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ETC dimming and control for Dubai sports channel

Studio F is Dubai Media Inc’s latest television studio to benefit from a complete technical refurbishment.
Accommodating seven sets and often broadcasting up to four live sports shows per day, seven days a week, the studio counts on staff skills and technical infrastructure that are second to none. This makes replacing familiar equipment with new all the more complex and relies on the unwavering back up of the manufacturer and installer in the early stages of transition.
Continuing its trend to provide state of the art dimming and networked lighting control systems to TV studios around the world, ETC, via its UAE distributor Oasis Enterprises L.L.C, has provided a fully networked dimming and control system for Studio F, along with suitable training and support for the studio staff concerned.
Basel Al Aref, Manager of the Professional Projects Division at Oasis Enterprises, describes the system: “We installed 144 channels of ETC Sensor dimming, three ETC Sensor CEM+ processing units and, initially, one Congo control console. The console offers 3,072 control channels, which are patchable up to 6,144 DMX outputs. The system also comprises seven ETC plug-in stations with three network and four DMX outputs each, so that the studio will be able to do any level of multimedia production it needs.”
Studio F was officially launched late in December 2005. The senior lighting engineer and designer for the Studio, Ziad Haddad, was so satisfied with the control platform that, almost immediately, he invested in a second Congo. These sales signified the first and second purchases of the console in the Middle East.
Haddad said: “We have six plug-in stations distributed around the Studio walls and one in the gallery. These stations offer the advantage of positioning the console anywhere in the studio. We can therefore program the lights from the studio floor without any worries about pulling any control cable. One Congo is positioned in the gallery and the second one in the studio. The gallery console acts a server whilst the studio console acts as a client or slave for back up purposes.”
Because of its busy schedule and various sets, Studio F utilises a diverse range of lighting fixtures. These include numerous DeSisti fresnels and Soft lights, a plethora of moving lights, MiniCity 150s from Studio Due and various short nosed PAR Cans. With such a complex rig and punishing schedule Haddad needs to be confident that nothing is left to chance. Because most of Studio F’s broadcasts are live, the console operators cannot afford to be anything but fully conversant with the control system from the outset.
Having never used Congo previous to its installation, the programming staff spent five days in training. Haddad said: “The operators learnt very quickly. They are particularly enthusiastic about the speed with which complex cue sequences can be built and the shortcut facilities available. The back up and training that ETC provided, through Oasis Enterprises, definitely gave us the confidence to deal with any problem that might arise, quickly and efficiently.”
Studio F offers a total working area of 1000sqm. Aside from the seven different sets for the live sports channel broadcasts, the studio offers the flexibility to position a further set in the centre of the studio should it be so required. The studio therefore requires as flexible and adaptable a dimming system as possible. However with restricted storage capacity and the need to synchronize Studio F’s existing dimmers with the new system, it was clear a compact cabinet size was going to be necessary.
The studio is now fully commissioned and Haddad and the sports channel management team are very proud of the result.

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