Production Profile Module-R

by Neil Reed, Custom Consoles

Custom Consoles was incorporated in 1996 to design and build control room desks and related studio furniture for the broadcast media industry. We had long experience in systems integration roles ourselves and knew how difficult it was to commission third-party desks with the optimal combination of features and robustness.

Tailor-made desks from established vendors in those days tended to be very expensive and subject to long delivery times or worse: postponed deliveries which impacted project completion schedules. We also knew that technical control desks need to be robust enough to last at least the lifetime of the control suite itself, typically five to seven years before the next major upgrade. In practice, many of our desks have been in service far longer than that.

Our product range expanded gradually to meet the needs of a client base which soon embraced many of the world’s most highly respected television and radio broadcasters, production studios and postproduction service providers. We accelerated the development and production processes by integrating 3D computer aided design and visualisation software at our headquarters in Leighton Buzzard, Hertfordshire. The resultant data feeds computer-controlled tools which allow materials to be machined in three dimensions. This investment eliminated the need to create each furniture element by hand, increasing production accuracy and shortening delivery time.


 Introduced in 2006, we streamlined the design process by developing Module-R, a mix-and-match control room furniture system which offers the freedom to create high quality desks without the high cost of commissioning tailor-made designs. Key design factors included easy front and rear access for equipment installation, good ergonomics for users working long shifts and efficient ventilation. Module-R comprises a wide range of base sections and components including 19 inch rack housings, worktops, end-panel modules and legs. Customers can specify desks with the exact features needed for their current workflow in production galleries, technical control rooms, REMI suites, newsrooms, presentation and playout studios or related operational support areas.

Module-R elements include robust single-bay, dual-bay and triple-bay desk sections with front or rear access, work surfaces in matching widths, corner desk sections with integral worktops, slide-out keyboard drawers, equipment pods, storage pedestals and equipment bays. These can be combined to form any length of desk, supplemented by sections with 15, 30, 45 and 90 degree lateral angles. It is also possible to curve each section of a desk to follow any radius. Additional modules available include 3U and 4U 20 degree and 45 degree low profile pods. Each desk leg includes concealed floor cable access with removable side covers.

Module-R desks can be dismantled for relocation. They can also be reconfigured easily to coordinate with changes in operational workflow, by adding, removing or repositioning specific desk elements.

Module-R Lite

Module-R Lite has a front-to-back depth of 95 centimetres. It is available with the same wide range of matching equipment pods and storage modules as Module-R, with correspondingly adjusted front-to-back dimensions if required. Both versions are designed, built and tested to meet all current European legislation for ergonomic and structural integrity. They are guaranteed against component failure for five years during normal use.

Project examples



Benelux broadcaster Be tv invested in Custom Consoles Module-R studio control desks as part of a major expansion of its technical facilities. This included seven desks which were integrated into the network’s headquarters in Charleroi. Largest of the desks is a 7.27 metre wide by 2.64 metre curved master control room console designed for simultaneous use by up to eight production staff. Each team member has access to a dedicated 4U equipment pod positioned at the rear of the work surface.

Gravity Media

Gravity Media selected Module-R desks for its recently completed production facility in the WestWorks building adjacent to BBC Television Centre in London. Designed to handle on-site and distributed remote production workflows, it includes a dedicated MCR, remote production breakout MCR, eight production control rooms with dedicated audio control rooms, multiple off-tube commentary booths, two studios with lighting and vision control facilities, fast turnround and craft edit, flexidesk production spaces, media management and client desking. Our role was to provide technical furniture for six production control galleries as well as sound control rooms, EVS areas, the MCR and multi-use areas. All but one of the desks are from our Modular-R series.

Elevate Broadcast

Singapore-based system integrator Elevate Broadcast chose Module-R control room and studio desks as part of a large-scale project for an APAC free-to-air television and radio network. The project included nine desks to be installed among five television studios and two radio studios. A crucial factor for every desk was being able to accommodate relevant equipment, power cables and signal feeds while ensuring access from front and rear for routine maintenance. Elevate Broadcast specified and integrated a total of five TV studio control desks, two audio control desks and two radio studio control desks, plus a music studio desk, two transmission control desks and two studio interview tables. We normally install Module-R on site. In this instance, we shipped the various preassembled elements for integration by the Elevate team who handled the build very professionally, as we were confident they would, guided by our reference documentation.

Five Module-R control room desks for an NEP Sweden television production facility on the outskirts of Stockholm. Each has greater than usual worktop depth. The two largest desks are assigned as front and rear control desks for the production gallery. A vision switcher control panel is set into the front desk. The third desk is a 3.1 metre wide unit with six 4U-high sloping equipment bays, deployed to control incoming camera feeds. Desks four and five are a mirror-image design configured as left and right audio control workstations. Each of these is 2.1 metres wide and equipped with two 3U-high sloping-front equipment bays. Broadcast Solutions GmbH implemented the ambitious project within just two months, from the start of detailed planning to commissioning.

Among projects for Dega Broadcast Systems were Module-R installations for regional production control rooms at one of Europe’s longest established broadcasting corporations. Seven Module-R desks were also chosen for a new TV production hub, set to play a major role in Scotland’s creative media industry. The comprise three for the production control room, two for the lighting and video control room, plus a grams desk and reverb trolley for the sound control room. Largest of the eight is the front desk for the production control room. This is a 6.7 metre wide in-line unit comprising 13 bays. A vision switcher is embedded into the work surface across the central three bays. We assembled the desks on site prior to the electronic equipment being integrated by the Dega Broadcast team.

Royal Opera House

Working in partnership with Megahertz Ltd, we completed Module-R desks for the production gallery and engineering control rooms at the Royal Opera House in London’s Covent Garden. The project formed part of an extensive UHD/HDR upgrade to the facilities used by the ROH to relay performances of its operas for live viewing by cinema audiences in Europe and for distribution to other venues around the world. The ROH also live streams frequently from the main house, Linbury theatre and other studios in the building. The production control desk is 6.7 metres wide and equipped for use by a team of up to eight operators. The engineering control desk is 3.6 metres wide and equipped for simultaneous use by up to four engineers. Both desks are finished in grey with red Marmoleum worktop surfaces.

Ongoing refinements

Module-R refinements have continued over the years, including the introduction of slimmer legs plus a removable rear work surface which allows easy access to cableways. A full length rear cable brush strip provides greater flexibility for power and signal feeds to desk-mounted monitor arms. Optional full-height end panels were added to the range of options plus the ability to choose Compact Density Fibreboard for pods and work surfaces. A steel cable tray was added to replace the earlier PVC tray, providing greater strength and eliminating the environmental issue of recycling plastic components.


Module-R desks have proved a great success over the years at many broadcast networks, postproduction houses and playout facilities around the world. The robust build quality, ergonomic excellence and timeless styling of Module-R have also been recognised by industries such as security, air traffic control, process control and network monitoring.