Panasonic helps broadcast worldwide meetings at the FAO.
The Food and Agricultural Organisation's three main meeting rooms have been equipped with PTZ cameras, required to produce the video content for the institution's events. The system has a fibre optic connection to the EBU head office.
ChallengeTo update the technology of the FAO headquarters to provide Full HD video in all the rooms.
SolutionTo integrate Panasonic PTZ cameras, control panels and mixers to fulfill the complicated requirements of the building.
"Panasonic's PTZ cameras create broadcast quality images. We are very pleased with the flexibility and the standard of video footage we produce on a daily basis. "
The Food and Agriculture Organisation, is a specialised agency of the United Nations, whose primary goal is to achieve a world free from hunger and poverty. It was founded in 1945, after the Second World War and now has 194 member states. The FAO aims to contribute to improvements in nutrition levels, increasing agricultural productivity and improving the lives of the rural populations.
The global headquarters are based in Rome and hosts the largest of the FAO’s international events, such as World Food Day on the 16th October each year.
The aim of the project was to provide a technology upgrade of the main meeting rooms to bring the quality of the video to Full HD resolution and with a new configuration, distributing the AV signals to all the rooms.
The work was completed in two months by HMedia, a specialist system integrator in the broadcast sector. The video equipment installed included 16 PTZ cameras (AW-HE130W), five AW-RP50 control panels and two AG-HMX100 digital mixers.
"There are many meeting rooms of various sizes and seating capacity from a few dozen to around 1000 people,” explains Massimo Fioravanti, FAO's technical coordinator. “We selected the Plenary Hall, the Red Room and the Green Room and decided to create some new, secondary control rooms, connected to the main control room, to give greater autonomy and flexibility in organising and managing production of events.
We were pleased with the choice of the Panasonic AW-HE130 PTZ cameras because of their quality.
"We also configured an innovative, fibre optic based signal distribution system, to give each meeting room the same facilities, allowing them to all achieve the best video quality.
"The Plenary Room, the Red Room and the Green Room were given to the Italian Government and built in record time to host the General Conference of 1951. Originally, these rooms were equipped with an SD Pal installation and SD resolution video cameras but we intended to have three cameras framing the speakers seated at the table, and two cameras to follow contributions from the floor.
Numerous events are organised in the FAO's Rome headquarters, involving Governments, Embassies, and various organisations. The Plenary Hall was designed for high-level meetings, summits and ceremonies and last year, Pope Francis spoke here on World Food Day."
The design and installation of the Panasonic PTZ cameras, with control panels and digital mixers was overseen by Salvatore Del Tito, technical manager for HMedia. "We undertook the work paying special attention to all quality aspects, this is a distinctive feature of our professionalism and we were pleased with the choice of the Panasonic AW-HE130 PTZ cameras because of their quality.”
“The Full HD images from performances on site are sharp, despite the halls having both natural and artificial lighting, “ explains Salvatore Del Tito. “The fixed optics are very powerful and the dimensions are compact and not intrusive.”
The image stabiliser and broadcast quality 20x zoom on the Panasonic AW-HE130 PTZ camera was an important feature according to Salvatore. "A quality image stabiliser should not only absorb any vibration: it is vital that its own operation should not cause any deterioration in the images recorded from the three MOS sensors,” he says.
A number of challenges were presented in the design of the building that the cameras had to be able to cope with. The halls are around thirty metres deep. The cameras framing the conference speakers are positioned on the wall opposite the podium, so they operate with a significant zoom factor which, “enables the conference speakers to be shown clearly in the foreground and the wide-angle shots of the cameras framing the platform also cover the first rows. This is great because it is not a feature we found was provided in the competing models," explains Salvatore.
"Additionally the Metro line runs underneath the FAO headquarters, so it is natural to experience vibration. However, despite all this, the images are always very sharp, and the quality never deteriorated.We have also never had any difficulty in using the remote control or managing the video signals in the production chain: these are big advantages. The AG-HMX100 mixer has multiple SDI, PC and DVI inputs, so this is a great help to an integrator."
“The fixed optics are very powerful. The dimensions are compact and not intrusive.”
The Food and Agricultural Organisation were very happy with the way the cameras were integrated into the network of the building. "Using the flight case we can provide the option of recording meetings in AV, with a two-way network connection, for 25 rooms. The flight case includes an AW-HE130 video camera with tripod, HD-SDI video input and two audio inputs,” adds Salvatore.
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