Leading University Sector College Gains a Competitive Advantage

Ravensbourne outfits their new broadcast facility with Clear-Com’s Eclipse-PiCo, V-Series user control panels, Tempest®2400, and Concert, helping secure their reputation as a key innovator in and influencer of broadcast education.  


Ravensbourne, a leading-edge university sector college in London, United Kingdom, is internationally recognized for their high calibre of digital media and design as well as television and broadcasting. Focused on developing talented individuals, Ravensbourne is consistently seeking opportunities to drive student success to prepare them for a marketplace with increasingly brutal competition.  

Establishing differentiation from other educational institutions was a strategic priority for Ravensboune, prompting them to move and construct a £70 million campus at the Greenwich Peninsula.  Further, they built a £10 million, state-of-the-art broadcast facility, which was designed to replicate the working environment of the very best employers in the broadcast industry. Ravensbourne’s new infrastructure decisively positioned them as an avant-garde destination for high achievement and creativity. 
Every year, the college hosts the United Kingdom’s largest student broadcasting event, produced entirely by Ravenbourne students. Thus, crucial was the ability for Ravensbourne to create a communication and technology platform that would not only support that event, but also other high quality broadcast productions as well. 
Their second-hand, legacy voice communication systems, consisting primarily of an analog wired matrix intercom system, a handful of user control panels and wired beltpacks, were approaching fifteen years, making them outdated and hardly serviceable.  With their transition to Greenwich, they now had the opportunity to think bigger than ever before and choose future-proof technologies that would deliver high performance. 

Business Challenges

Prepare Students for Real-Life Broadcasting
The commitment to enhance student experience and increase their employability governed their decisions in selecting systems and designing learning environments. Ravenbourne wanted to construct an educational habitat that would simulate professional broadcast facilities and equipment of the 21st century for students to gain the skill and knowledge for high level industry positions. 
Create Productions of the Highest Quality
Likewise, Ravensbourne is always seeking to improve their broadcasting events because they are well-attended by industry delegates, which are likely key decision makers in the students’ post graduate hiring. To achieve increasing production excellence, the institution would require voice communication systems that would make it easier for them to collaborate and accomplish more. 
Maximize Investments
Since the broadcast facilities were open 24/7, one of Ravensbourne’s criteria for choosing intercom systems was to select systems that were rugged enough to endure extensive student use.  In addition, they wanted systems that were adaptable to and scalable for projected growth.
Furthermore, the high number of wireless and Wi-Fi devices used in the O2 concert arena, one of the world’s most popular entertainment venues, presented the challenge of frequency interference, muddling the audio quality of most wireless intercoms. Thus, reliable systems were of utmost important for the Ravensbourne team to effectively cooperate without missing a beat.
Lead as a Future-Facing University
To continue attracting and increase retention of the brightest talent as well as gain momentum as an industry-shaping, high-level influencer, Ravensbourne knew that it was vital for their students to master cutting-edge intercom technologies that would shape the future of broadcasting.

The Intercom Solution

Choosing Clear-Com
Although the scale of these combined challenges were immense, TSL, the system integrator of choice for Ravensbourne as well as many major broadcasters, chose Clear-com after evaluating all leading manufacturers of intercom systems because they had forty years of deep industry experience along with value-added systems that would achieve Ravensbourne’s objectives. As a consistent industry leader whose market coverage is only matched by their reputation for innovation, Clear-Com’s intercom systems would enable Ravensbourne’s expansive vision to materialize.
The entire broadcast facility, comprising the Production Control Room, Lighting and Vision Areas, Sound Control Room, Presentation and Quality Control Suite, Central Apparatus Room, Ingest Bay, and more, were interconnected with Clear-Com’s intercom systems. Clear-Com’s Eclipse-PiCo digital matrix system was installed in the Production Control Room. V-Series user control panels and 25 Concert IP software panels, which are linked to the Eclipse-PiCo frame, are running off the Mac laptops and desktop computers throughout all the major areas of the facility.  
This arrangement allowed a student director in the Production Control Room to coordinate on-screen graphics with the vision mixer and illumination with the lighting operator in the Lighting and Vision Areas as well as the audio technician in the Sound Control Room and floor manager, who manages the talents, in the television studio.  The technical director, who also resides in the Production Control Room, corresponds with the production manager and camera operators in the television studios.
Additionally, students that are editing video and sound clips in the Ingest Bay of the post-production area, which is equipped with 60 Final Cut and Avid work stations along with ingest and record systems, collaborate with those in the Digital Audio Galleries and Audio Post Production Room. Further, the transmission engineer, who is monitoring the equipment in the Central Apparatus Room (CAR), exchanges information with the crew working in the Sound Control Room and Production Control Room. 
                                                                                 Application Diagram

