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ORF Goes HD with Lawo

Austrian national broadcaster ORF has added two Lawo consoles during an upgrade to HD production.

Austria (August 2, 2013)-Austrian national broadcaster ORF has added two Lawo consoles during an upgrade to HD production.

A refurbishment was commissioned in July 2012 to bring the control room in line with current technology, including switching from SD to HD production. To ensure its audio facilities matched the new picture standards, the upgrade included two Lawo mc266 digital broadcast mixing consoles.

With its first news program prepared at 8:30 a.m. and its last run at midnight, the Regieplatz 7 (RP7) TV news control room at ORF operates for 16 to 17 hours per day, seven days a week. In fact, RP7 clocks up the greatest number of operating hours of any control room operated by the broadcaster. Unsurprisingly, after 12 years of continuous operation, RP7’s technical installation had reached the end of its working life.

The main Lawo console is fitted with 56 faders (24-8-24) and the second with 24 faders (8-8-8). Each of the consoles comprises 240 DSP channels and one Plug-in Server. A Lawo Nova73 HD router supports the central matrix with DSP as the mixing console core; this offers 51 MADI ports and has a routing capacity of 8,000 times 8,000 crosspoints.

Both PSUs and the router boards are redundantly configured, and the stageboxes are fitted with redundant MADI boards and cabling. Also redundantly designed are the five Netlink-MADI crosslinks between the Nova73 HD and the consoles.

“Both consoles are networked via a central matrix so that it is possible to switch from one console to the other within the control room. The console cores are identical, and integrate 16 MADI ports each”, explains engineer Reinhard Tomek, who was responsible for project management of the refurbishment.

RP7’s smaller console takes care of program pre-mixing so that for larger programs-such as coverage of parliamentary elections-the local reporter units and local studios can be assigned (e.g. via telephone) and satellite uplinks can be established promptly.