IDNS Upgrades UK’s Royal Free Hospital Surgery Center with AJA RovoCam

IDNS Upgrades UK’s Royal Free Hospital Surgery Center with AJA RovoCam

July 28, 2020

For more than 30 years, IDNS has led the way in proAV design and integration for UK clients across education, healthcare, emergency services, local government and private sector entities. IDNS was recently commissioned by University College London and Royal Free Hospital NHS to develop an AV system for the Charles Wolfson Centre for Reconstruction Surgery, a new state-of-the-art facility dedicated to innovating plastic and reconstructive surgery technique, advancing education and accelerating scientific discovery. To capture live medical demonstrations of surgical procedures for educational purposes, IDNS developed a custom camera system with AJA’s RovoCam, an HDBaseT compact block camera, at the center of operations.  

During development of the camera system, an initial design was proposed to include a camcorder mounted to a portable tripod, which would be set up and connected to the main AV system for demonstrations and stored when not in use. A number of issues proved this design cumbersome and disadvantageous, including lengthy setup and breakdown times, contamination and sterilization problems with the equipment, and limitations with the placement and positioning of the tripod resulting in poor camera angles and viewing interference. Floor cabling also presented hazards, potentially causing equipment to be damaged in the event the tripod was knocked over. Additionally, the performance of the camera system hinged on the ability of non-technical surgical staff to successfully set up the equipment prior to each demonstration.

IDNS liaised closely with the client to overhaul the initial design and develop a ceiling-mounted camera system, which would be permanently installed and fully ready for operation without requiring additional setup, while also providing flexible camera angles. To capture demonstrations, the system required a compact camera with an HDBaseT connection to simplify cabling in the facility. HDBaseT carries uncompressed HD and UltraHD video, audio, control and power across standard category ethernet cable.

“After evaluating our options, RovoCam was the clear winner,” said Darren Clayman, Managing Director, IDNS. “RovoCam is lightweight and powerful, featuring high-end zoom capabilities and immaculate 4K resolution to capture exceptionally detailed closeups of operations.”

The system setup features RovoCam attached via a medical-grade mount to an ErgoMount T2 Elite ceiling mount with an articulated arm for optimal camera positioning and unobstructed views for the surgeon. RovoCam captures pristine 4K/UltraHD over HDBaseT and is paired with a camera-mounted Manfrotto Spectra2 LED light with adjustable color temperature to help operators achieve the most pristine image quality possible. RS-232 control signals, carried over HDBaseT, enables hands-free operation of RovoCam and remote control and configuration via an intuitive Crestron TSW-760 touch screen. “RS-232 allows granular control and helps operators fully take advantage of RovoCam’s ePTZ and ROI features to digitally zoom, pan and tilt during surgery,” noted Clayman.

During operation, video, audio and RS-232 signals are routed from RovoCam over Cat6 cabling to a rack mounted AJA RovoRx-HDMI companion receiver, which converts incoming HDBaseT feeds to HDMI. Both the HDMI and RS-232 signals are transmitted to a Crestron DMPS3-4K-350-C presentation system for switching and signal routing, with simple tactile control via the TSW-760. Switched feeds are routed to a pair of NEC 75 inch LED displays in both surgery rooms and various display monitors in student viewing areas. To livestream and capture footage for archiving and editing, an additional feed from the Crestron DMPS3-4K-350-C is distributed to a streaming and recording platform.

Deployment of the RovoCam-based camera system will aid in the continued research, training and improvement of clinical practices in reconstructive surgery by capturing 360-degree views of operations in 4K/UltraHD for live review by students, doctors and academics.

Clayman stated in closing, “Our ultimate mission at IDNS is to help our clients realize their maximum potential through use of technology. With RovoCam central to operations, we’re confident that the new capture system will aid in the joint efforts of UCL and Royal Free Hospitals to further innovation in the field.”

About RovoCam
RovoCam is AJA’s first compact block camera for industrial, corporate, security, ProAV and broadcast applications. RovoCam’s HDBaseT interface supports control of 4K/UltraHD video, power, stereo audio and RS-232 over a single Cat 5e/6 cable. AJA RovoRx-HDMI is a complementary UltraHD/HD HDBaseT receiver with integrated HDMI video and audio outputs specifically designed to receive RovoCam’s output. RovoControl is free software from AJA for Mac OS and Windows that enables simple control of one or multiple RovoCams.  

About AJA
Since 1993, AJA Video has been a leading manufacturer of video interface technologies, converters, digital video recording solutions and professional cameras, bringing high quality, cost effective products to the professional broadcast, video and post production markets. AJA products are designed and manufactured at our facilities in Grass Valley, California, and sold through an extensive sales channel of resellers and systems integrators around the world. For further information, please see our website at

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