Gorilla is a full service post production house specialising in broadcast media and film.
The company were looking for innovative ways to create interactive TV programmes allowing for audience participation, specifically within the children’s programming genre for Welsh language broadcaster S4C. The company had the means to obtain videos and to setup phone quizzes but also wished to interact with young viewers via audio and video.
When a contestant was dialing in from home and the quality of the Internet connection was poor – a common issue in rural Wales – the production company would need to send its satellite truck. However, the data transmissions were costly.
To get around this, Gorilla were keen to install a straightforward system that allowed contributors to dial in. Technology Director Rhodri James explained the key issues they faced;
“We are dealing with children. How do we manage them dialing into the system? How do we queue them? How can the production staff check and interact with them before putting them on air?”
Gorilla was one of the first users of the Quicklink TX. The Skype TX powered software solution enables professional reception and transmission of Skype video calls through an SDI and HDMI interface. This provides broadcasters like Gorilla with unrivalled access to millions of connected Skype users.
The Quicklink TX comes complete with the Skype TX controller.
Gorilla’s Rhodri James said;
“Being able to queue several people, use multiple TX’s to allocate the contestants to whatever TX you need, being able to speak to them through the talkback beforehand and then put them on air are all key for us. This demonstrates the exceptional level of control that we have.”
Incorporating the Quicklink TX has also given the studio the ability to use the free software called Bondio. This enables the remote Skype caller to increase their network bandwidth speed, guaranteeing a more reliable connection for an improved quality video/audio transmission.The Quicklink TX units are situated in the server room. And the Skype controller software is on a production PC where a member of the technical crew will call, control the participants and put them on air once instructed through the talkback.