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MBC Radio Upgrades With DHD Audio Production Mixers

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DHD SX2 audio production mixing consoles and an XC3 IP audio core have been chosen by Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) for installation at its headquarters in Moka near the national capital, Port Louis, and on Rodrigues Island.

MBC selected Eurocom Broadcast as its project partner following an open invitation for tenders. Based at Roissy-en-Brie near Paris, Eurocom has a quarter century of experience in designing and providing radio studio systems for broadcast channels and networks.

The MBC Radio project comprised a total of nine studios plus the master control room and was co-ordinated by Jesus Vazquez, Eurocom’s commercial director. A team of five Eurocom technicians led by Gary Hartard integrated the new systems at the Moka site before progressing to Rodrigues Island. Audio engineer Paul Chevré configured the MCR and the DHD mixers.

Four of the studios are equipped for self-op control, each sourcing from four microphones (presenter and three guests). The largest studio sources from seven microphones (presenter and six guests) and can also be used for music performances. The Moka site comprises four open-space studios plus three studios with individual control rooms and guest suites. The Rodrigues facility consists of a live transmission studio augmented by a second studio which is used both as a backup and recording suite. Eurocom also integrated a VPN connection to allow efficient data synchronisation between servers at the Mauritius and Rodrigues Island sites.

"We chose DHD SX2 mixers for their ease of operation, physical robustness, versatile configurability and high signal quality," commented Arvind Lobind, MBC technical manager. "They are also very space efficient which is an important factor in any broadcast control room or presentation suite. Each of the SX2 consoles is connected to a DHD XC3 IP core which performs the signal processing and Audio over IP interfacing. The system includes WinMedia automation and NeoGroupe NeoSIP telephone interview management software, both of which are compatible with DHD. The Eurocom team dismantled, re-equipped, tested and recommissioned each studio on an incremental basis before starting on the next. Eurocom also provided training to ensure that our operators, presenters and technical support staff were fully confident to work with the new system."

Established in 1964, MBC Radio broadcasts in a total of 12 languages, including English, French, Creole and Hindi. The network’s output includes three FM channels (Best FM, Kool FM and Taal FM) as well as two AM channels (Radio Maurice and Radio Mauritius). MBC Radio also transmits online. In 2005 MBC became the first public television broadcaster in Africa to launch digital terrestrial television channels. The network relocated from its former headquarters to Moka in 2011 where it now employs a 150-strong administration, production and technical support team.

Developed for use in on-air radio and television studios, master control rooms and OB vehicles, the DHD SX2 console is based on a four-fader central module. Integral display screens allow operators to see exactly how their console is performing both from connectivity and signal level perspectives. The central module gives access to the most important audio inputs and outputs. A microphone input and headphone output are included, and loudspeakers can be connected directly to this unit. The consoles can be expanded by adding one or more module with six motorised faders each. Central and fader modules each incorporate a 10.1 inch multi-touch display showing relevant configuration and operating parameters. Functions such as loudness metering and talkback to other DHD mixers are also supported.

DHD's XC3 IP core is designed for use in on-air studios. It comprises two dual-core DSP modules which combine into 1U. These jointly support up to 48 stereo faders, 72 stereo buses and 16 channels of AES67 IP audio. IPx expansion modules can be added to accommodate 128 channels of AES67/Ravenna IP audio in/out plus up to 512 Dante channels. A companion module, the XC3 Concentrator, allows easy interconnection of multiple DHD IPx modules, control surfaces and I/O modules.

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