W cameras on Shotoku’s TG-27 robotic pan/tilt heads, one mounted in each corner of the Legislative Chamber, plus a wide cover shot.

Shotoku TR-8S Control Panel The TG-27 heads are ideal for parliaments, legislatures and conference centers and are used in many major national parliaments where small unobtrusive cameras are required.

A microphone-based switching system triggers camera selections and preprogrammed movements via the Shotoku “Orchestra” Camera Management System (CMS), which operates with minimal operator intervention, while still permitting full on-air operator control and fine camera adjustments using the TR-8S Control Panel. The TR-8S is capable of controlling eight cameras and stores up to 900 shots per camera. The panel uniquely features an “all camera mode,” providing the ability to replay shots on all cameras simultaneously, as well as an interface to microphone selection systems.

“We had been researching systems for three years to find an appropriate replacement,” said Darcy Hislop, the body’s Chief Technology Officer. “Shotoku’s solution was desirable from an operations point of view–it operates in a similar fashion to the old system–and it offered the functionality we needed at an affordable price point.”

Shotoku “Orchestra” Camera Management System (CMS) The new system was commissioned in just a week by a Shotoku factory engineer working closely with the two Legislative Assembly Service (LAS) senior broadcast technicians Kerry Bond and Ihor Sywanyk.

“As a small provincial assembly, our legislature sits for only 65 days (40 in the spring; 25 in the fall),” Hislop said. “We have just two full-time and one part-time technician who perform all the broadcast functions, from design and installation to maintenance and on-air production. Shotoku customized the CMS touch-screen for us with text on the stored shot numbers to display each legislator’s name, thus eliminating the need for a paper reference chart,”

Shotoku will be at NAB 2010 in Booth C8615.