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Broadcast Solutions helps Kenya’s Switch TV go live with novel HD TV-studios

Broadcast Solutions implemented a new HD TV-studio facility for Switch TV, a new channel in Nairobi, Kenya. Broadcast Solutions, with their Hungarian team, acted as the main contracting partner for this unique project. The station is a new non-profit subsidiary of the Kenya Red Cross and is targeting the 18-35 year-old age group to educate and to entertain them. With a variety of local productions, live shows and news programs, this new channel spices up the regional media landscape and is one of the most modern studios on the continent up to date.

Switch TV required a studio with four sets including a green box, with Sony studio and remotely operated cameras, ARRI LED lighting and a newsroom and post-production system. Apart from the broadcast equipment, Broadcast Solutions also delivered the IT infrastructure for the supporting office with 50 workplaces. All the systems were tested, configured and pre-installed in Budapest before sending them to Nairobi to enable faster and smoother on-site installation. The overall planning and implementation, from assignment to going live, took six months only.

The core of the studio and video system is a 12G-capable Ross Video Ultrix 72 x 72 hybrid router with integrated multiviewer. By using a hybrid router, the glue infrastructure was simplified, offering real agility in the sound department which is centred on an Allen & Heath D-live digital mixer. The studio runs with Sony HSC-300RF and Sony BRC-H800/AC cameras whereas the video production is based on a Grass Valley Kula mixer and a Tricaster TC1, used for the green-box shots. Ingest and playback works with Avid Airspeed 5500 servers and Interplay Command. Switch TV’s news programs are created and orchestrated with the help of an Octopus Newsroom system which controls playback of clips, on-air graphics and Autoscript IP prompters. Communication between the production team members is facilitated through an AEQ Crossnet Intercom system which uses Dante networked audio. To give the operators a stylish and comfortable working environment Broadcast Solutions designed and delivered custom-made furniture for the studio control rooms.

Post-production relies on Avid Nexis shared storage and Interplay Production Asset Management. The journalists and editors rely heavily on the MediaCentral | UX web-based editing system which creates on-the-fly streaming proxies from the high-res materials and enables basic editing for currently up to 15 journalists at the same time. The ability to work from the office desks or even from remote gives the editorial staff flexibility and shortens the turnaround times. Transcoding and file movement jobs are done with an FFASTRANS server farm which enables easily expandable operation. For on-location and on-site shoots, Switch TV relies on Sony PXW-X320 cameras together with Mobile Viewpoint 4G live streaming units.

Scheduling and planning the programs is done in Commlaude’s PlanAir channel management system. The non-live contents are played back from Playbox Airbox Neo channel-in-a-box servers. All the program materials are backed up with a Promax LTO archive. To give the staff proper monitoring of the channel and its competition, Broadcast Solutions installed a custom-made IPTV-system that processes SDI, DVB-T and DVB-S inputs. Besides the enterprise WIFI and CCTV solution Broadcast Solutions implemented a customised facility monitoring system that checks and reports line voltages, power usage, temperature and humidity.

With this HD TV-station in Nairobi and using the latest technologies and workflows, Broadcast Solutions enabled Switch TV to produce cutting-edge content for the East-African region.

Lawo V__matrix: Core of NEP Belgium’s new S8L HD/UHD truck

NEP Belgium has begun utilising its first OB truck from the Broadcast Solutions-developed Streamline OB van family. Unit 18, the newly added production vehicle, is an S8L and represents a new, IP-enabled variation for the Streamline family of OB vehicles. It is capable of working in both HD and UHD format and can handle up to 8 UHD or HD cameras. With new room concepts and additional inter-connectivity technology, the S8L offers more flexibility during productions and adapts to future IP-based workflows.

New to the S8L and the Streamline OB vans in general is the implementation of a Lawo V__matrix software-defined IP routing, processing and multi-viewing core which handles processing, de-/embedding and RGB colour correction of the signals. The S8L comes with two video stageboxes, each equipped with a Lawo V__link4 for IP video, audio and sync transport and A__mic8 units for additional network-based audio IO. The IP stageboxes provide four 3G/HD/SD SDI inputs and outputs in addition to its audio capabilities. Each stagebox is connected via a 2x10GbEthernet fiber to the V__matrix IP-Core. The system supports ST2110, ST2022-6/7 and Ravenna/AES67 streaming formats.

