|HOW TO DETERMINE SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS AND COSTS
TV Pro Gear designs, engineers and builds:
We do this for clients as large as Time-Warner, NBC and AT&T and as small as schools, churches and developing world startups. We have provided engineering services and installation in countries such as Bulgaria, Libya, Egypt and Guatemala. We have been doing this for fourteen years.
- Television stations
- Production studios
- Video production trucks
- Post production facilities
- Infrastructure for streaming video to the Internet in High Definition.
Every week, we get dozens of requests from companies and individuals asking questions such as:
These kinds of questions are not unlike asking an architect, “how much is a house” or asking a car salesman, “how much is a car”. In order to give an accurate answer, we need to preform a “Needs Analysis”, “Scope of Work Document”, “Workflow Diagram” and “Detailed Equipment List with Pricing”.
- How much is a video truck? The answer is from $150,000 to $6,000,000 dollars.
- How much for a television station? The answer to this is from $50,000 to $25,000,000 dollars.
Needs Analysis: This consist of asking a series of questions to determine exactly what it is you want to do. For example, if you are planning a television station, how many hours of original programming will you produce each week? What types of programming (news, talk shows, sports)? Will you be shooting on location? If so, will it be news, entertainment or sports? How much of your content will be provided from other sources (such as satellite, cable, Internet or on tape)? How are you going to distribute your programs (over-the-air, via satellite, on cable, via Internet). Without answers to these questions, we do not know what equipment and how much equipment will be required. The answers to these and dozens of other questions help us to come up with the “scope of work” document.
Scope of Work: This document states what you are going to do, how many hours of programing you will create each week, what types of programming and how you will distribute it. Once you approve this document we can move to the next step that is creating the “Workflow Document”.
|Workflow Document: This is a large CAD drawing that shows the principle elements of production (such as cameras, servers, control rooms, editing rooms, uplink dishes and so forth). This document is a visual presentation of how your system will work. This is a critical because a poorly designed workflow can result in a system that is not able to handle the volume of content you will have. It can lead to missed deadlines, frustrated employees and poor quality. Conversely, a well-designed workflow will result in efficient production, smooth operations and happy customers and employees. It will also allow future expansion without waste.
Detailed Equipment List and Labor Costs: Having performed the above items, we now have enough information to do preliminary engineering. With that completed, we can generate a detailed list of equipment. This will typically consist of hundreds of items from dozens of manufacturers. It always includes many conversations with the manufacturers as models and prices are constantly changing. In short, this is a time consuming process. Complex calculations have to be made to estimate the time it will take to design the system, create the CAD drawing, acquire all of the equipment, install it, wire it and produce proper labels, diagrams and operations manuals. Finally, we include costs for training and supporting your staff.
As you may expect, the above work cannot be done by a clerk. It requires the expertise of highly qualified video engineers with years and years of experience. Employees with this kind of experience are in high demand with salaries and benefit packages typically in excess of $175,000 year. Less expensive, less experienced engineers end up costing you more because they specify too much equipment or too little equipment to get the job done. Even worse, they may specify the wrong equipment.
In order for TV Pro Gear to provide you with meaningful advice and equipment costs, we require that you enter into a consulting agreement. Should you choose to retain us, we look forward to designing a system for you that will achieve your goals at the most cost-effective price.