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Belfast company's £250k investment comes on stream

By Yvette Shapiro

The Belfast company that provides television pictures from the debating chambers at Stormont and the Dail has invested £250,000 in the latest broadcast technology.

Pi Communications, led by Norah Ann Barron and Conor O'Brien, is targeting Northern Ireland's growing conference sector with a new outside broadcast truck, OB3, that boasts remotely operated cameras with a global "uplink".

The robotic technology allows a single operator to direct multiple cameras and stream any event live to a worldwide network.

"Our expertise in robotic camera technology allows us to keep our production costs as low as possible," said Norah Anne, who set up the company with her husband Conor in 2001.

"We also have live captioning capability, allowing a wraparound service for major events and conferences and use satellite IP technology which reduces transmission costs, allowing us to pass on any savings to our wide and varied customer base.

"Viewing platforms are constantly evolving, revolutionising how and where we watch TV, requiring us to produce television for every screen across multiple platforms. As technology develops, individual requirements change so we are constantly researching and investing in the latest developments in this fast-changing industry."

Pi launched and managed the Irish parliament's Oireachtas TV channel working across multiple platforms.

It employs 45 staff in Belfast and Dublin, and its services include broadcast production, post production, outside broadcasting, webcasting, news gathering and broadcast engineering and management.

The company also works with a number of public sector clients, including Invest NI, and various international companies, producing short films for use in multi-platform marketing.

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