The new£3m facility being set up in west London by The Farm Group will have a revolutionary engineering infrastructure according to its chief engineer, writes Sam Espensen.
Dave Klafkowski told Broadcast that Uncle, which opens its doors directly opposite the BBC in September, is a "hybrid of all our other facilities. It does the job of The Farm, Squash and Home all under one roof". Systems integrator ATG Broadcast will be carrying out the traditional installation side of Uncle, including all cabling and routers.
However it is the introduction of "VTR pods' which is set to save the facility time and money. VTRs are notoriously difficult to move easily between editing suites, and the pods are wheel-based and have all video, audio, control and timecode passing through a simple connector. Uncle will have eight pods with the result that VTRs can be moved between the machine rooms and suites with no loss of time.
Klafkowski added that the pods would save the company money: "It means we buy fewer VTRs. And because there isn't yet an alternative to DigiBeta, it would be foolish for us to buy into a system that's only good for three or four years. So we get better utilisation this way."
Uncle will have 17 suites and employ 30 people at its White City site.