It’s lights, camera, action time at The Grimsby Institute’s University Centre Grimsby, as
undergraduate students get their chance to shine using new TV studio facilities specified
and installed by Planet PC in a new £20 million higher education building.
The Grimsby Institute provides a wide range of further
and higher education courses alongside business training
and community education support to more than 22,000
students every year across three sites. It is the largest
provider of vocational courses in North East Lincolnshire,
and the new University Centre Grimsby offers over 100
higher education courses, all of which are accredited
through partner Universities The University of Hull, York St
John, Huddersfield and Leeds Metropolitan.
Technical Development Manager, Lee Howard, knew during
the planning of the new 8,000 sq ft University Centre Grimsby
that space had been allocated for TV production facilities.
The facilities would support undergraduates studying for
qualifications in Television & Digital Film Production, Multi-
Platform Journalism, Motion Graphics and Games Design.
He turned to Planet PC, after working successfully with them
on the installation of the existing Avid newscaster system at
the Institute, to talk through his requirements and build the
“What impressed me most about Planet PC was that they
looked at the installation from a teaching and learning
perspective, and not just a broadcast perspective,” he says.
“They quickly identified the equipment that would deliver
the best results from a budget and broadcast point of view,
but they also suggested ideas that would enhance the studio
space as a teaching environment.”
“It was their in-depth knowledge of the education sector,
their understanding of the technology available and the
development of a very strong specification at a competitive
price that won the tender to deliver this project.”
The University Centre Grimsby opened in October 2011,
housing state of the art TV studio facilities alongside a
video editing suite, radio and photography studios, high
specification gaming equipment, a range of teaching
facilities including a sports and science lab, a two-storey
library, open access computer facilities and café.
The TV studio setup comprises a main control room located
between two studios. The first - a ‘soft’ studio - enables
traditional journalism students to record pieces to camera
and news bulletins in a ‘chat show’ setting.
The second is a ‘virtual’ studio, incorporating chroma key
technology that allows students to create broadcasts in a
range of 3D virtual sets limited only by their imagination,
alongside motion capture technology that can be live
streamed into the creative labs and accessed by multiple
users working on games development.
The control room features a range of high specification
equipment for broadcast quality production. One of the
ideas built into the specification that most impressed Lee
was the inclusion of three 40” screens directly above the
main control room computers. This means that while some
students operate the control room, others can clearly see
what’s happening on the big screens.
Another was the creation of a freestanding, suspended
lighting system in the virtual studio to give added flexibility.
The inclusion of a Smart Videohub allows all video inputs
and outputs to be controlled wirelessly with an iPad, and
enables lecturers to cut to a specific camera or feed from
wherever they are in the studios and talk to students about
what they see.
The installation was completed over the summer holiday,
with staff training completed in time for the new building’s
opening in October. “We were incredibly impressed with
the way Planet PC approached this project,” says Lee.
“Their focus on teaching and learning sets their
approach apart from other providers, and
it has given us exactly the facilities we
were looking for to reinforce our
reputation as a provider
of quality learning