VSM centralises control at Nine Network
AUSTRALIA: Nine Network’s new purpose built facility in Adelaide has been installed with a large L-S-B VSM system to centralise and streamline facility-wide control. The system was supplied, configured and commissioned by Professional Audio & Television (PAT), who also supplied Lawo V_Pro8s for the embedding and de-embedding of audio and processing, as well as an RTW TM7 for audio monitoring in the main control room.
The VSM system interconnects with all of the site's primary broadcast systems – an Imagine Communications Platinum router fitted with SX Pro multiviewers, a Grass Valley K-Frame Karerra production switcher, an RTS Adam-M intercom matrix, VizRT’s Mosart Automation, IHSE Draco Terra KVM, Imagine Communications X100 and 6800 series gear, Ross Opengear UDC modular cards and Lawo V_Pro8s. This centralised control plane reportedly speeds up operational workflows, allowing for more time to be spent on content production.
‘VSM, through PAT, has been very proactive in assisting us with product development so we’ve ended up with a system that can be used throughout the Nine Network,’ offered Nine Network’s technology manager in Adelaide, Don Dyson. ‘PAT has good local expertise which has been crucial to developing a system from the ground up for our new station that suits our operational and technology requirements. This has been a new system to us and as our needs and expertise grow we can see VSM becoming more central to our day-to-day operations.’
According to PAT, an example of this synergy lies in the Master Control Room, ‘where processing of inbound signals via Lawo V_Pro8s became simplified into a single page of the VSM panel offering the parameters that Nine needed at their fingertips, such as frame syncs, format conversion, embedding, de-embedding, RGBY Proc Amp control, and up to eight frames of delay and indents. VSM streamlines operations by routing any processing channel to black, and therefore resetting the entire Proc Amp ready for its next use'. Similar workflows were reportedly achieved in the control room with delegation lines being able to disconnect hybrids and reset intercom gains upon switching a delegation line to black.
The VSM system also offered the broadcaster a centralised control position for a Talent Operated Studio (TOS), meaning that the entire studio could be set up with a single button press. VSM was also setup to operate Ross OpenGear UDC cards as a standby vision mixer via VSM that would switch in sync with the Grass Valley K-Frame via Mosart. PAT explained that ‘the advantage of using VSM in this application was that it removed the need for expensive standby vision switchers, while still offering expanded input selection and DSK control from the Co-Pilot’s seat via either a touchscreen or a hardware panel.
Furthermore, there was also a requirement to control the new facility’s Dante networks through traditional XY-style motor panels, leading L-S-B to implement Dante IP network control to its list of over 300 integrated protocols. According to PAT, this integration of baseband and IP routing workflows results in ‘a truly future-proofed control layer where the operator becomes detached from the engineering complexities’.
‘As I look back over building our new facility, I believe we could not have achieved what we have, in the timeline we had, without VSM,’ added Mr Dyson. ‘VSM has certainly provided us with a way forward in both control and monitoring of our studio facilities, and it has become pivotal to the running of our site. As VSM is installed at other Nine sites around Australia, I see it being a network integration tool that will enable us to have better control and monitoring, both locally and remotely of facilities.’