Broadcast Solutions embarks on journey with Lawo
INDIA: Broadcast Solutions has been busy recently. Fresh from the completion of the ICC World Twenty20 competition in early April – broadcasting in 5.1 for the first time – and it immediately began preparing for the next outing, covering the Indian Premier League (IPL) spread across India and the UAE. Alongside the cricket the team will also be handling golf tournaments in Malaysia and Indonesia, before moving everything over to Brazil for the World Cup and then onto South Korea for the Asian Games. To cater for this increased workload, new Lawo mixing and routing systems have been added to the company’s inventory.
The story began with a contract secured in 2013 to provide production facilities for the 2013, 2014 and 2015 editions of the IPL. For the first tournament, the company fielded nine OB kits and purchased three Lawo mc²56 digital broadcast consoles, with a further six Lawo systems hired in for the job. This year, the production company provided all broadcast facilities – including cameras, EVS, comms systems, audio systems, video engineering equipment, vision mixers and the engineering crew – for the three venues in the UAE and the eight venues in India. In addition, the company has purchased six further Lawo mc²56 consoles with HD Cores and Dallis system I/O.
Explaining the choice of systems, Alex Prüstel, Broadcast Solutions deputy COO (Singapore), highlighted the flyaway nature of the operation. ‘We need a solution that gives us a surface that is not big, but allows access to all functionality of the system along with a router system that allows remote access via external controller, and at the same time, full access to the router from the surface,’ he said. ‘We also need to produce 5.1 surround audio without any additional effort and/or equipment.
‘In addition, we must be able to take productions from one system to another, even when the hardware configuration is not the same, and we require operational functionality that is almost self-explanatory, so we can use cricket specialists who might be not familiar with such complex systems,’ he added. ‘Using the system as a router and mixing system gives us high quality surround capabilities. It’s a good experience.’
On top of these requirements, the team must also allow for later expansion, if it should be required for other productions. Weight and size were also taken into account, as these affect shipping and production costs.
‘After we finished the ICC World Twenty20, we directly began production of IPL 2014, which will be held in UAE and India,' Mr Prüstel said. ‘We will use eight Lawo units – seven mc²56 consoles and one mc²90 – to make sure that we do deliver the same high quality from each venue.’
The IPL tournament will play out its first leg in the UAE, before moving to India for its second leg and grand final. This will involve setting up production facilities in a further seven or eight venues.
‘As cricket production needs a lot of know-how about the match, Lawo allows us to use fewer operators and move them around the venues,' Mr Prüstel explained. ‘This ensures that we produce all matches to the same level of quality and at the same standard.’
In addition to the audio systems, Broadcast Solutions has begun using a number of Lawo’s V_pro8 to provide an 8 x 8 video matrix, 384 x 384 audio matrix, and SDI embedding/de-embdedding.