Calrec’s compact, high-performance Brio console goes on the road with New Zealand’s WhitebaitMedia

The show airs live at 8am each Sunday during a non-advertising time in New Zealand on TVNZ 2. It’s also part of Television New Zealand’s South Pacific Service that sees the show broadcast on a number of Pacific Islands.

The two hours consist of “fun, mess, games, mess, skits and more mess” according to Tim Murdoch, Technical Manager at production company WhitebaitMedia, all in front of a live studio audience. The show regularly hosts celebrities and live performances of all types.

Murdoch said, “We’ve been producing ‘What Now’ for 14 years in Christchurch, Starting in TVNZ’s studio and moving into our own studios in 2009. When we decided to take the show on the road, we needed to build an OB truck and find equipment that would fit inside a small space without compromising on quality.”

WhitebaitMedia is a full-service production house, based in Christchurch, and it chose Calrec’s Brio36 compact audio console for its new 26- foot mobile production unit. This is Whitebait’s first purchase of a Brio and first Calrec purchase ever. The installation was managed by Australia-based Synchrotech Systems, which installs a range of broadcast equipment across the radio, TV, film and outside broadcast sectors.

Murdoch continued, “Due to its size, our current audio console was deemed too big, and it was starting to show its age. To replace it, I began the search for a new audio console. Like most people looking for a lower budget compact audio console, I looked at options from the live PA market. However, these lacked the power and flexibility that a show like ‘What Now’ requires, where no two shows are the same and the script is more of a guideline. The Calrec Brio was the logical choice because it was the only one to offer the power and flexibility of a larger broadcast console but at the budget and size of the smaller consoles normally fitted in small-to-medium OB trucks.”

Murdoch added, “We were immediately taken with Brio’s features; it has excellent built-in loudness meters and its detailed metering means we don’t need to purchase extra meters. It also has an impressive number of faders, so our operators have access to everything, which is really useful for a show like ‘What Now’ that doesn’t follow a dedicated script. The Brio also allows each of our operators to set up their own user file, as well as show template files, and this is a real bonus when using multiple freelance operators.”

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Anthony Harrison, International Sales Manager, Calrec said, “We’ve achieved considerable success over the years in the Antipodes and it’s an important region for us. We’re delighted that WhitebaitMedia is taking advantage of the powerful capabilities of our Brio36 console for its new OB truck. We designed Brio with versatility in mind and to work across a myriad of broadcast applications, with mobile trucks being a key example of where Brio really shines as a compact yet powerful console.”

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NEP chooses Custom Consoles desks for Sweden’s largest television production facility

The project was performed in cooperation with one of Europe’s largest system integrators, Broadcast Solutions GmbH.

“Custom Consoles has a proven excellent reputation for high build quality, good ergonomics, attractive styling and close attention to details such as cable management,” says NEP Sweden’s technical director Jens Envall. “It was also able to deliver within the very demanding time schedule. The new control rooms replace OB vehicles which were previously used for technical supervision of three studios, Studio 1 being the largest in Sweden. The complete system is designed to operate in HD and UHD.

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“All five desks are based on our Module-R series but specified with greater than usual worktop depth,” adds Custom Consoles’ sales manager Gary Fuller. “The two largest desks are 5.154 metres wide with 10 3U-high sloping-front equipment bays positioned along the desktop rear. These are assigned as front and rear control desks for the production gallery. A GVG Karrera vision switcher control panel is set into to front desk.”

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“The third desk is a 3.1 metre wide unit with six 4U-high sloping equipment bays, deployed to control incoming camera feeds. This includes a support frame accommodating a four-wide by two-high monitor array mounted direct to the rear of the desk.”

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“Desks four and five are a mirror-image design configured as left and right audio control workstations. Each of these is 2.1 metres wide and equipped with two 3U-high sloping-front equipment bays. All five desktops are finished in a leatherette effect laminate. Side panels are in oak-veneered MDF with a stained finish.”

The new facility is Sweden’s top location for productions of large programmes with up to 1,600 spectators, including nationwide hits. Broadcast Solutions implemented the ambitious project within just two months, from the start of detailed planning to commissioning. It includes 200 square metres of space, two large production desks, eight 55 inch multi-viewers, one 5.1 audio room, one engineering room and a central apparatus room. First show produced in the new facility was Stjärnornas stjärna (Star stars) on March 17, managed with complete success.

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Hybrik Announces Support for NAGRA NexGuard Forensic Watermarking

Hybrik, Inc. announced its cloud-based media processing now supports the embedding of NAGRA NexGuard forensic watermarks into on-demand content.

NAGRA is the world’s leading independent provider of content protection and multiscreen television solutions. NAGRA NexGuard forensic watermarking protects high-value content against illicit redistribution throughout its entire lifecycle, which encompasses Pre-Release, Digital Cinema, B2B, and B2C distribution. Hybrik customers can now include watermark embedding as part of their complete cloud media workflow.

“Performing watermarking in the cloud allows for a major increase in scale for our clients,” said Jean-Philippe Plantevin, NAGRA Vice President Anti-Piracy. “Utilizing cloud processing removes the on-premise bottleneck and allows for watermarking to be applied to a far greater percentage of media assets.”

