- This article is about a piece of equipment. For more information on what it is for or how to use it, try its documents wiki article.
The "ring" was the original contribution system that was installed in Langwith, Derwent, and Chemistry to provide audio and video connectivity. As far as is known, YSTV has never made of use of this system, which anyway has mostly been unusable since the chemistry fire of the 1970s. Before this point it would in theory have provided a way to get audio and video from Derwent and Langwith to the studio in Chemistry, and thence to other places around campus.
After various problems with the ring system, the decision was made to contract the Rediffusion company to install a video distribution and contribution system around the campus, still under construction. Located somewhere within most colleges was an AV rack, usually located in a vent room somewhere. This was fed from a collection of contribution points located in seminar or lecture rooms in the college using coax for video and unshielded twisted quad cable for audio. Within the rack, the video could be patched in to a video line driver which was linked via shielded twisted pair to a corresponding receiver over in LTC. The audio was directly patched to the audio contribution cables, as this was already a balanced line. Wentworth was the last of the original 6 colleges to be built and no system of AV contribution was installed, presumably as a cost saving measure. Langwith and Derwent had been built before the Rediffusion system was commissioned, so although a distribution network was installed, and possibly a link from the old ring system, no Rediffusion contribution system was installed.
The racks are now gone, but a number of the balanced contribution cables are still used by YSTV to send video back from outside broadcasts. This normally means linking cables passively in LTC, to get from a line driver at the OB site to a line receiver in the station. The local contribution point cables are rarely used, except in Vanbrugh where one of them is now part of the Distribution Network.
As of 2011, the last of the network links has been broken (the rennovation of SU buildings and walkways around the Exhibition Centre took out the Goodricke-Physics-Hub line). As a result, the contribution network has firmly died, although URY have been known to use their parts for OBs in the Vanbrugh area. Future plans mostly revolve around streaming over IP using the campus data network, for better picture quality and fewer maintenance headaches.