L-S-B’s VSM takes control at Doha Broadcast Centre
QATAR: L-S-B’s Virtual Studio Manager (VSM) has recently been implemented to function as a one-solution control system at the now-complete studio facility in Doha. Part of a major modernisation project that started in 2012 and undertaken by Qatar TV, the new Broadcast Centre boasts a Master Control Room (MCR), Central Apparatus Room (CAR), a 450sq-m News Studio, a 1,013sq-m Production Studio, Edit Studios and two OB trucks.
Working independently from hardware manufacturers, the VSM integrates in the studio facility and controls the existing hardware. Sony Professional Solutions MEA handled the systems integration, and key among the equipment suppliers were Grass Valley, Sony, Miranda, Riedel, L-S-B and Lawo.
The project also marked the launch of the Qatar Television Support & Development Committee, making TVSDC project manager and consultant engineer, Samer Younes, an important part of the proceedings: ‘We wanted to build a world-class playout centre that is flexible and supports evolving requirements,’ he said. ‘We wanted it to use the latest service orientated architecture and to be enabled for future technical growth.
‘All of the companies worked in one place and worked in a professional way, even though they are competitors,’ he added. ‘It was a pleasure to deal with such professional teams.’
‘L-S-B was instrumental in getting the system up and running, providing an impeccable installation, professional training and world-class after sales support,’ said Abdulkarim Sabbagh, operation manager.
‘It has to be easy to control all systems, easy to configure at the preparation stages and secure to use for live programmes,’ said Mr Younes. ‘The main reasons to implement VSM as the overall control tool was its flexibility and interoperability with all our different equipment due to its hardware manufacturer independence as much as the reliability and ease of use in daily usage,’ added Mr Sabbagh.
Key to this aspect of the specification is the use of the L-S-B Broadcast Technologies VSM to centralise and simplify operation of the MCR’s Miranda NVision routers (with integrated multi-viewers), three Sony MVS8000 switchers, three Lawo mc266 digital audio mixing consoles and a Riedel intercom system. VSM handles all tally and UMD requirements, tieline and router control management, monitor wall setup, audio routing control and modular gear parameter control.
‘I had good experience of VSM when I used it in the Al-Kass Arabic language sports TV project,’ Mr Younes explained. ‘I know the benefit of the power of this system, and for this reason we specified it for TVSDC.’
The VSM system configured for use in the TVSDC is fully redundant incorporating VSM’s server cluster logic. A variety of VSM hardware LCD and rotary control panels were deployed including three VSM LBP51 panels, 12 LBP33e panels, three LBP 17 panels and three LBPB-32 Sony-style panels which are used as emergency switcher panels. Three GPIO32 interfaces and 55 Under Monitor Displays (UMDs) are also included in the system design.
‘The major goal in our efforts was relaunching the prestigious historic Qatar TV with a new image and state of the art workflows, which we accomplished. We are very happy with VSM as the main control tool and for all planned expansions (studios and control rooms) we will be partnering with L-S-B to install VSM,’ said Mr Sabbagh.
Providing a mix of general entertainment and Qatar news, the Broadcast Centre is now complete and OB units are operational. ‘All systems are ready, training programmes are finished and we are on air as planned,’ Mr Younes confirmed.