Providing overarching control is a VSM IP broadcast control system, which handles the IP stream management and oversees the complete installation including the Sony XVS6000 vision mixer, the Ihse KVM, the Lawo audio console and the Riedel intercom.

A Lawo mc²36 40-fader console with its compact size, its integrated router, in-built DSP and I/O meet all the requirements for 5.1 surround productions and workflows. For flexible audio connectivity one audio stagebox with Lawo’s mc² Compact I/O has been chosen to expand the mc²36’s connectivity. Connected via fiber, the ruggedized 5RU stagebox provides additional 32 Mic/Line inputs, 32 Line inputs, 8 AES I/Os and GPIOs in a AES67/RAVENNA transport mode. In addition, a DirectOut Montone 42 MADI to Audio-over-IP (RAVENNA) bridge provides seamless integration of network audio with the existing infrastructure.

“It was awesome to work with Lawo and Broadcast Solutions during the design of this truck. The level we achieved working with all the different engineering departments helped us to design the model-solutions of the future. Thanks to Lawo’s support and vision, we can start today producing over IP-networks”, says Geert Thoelen,Ttransition manager, NEP Belgium.

The NEP Belgium S8L truck is already out on the road, doing regular productions for Jupiler and Proximus League (1st and 2nd division football). Last weekend the truck produced the live transmission of the Graspop Metal Meeting in Dessel, Belgium, featuring acts like Guns N’ Roses, Marilyn Manson, Iron Maiden, Ozzy Osbourne and more.

Broadcast Solutions signs distribution agreement with Simplylive

Broadcast Solutions signs a distribution agreement with Simplylive. The German-based system integrator will handle all sales in several regions and countries. With the distribution deal, Broadcast Solutions will bolster the market entry and coverage of Simplylive’s cutting-edge products. After intensive market evaluation and projects with Simplylive products already implemented, Broadcast Solutions sees massive potential for the live production, replay server and video referee solutions in the live and sports broadcasting industry.

As part of the ongoing project to implement a UHD remote production centre for customer Streamteam Nordic, Broadcast Solutions uses Simplylive’s products in a large scale. The project will be ready for the production of the Finnish ice hockey with more than 500 matches per year, starting in season 2018/2019. Video refereeing will be done at the central location, using the Simplylive’s Ref&Box product. Simplylive’s servers will be used also for SuperMotion replays and digital recording.

Luc Doneux, managing director at Simplylive, on the distribution agreement said: “We are particularly excited to partner with Broadcast Solutions for these territories. They are bringing the local and technical expertise we need to reach all the customers of these regions.”

Antti Laurila, sales director at Broadcast Solutions, comments: “We are very happy to include the Simplylive products in our portfolio. With some installations going on right now the products proved their innovative power regarding future driven development and ease of use. We work closely together with several sports organisations and already see the power of the Simplylive products in ongoing installations. Therefore we are even more confident to supply our customers with future-proof solutions that make their work easier.”

The distribution deal includes the following countries:

  • Finland
  • Hungary
  • The Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania)
  • The CIS-countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan), Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Georgia
  • Russian Federation
  • Spain

Both companies will also work together with several sports organisations and in some other regions.

Simplylive is a technology company developing innovative solutions for the broadcast and digital industry. Simplylive solutions come with an innovative approach that breaks with the traditional blueprint and focus on intuitive, collaborative user experiences. Simplylive simplifies the learning curve with smart touchscreen UIs to allow the focus on the editorial for the highest production value. Applications and products range from digital master recorders to multi-camera servers for various applications:

  • Live All In One Production systems
  • Slow Motion / Replay servers
  • Video Refereeing systems
  • Digital recorders
  • Livestreaming

You can find more information on Broadcast Solutions on their website. Visitors of the Spanish broadcast trade show BIT Audiovisual, which takes place from 8 to 10 May in Madrid, will have the chance to see the Simplylive products at the Broadcast Solutions stand 7F20.

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