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SRG Relies On Commentary Control Room Solution

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Swiss public broadcaster SRG relies on a new, revised, decentralised Commentary Control Room solution, developed jointly by the Swiss broadcaster with Broadcast Solutions.

The systems integration specialist Broadcast Solution realised the latest concept by incorporating the necessary technology and various connection possibilities into a compact vehicle. Equipped with a 4-wheel drive, air conditioning, UPS, cable drums and equipment, the new production tool, called COSMO, weighs less than 3.5 tonnes and offers a maximum of workflows and equipment in the smallest possible space.

SRG is pursuing several goals with the vehicle: COSMO will be used to support remote productions. In a future step, remote access to commentary units from the mobile control room will also be possible. The vehicle offers teams on location more flexibility to run parts of the programme independently. On the technology aspect, compatibility with SRG production formats (audio/video / IP) and connection to the unilateral broadcasters’ home studios (Internet, WAN, stadium) are of the highest importance.

COSMO (Commentary System Mobile) vehicle is a multipurpose tool. Primarily, it is designed as a mobile commentary control room that collects commentary signals from venues, processes them and then forwards them to OB vans, SNGs or data lines. However, the vehicle can also be used as a technical operation centre. In this case, the focus is on receiving and distributing audio and video signals to broadcast networks, WAN connections or IT networks and the Internet. For different purposes, the necessary equipment is installed temporarily. However, the required connections and cabling are already provided.

Philippe Leuenberger, Head of OPS, Production & Technology | OPS at SRG, commented: "We are very pleased to use a conceptually mature and convincing working tool for our productions. Thanks to the professional work of Broadcast Solutions, the outcome of our concept and its technical execution is impressive!"

To be as flexible as possible when used as a commentator interface, the vehicle is equipped with a range of connection panels and linking options. With up to three people, the processing and distribution of signals (audio, video and data) and the quality assurance and monitoring of commentary positions are done in the vehicle. Therefore, two permanent workstations and an additional temporary workstation are realised using an extra desk and a rotating passenger seat. Many routing options are possible via an extensive plugboard.

COSMO's interconnectivity is ensured via a Riedel Mediornet MicroN system plus NetInsights Nimbra solution. The audio/video network is implemented via Mediornet and provides connectivity and signal distribution in the broadcast network. Three remote audio/video stageboxes can be connected to the vehicle for signal pickup. Riedel’s decentralised router solution processes a maximum of 72x72 HD-SDI video signals, including the corresponding audio tracks (embedding and de-embedding), with MircoN units in the vehicle and the stageboxes. NetInsight’s Nimbra system provides signal transmission via the Internet or GbE line. The audio network rests on the Dante format managing up to 220x228 audio signals. All audio signals coming from the commentary stations are collected, controlled and processed in the vehicle. For this purpose, a DHD mixer plus software panel, effects, and monitor are available. A monitor wall and video measuring devices are in place for monitoring the video signals.

All signals can be linked via connection panels and cable solutions at the car’s rear. Also, five MTP multicore fibre cable drums (200 m) are available at the back. The vehicle’s critical infrastructure and electrical system are designed for optimal, intuitive operation and remain in the background. Therefore, the users can concentrate on their editing and engineering tasks. To react in case of an emergency, a UPS is integrated into the vehicle, providing enough power to run the complete audio/video system for 15 minutes.
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