A leading provider of products and services for the broadcast and wider television industry has announced the start of a major project for the University of Sunderland as part of a £1.4m investment.

After installing the £300,000 4K-UHD virtual production studio at the University’s David Puttnam Media Centre at the Sir Tom Cowie Campus, St Peter’s, last year, CJP Broadcast Service Solutions is now moving onto the next phase of modernising the creative and technical resources on offer to students at Sunderland.

This latest venture comprises of four elements, as CJP Broadcast founder and Managing Director, Chris Phillips, explains:  “Each element will enable the University to teach the very latest techniques in virtual production, TV production and outside broadcasting.

“The first project element will be the provision of a curved LED volume incorporating the latest Mo-Sys LED technology and Bendac InfiLED 1.9 mm LED panels.

“The University will use Mo-Sys’ VP Pro XR LED content server to drive the LED volume, featuring seamless Multi-Camera switching, Cinematic XR Focus for pulling focus between real and virtual objects, and Set Extensions. Tracking will be provided by Mo-Sys StarTracker.

“The second project will be the upgrade of an existing TV studio. It was important for the University to upgrade its legacy production infrastructure to full broadcast quality.

“We recommended and will be implementing a full Ross Video workflow, ready for 4K-UHD expansion.

“Third will be the integration of a motion capture and virtual camera system into the 4K-UHD chromakey studio, which we installed last year.

“This presents an opportunity to incorporate new solutions that further enhance the film and TV course modules.

“It will include areas such as virtual cinematography linked with the Mo-Sys VP Pro Unreal Engine plugin.

“The fourth element of this group will be a mobile production kit based on a StreamStar X4 capable of accommodating up to four camera channels plus a wireless camera link, LiveU LY300 field unit and Hollyland wireless intercom.

“This will enable the University students to capture live events on the fly, with integration back to studio.”

Professor Arabella Plouviez is Academic Dean for the Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries at the University of Sunderland.

She said: “It is important in the creative industries to ensure that our students get access to the technologies that are current and the technological changes that will influence the sector into the future.

“With this further investment, we will be able to ensure that our students have hands-on experience and also get to use their creative skills to challenge and push the technology. “This investment provides exciting opportunities to bring together students with different skillsets – from TV, film, sound, photography, animation, performance and design as well as students from sciences such as technology and computing.”

Lee Hall, Head of School of Media and Communications at the University, said: “Not only will our media courses stand out from the crowd – but this new investment will enhance our long-standing and successful programmes where our future media professionals are supported by expert staff.

“It secures fabulous resources that will be very attractive to students from the UK and beyond, who are serious about getting into the film and TV industries.

“This is about giving Sunderland students the tools to experiment and make great content as well as gain experience with cutting edge technology.”

The project is expected to be completed later this year.