Based in Israel, i24News is an international 24-hour news and current affairschannel that launched in 2013 as a platform for combating the prejudice and ignorance about Israel with “facts and diversity.” Its programming originates from three uniquely designed automated production “pods” that are individually dedicated to reporting 24 hours a day in three different languages: Arabic, English and French.
A wide range of educational i24News programming can be seen around the world (but not inside Israel) via six satellites and fiber-optic connectivity in Belgium, France,Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, and across the African continent.
The channel is also streamed live on its website in all three languages via the Internet and is available on several OTT platforms. Company CEO Frank Melloul has said the goal of the channel is to “meld different points of view with every day developments.”
[In February 2017 the channel also began broadcasting in the U.S. from offices in New York City—between 6 and 10 p.m. (EST)—and a Washington DC bureau. At other times the channel originates from Israel.] On any given day inside its headquarters in Jaffa Port, Tel Aviv, Israel, the innovative studio facilities are abuzz with journalists, producersand technical staff speaking three different languages side by side as they prepare and report the daily news. In fact, i24News currently employs more than 250 journalists of 35 different nationalities.
The channel’s various programs are produced inside three circular-shaped, glass-enclosed 50 square meter (slightly more than 500 sq. ft.) pods that inside each feature an anchor desk, three Sony PTZ robotically controlled cameras and a Sony HXC-P70H 3×2/3” C-MOS HD Camera Head mounted on a robotically controlled Televator® camera pedestal from Telemetrics. A Telemetrics RCCP-1 Remote Camera Control Panel allows a single operator for each pod to control all of the cameras and the pedestal height for each show with precision, creating a “big look” for the studios on air.
“We had to cram three 50 sqm studios that needed to support 24/7 news production and magazines in a 1,500 sqm space that is host to 300 content workers,” said Effy Lupo, Chief Technology Officer at i24News. “Under these circumstances, there is no room for unnecessary workers or equipment. Controlling the camera with robotics gave us the technical capabilities we need to look good on screen and the space savings we require.”
The Telemetrics automated production technology was initially installed in July of 2013 but has since gone through several upgrades and regular maintenance to the systems. Lupo said that the robotically controlled cameras work well for the channel’s operations because the studio pods were so small, there was no room for manned camera positions. It also saved a lot of money on equipment and additional human resources.
“I believe that automation in all its aspects will replace most of the familiar areas of production work ,” Lupo said. “Automation is never [technically] wrong and does not get tired if it is planned correctly.” He was alluding to the fact that Telemetrics’ automated camera systems bring new efficiencies to any studio environment, reducing on-air errors while providing reliable operation for years to come.
The RCCP-1 control panel, one for each language programming, has also helped i24News replicate the exact same look for each of its three studios. Lupo said the panel’s ability to store pre-sets for all of the camera moves in each pod was critical to achieving that goal.
Controlling the camera with robotics gave us the technical capabilities we need to look good on screen and the space savings we require.
Using a single, integrated control surface, the RCCP-1 provides unified command over camera robotics and camera shading. Operators at i24News can access the deep- menu controls of cameras without the need for a dedicated camera control unit or paint box.
The Telemetrics Televator Series of elevating camera pedestals is specifically designed to accommodate virtually any camera and height position while helping users maximize available space while facilitating more creative shots that enhance production values for any type of project. With ultra-smooth motion, quiet operation, and exceptionally high mechanical precision, the Televator is well suited for i24News’s operations.
Training the staff to use the Telemetrics robotic camera systems was easy, according to Lupo, as his operators took to the intuitive user interface “very easily and we were able to have them up and running in a very short duration.” This was important as the staff needed to get up to speed quickly once the channel was launched. Lupo said that he’s convinced that studio automation will dominate TV productions everywhere, because of the economic and technical efficiencies it brings.
He chose Telemetrics because he knew the company from previous facilities he’s worked at and trusted their product. “Because in the future we will see more automation systems, it is better to start the process today, which will facilitate future assimilation and integration,” he said. “In addition, as a company it is good for us to get the content people accustomed to such an environment and to provide them with convenience and familiarity with automation systems and thus facilitate the future.”
Telemetrics automated production technology has ensured a bright future for i24News as it continues to cost-effectively expand its reach and influence in the growing international media landscape.
About i24 News
i24News global headquarters in Tel Aviv has three separate studios that each broadcast in a different language – English, French and Arabic – a model that allows viewers access to the same news but in their preferred local language. With the launch of a U.S. headquarters and studios in New York City and Washington D.C., i24News viewers around the globe will now hear directly from the U.S., and American viewers will be connected to new perspectives from around the world. i24News currently has more than 250 journalists, representing 35 different nationalities. i24News has built its U.S. news team with best-in-class local talent with approximately 50 positions to support the New York City and Washington D.C. bureaus.
About Telemetrics, Inc.
Telemetrics, founded in 1973, revolutionized the robotic camera control industry with the introduction of robotic camera control over Triax. Today, Telemetrics is a pioneer of innovative solutions used in Studio, Legislative, Military, Corporate, Houses of Worship, Sports, and Education. Telemetrics offers the S5 line of Pan/Tilt heads, motorized columns with the Televator, ceiling or floor mounted TeleGlide track systems and expansive software control packages with the RCCP-1 platform. Telemetrics is committed to making the most reliable, durable, and dependable broadcast ecosystem in the world…products that can be built on for decades not just years.