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Portugese private broadcaster SIC boasts Europe’s largest Lawo ST2110 facility

Lawo supplied and installed 15 V__matrix software-defined IP core routing, processing and multi-viewing devices and a total of 39 C100 core processing blades

Following a technical upgrade of its Lisbon broadcast centre with Lawo IP solutions, including V__matrix and VSM, Portugese private broadcaster SIC (Sociedade Independente de Comunicação, an Impresa company) now has Europe’s largest ST2110 facility to date, with data streams traveling several kilometres.

Lawo supplied and installed 15 V__matrix software-defined IP core routing, processing and multi-viewing devices, a total of 39 C100 core processing blades as well as vm_dmv multi-viewer, vm_udx up/down/cross conversion as well as several other software modules for the V__matrix platform. The Lawo VSM Broadcast Control System (Virtual Studio Manager) was chosen to control both baseband and IP devices for lightning-fast patch and configuration changes via VSM user panels.

“We studied what the industry was offering and what would be right for us in terms of technological platforms. We were especially interested in what Lawo, Sony and Cisco proposed,” explained José Lopes, SIC’s director for operations and technologies.

“In SIC’s setup, Lawo provides the processing power, Sony supplied its Live System Manager vision mixers and cameras, and Cisco took care of the spine/leaf network infrastructure,” stated Carlos Ladeira, TV systems and equipment integrator with SIC. He added: “The reason to choose V__matrix was mostly related to the flexibility, which no other contender was able to match.”

VSM, Lawo’s overarching, brand-agnostic control system provides extensive control over both IP-native and SDI devices. In addition, “ST2022-7 network redundancy, together with the control systems we have here, like VSM, definitely make our life a lot easier,” added Miguel Inácio, SIC’s coordinator of infrastructure management. “We can use a production setup in one of our production control rooms and completely reconfigure it for the next programme within seconds. In May, we covered Portugal’s EU election. For the first time in our history, change-overs no longer required physically repatching a bunch of cables—with VSM, all went a lot faster.”

Ladeira continued: “We have a 24-hours news channel with a dedicated studio and production control room running almost around the clock. We have not had the slightest issue, so I guess this is a good proof of stability.”

SIC’s operation has been running since 27 January 2019 and the various teams involved are proud of delivering the project two months earlier than originally scheduled.