As one of the largest and most profitable companies in America, Google has pioneered Internet search and other technologies that have changed the way people communicate and educate themselves. But when it comes to its internal communications between management and its more than 72,000 fulltime employees (worldwide) the iconic Mountain View, California-based company uses the same reliable and cost-effective video production tools used by broadcasters, government legislatures and literally anyone that uses video to disseminate information.
Google recently retrofitted one of three large production spaces inside its main East Coast building in New York City with the latest professional staging equipment and robotic camera systems from Telemetrics (located in Allendale, N.J.). The system allows seasoned professionals like Kathy McLaughlin, Video Production Technician at Google, to produce literally hundreds of video events—both live and pre-taped for on-demand viewing—by herself, or sometimes with additional crew. The idea, according to McLaughlin, is to create video productions—corporate communications, training seminars, and other special events—quickly, and in the most reliable and cost-effective way. Because she oversees so many different projects from the same space, McLaughlin said she needed a system like the Telemetrics RCCP-1 Remote Camera Control Panel. It allows her to easily operate (either manually or automatically via a number of pre-sets she’s stored on the panel) five remotely controlled Panasonic PTZ cameras with a single 3-axis proportional control pan/tilt/zoom/focus joystick.
Google also installed a Pan/Tilt head and a custom ceiling-mounted TG4 TeleGlide® system from Telemetrics. The cameras, which are all controlled by the RCCP-1, are mounted on Panasonic robotically controlled pan/tilt heads on the ceiling, with one riding along a Telemetrics ceiling track (which they refer to as “Camera 2”) at the back of the room. The TG4 track frame is constructed of easily assembled lightweight aluminum components, and a Triple Balance System provides rock-solid stability. The TG4 is fully servo controlled, providing McLaughlin and her team with accurate preset positioning and repeatable motion.
“We added a trolley and track system from Telemetrics because we wanted to add new production values by getting the most coverage we could get within the confines of the room we had available,” McLaughlin said. “We have other event spaces, so if this system proves to be successful (and thus far it has), I expect other Google production spaces around the country to install the same robotic systems as well.” In addition to her job as Video Production Technician for Google’s NYC location, McLaughlin has worked for more than 20 years as a freelance broadcast camera operator for a major sports network: so she understands the importance of covering an event with multiple cameras while maintaining full control over all of them. She called in veteran broadcast equipment reseller AbleCine (New York), which evaluated the space and recommended Telemetrics.
For its part, Telemetrics supplied the equipment and a service technician—Carlos Cordero—to get it all done in a timely fashion. All future production setups will be aided by recalling an unlimited number of shots and motion shots, including pan/tilt/zoom/focus/elevator/trolley moves.
“While we often set up and then store camera settings on the Telemetrics control panel for each project we complete—so that we can quickly recall those presets for a similar event later on—there are times when a live production might call for a last-minute camera move, which has to be adjusted live,” she said. “The RCCP-1 control panel allows me to do both and that flexibility is what attracted us most to Telemetrics.”
In a single, integrated control surface, the Telemetrics RCCP-1 offers unified command over camera robotics and camera shading. In fact, users can access the deep menu controls of broadcast cameras without purchasing dedicated camera control units or paint boxes. This means that while Google installed the RCCP-1 to control the new Telemetrics ceiling camera and track system, it has also allowed for the elimination of an existing control panel as it is capable of manipulating all of the PTZ cameras.
[The Panasonic PTZ cameras were installed in 2015 and the Telemetrics ceiling and camera trolley systems were installed, in a mere week, in November 2017.]
“I like having one control panel for all of the cameras in the room,” McLaughlin said, adding that the RCCP-1 provides native support for the Panasonic cameras; so she can adjust angles and match different cameras by accessing their exposure, white balance and other settings directly from the panel. “A lot of time we have one available operator, so the Telemetrics system fits our needs perfectly.”
Again, for Google, given the wide array of projects produced, it’s all about finding the right formula for efficiency. McLaughlin said that while they do use extra camera operators and an A1 for major multi-camera shoots, the ease of putting together a simple meeting or speech, with one person can’t be ignored.
“The formula here is, you do so many events, that cost wise and efficiency wise, it just makes sense to do it with a single operator,” McLaughlin said. “Remember, we have three rooms going here, so it adds up if you’re not careful in how you plan your projects and budgets. Robotics technology certainly helps with our goals to be as efficient as possible and Telemetrics has enabled a single operator like myself to do that very easily.”
Headquartered in Mountain View, California, Google LLC is an American multinational technology company that specializes in Internet-related services and products. These include online advertising technologies, search, cloud computing, software and hardware. The company employs more than 72,053 full-time people worldwide.
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, 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.