ParlAV operations

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The Parliamentary Audio Visual Services (ParlAV) section of the Department of Parliamentary Services provides LIVE televised coverage of House of Representatives, Senate, Federation Chamber of the House of Representatives and selected Parliamentary Committee hearings, held in Parliament House, as well as audio coverage of other Parliamentary Committee hearings held both at Parliament House and other venues around Australia.

 broadcasting studio Our Services

ParlAV also provides a range of in house television, radio and multimedia services to Senators, Members, occupants of Parliament House and external clients.

These services include:

  • television and radio production services such as video editing and studio recordings
  • broadcasting of Parliamentary events on the ParlTV service within Parliament House and webcast
  • audio visual services for parliamentary events held by a Senator or Member
  • broadcasting of press conferences on ParlTV held by Senators, Members or committees
  • video and audio conferencing support during committees and in the ParlAV studios

Live closed captioning

DPS is phasing in a live closed captioning service, to improve the accessibility of its televised coverage of the Parliament of Australia. Initially, closed captions will be available on the live webcast* for five hours each sitting day of the Senate and House of Representatives. Over time, captioning will increase to cover all hours of chamber proceedings and committee hearings, as well as becoming available on the Parliament’s video archive service, ParlView.

Current captioning hours (subject to change) are:

House 1200 – 1700 AEST

Federation Chamber 10:30 – 11:30 AEST (Mon 17 October 2016), 10:00 – 11:00 AEST (Wed 19, Thurs 20 October 2016)

Senate – Monday 1330 – 1830 AEST, Tuesday to Thursday 1400 – 1900 AEST

* Live closed captions will not display on Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 7. Please use another browser, such as Google Chrome.

Broadcasting staff in action. Image courtesy of Broadcasting Services Production facts and figures

In 2014-15 financial year we produced and recorded over 4500 hours of broadcasts. This included 1612 hours of chamber video and audio, 1567 hours of committees at Parliament House (video and audio) and 1037 hours of interstate committees (audio only).

Other services included 845 general television and audio productions, 1397 audio visual services, 1848 patches to the media and 1108requests for extracts of parliamentary broadcast material.

Currently we hold approximately 70,000 hours of recorded proceedings in our archives on site.

The in-house television and radio distribution systems known as ParlTV, delivers over 100 digital television channels and 42 radio frequencies.

In each chamber one operator controls 8 broadcast quality cameras and one audio operator controls  the audio system through a mimic panel. During Question Time the video crew increases to 5. Committee rooms are also equipped with at least 4 cameras and digital touch screens to operate microphones.

Proceedings of the parliament have been available on the webcast since 1999.

We provide recording services for committee hearings traveling throughout Australia. Hearings are held in all capital cities, some include the coverage of the Reserve Bank appearances, and throughout regional towns and islands surrounding Australia.

 Senate Production Control Room Technical facts and figures

Members and Senators sit in unique positions in their respective chambers. This arrangement allows ParlAV staff to operate their individually assigned microphone. The activation of the microphone recalls robotic cameras to predefined shots of the person with the call.

Through the video Production Control Rooms (PCRs) broadcast cameras output is combined with audio and graphics for presentation. The signal is made available to the Parliament House media and a number of subscription services. It is also distributed as a digital signal for the parliaments ParlTV service.

ParlTV is the in-house television service at Parliament House. It includes parliamentary coverage, free-to-air channels received from the Black Mountain telecommunications tower, digital satellite channels, some pay TV services and radio channels.

The 1100 plus televisions in the building are viewed by approximately 4000 people when the parliament is sitting.

The approximately 2500 - 3000 clocks within Parliament House are all synchronised with the Universal Time Coordinate (UTC).

Thousands of meters of various cables are placed throughout Parliament House, they include fibre optic, coax and shielded cable. Laser transmitters carry the television and audio/radio signals and are distributed into 300 suites around the building.

For more information please contact Broadcasting Production office via email on parlav@aph.gov.au or call 02 6277 8603.

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