Altered Images & Avid systems simplify workflow at University of Central Lancashire

Extensive Avid infrastructure at heart of UCLan’s broadcast journalism courses.

Altered Images has recently supported the University of Central Lancashire with a large update to its Avid Media Composer systems, as part of the university’s complete Avid Interplay, iNews and Avid shared storage infrastructure. Since the Media Composers operate in an Interplay environment, Altered Images also made sure all components in the system were upgraded to the correct versions.

Additionally, Altered Images helped UCLan update Avid MediaCentral, improving collaboration by integrating news, sports, post-production and live-production workflows. MediaCentral enables students to access media and work on projects from anywhere, plus UCLan’s tutors are now able to view student work – both on and off campus – without being at a Media Composer station.

UCLan, based in Preston, is one of the largest universities in the country. It offers a number of courses that benefit from its Avid system – including MA Broadcast Journalism, BA Journalism, BA Sport Journalism and BA International Journalism – with its Avid systems used by both the traditional broadcast and online elements of these courses.

UCLan Senior Technician, Brian Moss, explains, “We were using DV tape cameras and needed to move to an HD tapeless workflow, plus we needed to substantially increase the storage capacity to accommodate the increased number of students using it. Altered Images upgraded our iNews system a couple of years ago, plus moved us into an Interplay and shared storage environment, which has really helped us to streamline our workflow. Now, with the latest upgrades to our Media Composer systems too, we can continue to offer a real-world environment to our students that reflects a professional workplace, minimising that transition.”

The Avid system at UCLan consists of 64TB Avid shared storage, Interplay, iNews, Command, Airspeed 5500 and MediaCentral. “The workflow begins with the students filming with JVC cameras onto SD cards or by shooting on their mobile phones,” Brian explains. “Material is brought into Media Composer by linking to the media, then in the case of the JVC cameras which shoot in XDCAM, consolidating to a workspace on the shared storage. Mobile phone footage is transcoded to XDCAM and then placed on a workspace. After editing, if the item is for playout in the TV studio, it is associated with an iNews story using the NRCS tool, picking up its Video ID, then transferred to the Airspeed HD. If the item is for online publication, then it is sent to Sorenson Squeeze to be converted to an mp4 file.

“Students sometimes find Media Composer a bit difficult at first, as many of them have been using other editors previously at home, college or other University, and are used to doing things differently, but most warm to the Media Composer after a short while working with it. They like the speed at which they’re now able to work, plus the collaboration the Avid systems offer, as it allows them to create and deliver engaging news across a range of TV, mobile and and online channels. Our students have the confidence of knowing their way around the latest Avid systems, reducing the perceived jump to professional employment.”

UCLan is also an Avid Learning Partner for Pro Tools, outside of its journalism courses, which provides the university with direct support from Avid’s product experts and course developers. The ALP programme also offers Avid content, curriculum and certification to aid teaching and learning. For more information about courses at UCLan, please visit

About Avid Learning Partner programme

The Avid Learning Partner (ALP) programme is designed for the most skilled training organisations in the industry, combining excellent teaching from each partner together with the content, curriculum and certification from Avid’s product experts and course developers. Avid Learning Partners have access to the official Avid curriculum and certification exams, with dedicated programme staff and co-marketing resources to support implementation of Avid training products. For further information, please visit

About Altered Images

Altered Images is a leading expert in workflow system design and a major technology reseller for the broadcast, television production, education and corporate communications industry. Its highly-skilled team understands visual communication technology, offering everything from a single product to a complete turnkey solution. From consultancy and system design, through to sales, installation and support, Altered Images offers a fully-specified service for production and broadcast professionals.

For further information, please visit or contact Liz Cox, Brill Media,
(T: +44 (0)7981 472844, E: