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Name & Title
Jonathan Bentham, Engineering Director – IVTV Broadcast
Who are you (about yourself and who you work for)?
I’m a broadcast vision engineer and director of IVTV Broadcast living in the North West. IVTV Broadcast specialise in Live and Pre-Recorded content for Broadcast and other live events.
What do you do? What does your company do?
I am responsible for the design, specification, construction, maintenance and operation of our equipment fleet. Our latest addition is HD2 our very small format 16ch HD Truck which is based around a lot of Blackmagic Design products. We also operate a fleet of PPU (Portable Production Units) both in SD and HD. Essentially my role is that of the 'fixer' I have to specify, build and operate systems which deliver the best quality of image and allow the operators to work freely with the most ergonomic workflow possible.
Tell me a little about your previous experience, what you've worked on and with up to your current position?
My life has been spent working in both broadcast and the AV / events industry. I have done tiny little conferences to enormous live OB's. At school I was always into the technology of performance, lighting, sound and vision. When I left school I went straight into Live sound for Party Political Events and other TV/Conferences. Really it has been a life of playing with kit and working with great people all over the UK and Europe.
What specific project(s) do you have in the works?
We have just completed Omid Djallili Live at the Hammersmith Apollo – this was the first outing for our new HD2 truck. I must say it was a stressful lead-up to the gig. Working very hard to get a 16 camera capable truck commissioned inside two weeks! Happily though it all worked out well thanks to the help of TNP Broadcast and Blackmagic Design who helped us out with very short lead-times. The show was an eight-camera 1080 HD shoot with ISO records on every channel plus TX Mix – eight channels of embedded audio mixed by us from splits. We loaded in and shot the show in a day and with no real rehearsal I must admit it looks great.
What new technology are you working with?
Building HD2 we had a lot of decisions to make. We were staring from scratch with no real ties to any particular brands. After scouring the market we made the decision to go with the ATEM 2 switcher and Video Hub from Blackmagic Design. The truck houses loads of BMD kit, which has all worked seamlessly. Great to integrate, worked out of the box and delivered excellent results. We also integrated an RTS Zeus Comms Matrix, which proved to be a challenge but again has worked perfectly once we got it up and running!
What new products/technology are you looking forward to the most?
Tapeless and HD are our real aspirations – we have invested heavily in ATOMOS Samurai recorders and Grass Valley Turbo to offer clients a cost effective and easy to work with solution. I think software updates on the ATEM will deliver yet more features that will allow us to offer better results. Our next investment is in cameras – HD chains are on the horizon and we are looking into the options available at the moment.
During your career in broadcast what was the biggest turning point into new technology?
I think the move to HD from SD was the biggest "turning point". It has required massive investment but ironically has allowed us to make our trucks more compact and feature rich. The images are, of course, stunning by comparison to HD and I can't see much life left in SD.
What is your favourite / least favourite things about working in Broadcast?
My favourite has to be seeing the world and working with amazingly talented people on some great shows. Least Favourite? - Silly hours, travelling and hotels which all mean I’m away from my family more often that I’d like.
What gets you out of bed in the morning to go to work?
Money…… ha well yes and no – Its mainly because I get a real kick out of working on live gigs and producing something which I can be proud of.

Tags: iss065 | ivtv | engineering director | tnp broadcast | blackmagic | N/A
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