Systems integrator TSL has won a contract to re-furbish the broadcast facilities within the historic Parliament buildings in Belfast where the Northern Ireland Assembly meets.

The project was won through an EU tender process and will see the existing analogue system upgraded to an HD digital one during the Summer Recess period.

The beneficiaries of the new system will be broadcasters as all material recorded in the NI Assembly's two principal Chambers, the Assembly Chamber and the Senate Chamber, is delivered for both live and pre-recorded programmes.

The new system will have a digital workflow. TSL will develop the existing IRP microphone system, adding a new touch screen user interface based on the TSL Tallyman system. This will directly link to a Shotoku camera robotic system with Sony HD cameras using Fujinon lenses.

The touch screen interface, which is a mimic of the Assembly Chamber floor plan, will allow the mic switcher, sitting in position above the chamber, to select the microphone of the speaking Assembly member.

The robotic cameras will then automatically hunt for the active seat and recall a number of shots, all in HD. The director, based in one of two galleries, will then select the best shot using a Ross vision mixer.

David Phillips, chief executive of TSL, said: “This installation is unique not only because of the stunning location and historic environment but also the array of technology that significantly improves workflow including the addition of the dynamic TSL microphone/camera touch screen interface.”

The media asset management set-up to be installed is a Sienna (System Integrated Network News Automation) system by Gallery. This is based on standard Apple hardware and servers.

Sienna will record all of the HD content and provide a flexible workflow allowing the Assembly to apply metadata and archive material.

The nearline Isilon storage will be controlled by a Zen Data Archive Manager, which will move material from the nearline to a Spectra T50 expandable data tape archive.

Other equipment installed by TSL will include Chyron MicroX graphics systems, JVC monitors, Evertz multi viewers and sync pulse generator, and Tektronix monitoring.

The Northern Ireland Assembly recommences on the 8th September following the Summer Recess, which is when the system will go on air for the first time.

TSL is a creator of integrated broadcast systems and an international supplier of professional broadcast products.