Links Broadcast visits Downton Abbey for ITV’s This Morning
Links Broadcast were delighted to be appointed as the OB and uplink provider for ITV’s This Morning when they visited the real life home of Downton Abbey at Highclere Castle.
The popular day-time program hosted by Philip Schofield & Holly Willoughby situated itself on location at Highclere in preparation for the UK release of the Downton Abbey full length feature film. The characters from the cast, including butler Mr Carson (James Edward Carter OBE), plus some of the regular contributors to the show, joined Philip & Holly on the sofa as well as in the library, saloon, dining room and on the north terrace for the closing sequence.
Links Broadcast provided the outside broadcast production facilities for the entire show as well as uplink provider and all associated facilities. Our multi-camera production vehicle, S100, provided the technical hub and this worked in combination with our gallery trailer which housed the production operation. Our HD/UHD equipped uplink vehicle, S700, provided the transmission connectivity with the main path being transmitted via Ku band satellite and the reserve path being transmitted via IP using Ka-band capacity using our LU600 LiveU encoder. Our weblink vehicle housed the comms systems for the 5 radio base-stations that supported the crew communications, as well as providing additional internet capacity for the production crew.
The OB rig consisted cable with 15 SMPTE cable drops around the house and grounds, 3 multi-core optical fibre systems plus some traditional copper cabling. A total of 7 Sony HDC1500 cameras were utilised which meant that rapid relocation was required of camera equipment & crew with re-plugging of cable allocations during commercial breaks to enable the show to move seamlessly from location to location.
Audio distribution was achieved using wireless mics and IEMs fed via multiple antennas situated in the various rooms of the castle as well as on the lawns, and these were delivered to our Studer Vista 1 sound desk in the OB using Studer stage-boxes.
Links Broadcast’s Operations Manager, Andy Foster, said “ It was wonderful to be involved in such a high profile live production for ITV and we were really happy that our OB production vehicle, gallery trailer and uplink trucks enabled ITV to produce a perfect live show from such a beautiful location”.