Moreover, a Tempest2400 2.4 GHz wireless intercom, which is integrated with the Eclipse, was mounted in Studio A, which is Ravensbourne’s large, six-channel HD television studio, while Tempest antennas were distributed in the Big Space and the Digital Media Studio, both of which are multi-purpose television studios.  The Tempest beltpacks were not used to communicate between each of the three areas, but only within each of the individual studios themselves. One channel was used exclusively for information exchange between the highly mobile floor managers and the production team while the technicians, who inspected the equipment, conversed with the engineering team on the other channel.

Business Results

Students Become Fully Equipped for the Workforce
As a global leader in critical voice communication systems, Clear-Com’s equipment is an industry standard in the broadcast industry. By choosing the Clear-Com brand, Ravensbourne students have an opportunity to become experts at using intercom systems that will be utilized or at least, closely mimic those in their work environment. 
Furthermore, since the communications set up of the Clear-Com systems emulates that of broadcast studios, students gain familiarity with real-life broadcast operations, empowering them to do their post- graduation jobs more effectively.
Value-added Systems Yield Higher Productivity
Clear-Com’s robust Eclipse-PiCo, which is a compact 1RU digital matrix system with 36 ports, was the perfect fit for Ravensbourne’s voice communication requirements. They used 32 out of the 36 available ports, increasing the number of mix minus cue feeds as well as interfaces to telephones and IFBs to closely replicate a regional news facility. With a higher port density than their previous intercom, the Eclipse-PiCo allowed students to tap into greater production potential. 
For years, tedious tasks had dominated the broadcasting team’s workflows because of the large investment, of both time and energy, in intercoms management. These former processes that held them back were instantly relinquished when they chose to install Clear-Com. Clear-Com systems simplified communications on every level, removing barriers to their immense growth.  From something as minute as applying paper labels for key identification to having high resolution 10-character displays or as drastic as cumbersome cables patching to instant programming and audio rerouting, the Eclipse and V-Series panels delivered unmatched features, functionality, and high performance for maximum convenience, agility, and quality output during broadcasts. 
Positive Returns on Investment
The Tempest2400 wireless beltpacks are made with a weather-resistant ABS co-polymer blend with high performance polyurethane overmold, ensuring that they are durable enough to withstand rough usage.  Moreover, the Tempest2400’s advanced RF circuitry makes it highly resistant to interference, enabling clear communications even near the high-RF O2 venue, which is densely populated with wireless devices. Both durable and reliable, the Tempest2400 serves as an essential communications staple for the production team for years to come. 
Furthermore, because of the powerful and intelligent design of the Eclipse, it can seamlessly integrate with additional wireless and IP-based intercoms to accommodate Ravensbourne’s future system expansions. Evidently, Clear-Com systems are an invaluable investment, guaranteed to generating long-lasting returns. 
Driving the Forefront of Broadcast
Intercom-over-IP is one of the latest and most effective solutions developed thus far to address the trend and challenge of interconnecting multiple broadcast stations and networks in different localities.
Clear-Com Concert, a breakthrough in IP-based intercoms, transforms the way broadcasters work with one another. Concert offers communication options that reflect the preferences of this generation, such as call and text messaging. Furthermore, it functions over any computer in any location via the internet, eliminating the barriers of distance and time. As early adopters of the latest technologies, such as Clear-Com Concert, that are emerging in prominent broadcast facilities, Ravensbourne students are undoubtedly gaining a competitive advantage from their peers.
Furthermore, the Concert installation at Ravensbourne marks the first use of a Mac-based Concert system in the world. Once again, this highlights Ravensbourne’s stance as a chief provider of quality broadcast education.
From helping to facilitate instruction on the basics of broadcasting to staging full television productions, the Clear-Com systems are one of the fundamental building blocks of Ravensbourne’s success.

® Tempest is a registered trademark of CoachComm, LLC.