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“One of the most requested features we have had is forensic watermarking,” said David Trescot, CEO of Hybrik. “NAGRA NexGuard forensic watermarking allows our customers to add a layer of security to their assets as they move through the distribution pipeline.”

Hybrik is one of the largest transcoding vendors in world, servicing companies like Sony DADC, Vevo, and Dolby. The Hybrik service is based on Amazon’s AWS cloud platform, and provides transcoding, analysis, and quality control to deliver superb video optimized for every screen.

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GatesAir supports Norway’s transition to DAB radio

GatesAir, a global leader in wireless, over-the-air content delivery solutions for radio and TV broadcasters, has shipped over 1,100 transmitters in support of the transition to DAB Radio by Norway’s commercial and public broadcasters.

maxiva-vax-powersmart-3d-vhf-transmitter-right-angleThe final shipments will take place over the coming weeks, bringing the total to 1218 transmitters deployed. The transition is completed just months after Norway’s pioneering analog FM Radio switch-off. The final national FM Radio signals — many local FM stations remain on the air — vacated the airwaves in mid-December, concluding an 11-month sunset that broadcasters worldwide have been closely watching.

The move to all-digital radio in Norway offers a blueprint for other countries considering FM switch-offs. Foremost, the spectrum efficiencies of DAB Radio have initially expanded listener options from a single FM station – Lyden av Norge – to 15 unique, high-quality digital radio channels that appeal to different audiences and age groups. That multichannel capability will open new revenue opportunities, including advertising and other promotional initiatives that can be strategized across different channels. The transition has also improved audio quality and coverage across approximately 320,000 square kilometers of wildly diverse geographical terrain.

The move to DAB Radio will also significantly lower operational costs by up to eight times the operational costs of FM Radio. That savings will be further amplified after the network migrates content distribution to EDI, a highly efficient IP-based protocol supported both by GatesAir and within the DAB Radio standard.

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DAB desktop radio

GatesAir has been involved in Norway’s DAB Radio activity since the nation’s first tests in 1994. Upon the Norwegian government’s 2011 approval to switch off FM radio, GatesAir helped to accelerate the site planning and systems design process, and worked closely with partners to set a site-by-site delivery schedule. A pair of redundant GatesAir Maxiva VAX air-cooled transmitters ranging from 50 Watts to 5 kW support over-the-air content delivery from most sites. Upon the delivery of the final transmitters, which includes low-power models, GatesAir will officially be the exclusive transmitter supplier for the world’s most extensive digital radio network.

“Our work in Norway has spanned over two decades to ensure that the exacting specifications of the network and delivery timelines were met in accordance with the Norwegian government’s mandate,” said Darren Frearson, Vice President of Sales, EMEA-APAC, GatesAir. “GatesAir’s modular transmitters were easily configured and rapidly deployed across the network. The compact footprint and small weight contributed to the rapid deployment which reached as many as 14 sites per week. We are thrilled to support such a groundbreaking and large-scale digital radio project that will serve as a time- and cost-efficient model for many future projects of a similar nature, and also brings many new opportunities to the broadcasters and listeners of Norway.”

The common platform and modular design of Maxiva VAX transmitters will allow engineers to manage a small inventory of common spare parts across all transmitters, regardless of power level.

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DAB Radio in car

This enables a streamlined maintenance strategy that delivers another operational cost savings to the network operator and the radio stations on the DAB network. Furthermore, the high-efficiency, solid-state designs of Maxiva VAX transmitters will reduce energy consumption and utility costs across the network.

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Kiwisat to Launch New DTH Offering in the Caribbean

WORK Microwave announced that satellite TV provider Kiwisat is using WORK Microwave’s DVB Satellite Broadcast Modulator for its new DTH offering in the Caribbean.

Fully compliant with all DVB standards, including the latest and most efficient DVB-S2X specification, WORK Microwave’s modulator will provide Kiwisat with increased reliability and service uptime for the distribution of its next-generation DTH service.

“We are excited to be the first DTH platform in North America to rely on DVB-S2X,” said Andrew Wang, CEO of Kiwisat. “Featuring an innovative feature set, robust design, and full DVB support, WORK Microwave’s modulator is the perfect solution to support our new service.”

WORK Microwave’s DVB-S2X Satellite Broadcast Modulator is one of the industry’s only solutions that comes predistortion-ready for automatic group delay and nonlinearity compensation. Using this capability, Kiwisat can mitigate the negative effects in satellite filters and amplifiers, while reducing power and increasing beam coverage, throughput, and availability. By supporting DVB-S2X extensions, WORK Microwave’s DVB-S2X modulator provides Kiwisat with a future-proof platform that offers smaller roll-offs, advanced filtering, and higher modulation schemes for increased efficiency gains.

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“Television choices in the Caribbean can be limited,” said Joerg Rockstroh, director, digital products at WORK Microwave. “Relying on a DVB-S2X platform, Kiwisat can boost its bandwidth efficiency and open up space for additional channels. This is a win-win situation, as it will enable subscribers to enjoy more high-quality content and increase profitability for Kiwisat.”

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