Russia’s RT television network turned to Lawo for a particularly extensive network to support its new studio complex in Moscow, where the state-run broadcaster has recently been equipping for HD transmission of its programming.
Previously known as Russia Today, RT has included studios for its English, Arabic, and Spanish channels, along with a Green Studio, Production Studio, and a Backup Studio in its new facility. The complex is a combination of modern architecture and classic industrial buildings, fully renovated and equipped with a state-of-the art technical installation.
The project got underway in November 2011 under contractor OKNO-TV, with Lawo subsequently being recruited to provide the heart of the audio infrastructure. Now fully operational, it represents a massive step forward over RT’s old studios. The broadcaster had been using Lawo zirkon consoles for production duties at its old facility and is now using no fewer than six Lawo mc²66 MkII main on-air/production consoles and three crystal desks for voiceover work, along with a Lawo Nova73 HD as its central I/O routing matrix and seven mxGUI servers providing additional remote GUIs.
The Nova73HD provides RAVENNA, AES3, MADI, and SDH/STM-1interfaces, and features a hot-plug capability and online configuration that allows reconfiguration and expansion of a system even during a live broadcast. Additionally, Lawo’s STAR² technology provides an exceptionally high level of redundancy and failsafe operation.
The Lawo system has been designed to offer rigorous redundancy, everywhere from the router and control system to its fully redundant signal paths. In addition, its extreme flexibility ensures that I/O resources are accessible from all of the studios and the control rooms with access rights management. This is achieved by connecting all I/O to both the Nova73 HD as well as all of the mixing consoles, while the control software presents it to look and feel like a local signal, regardless of its physical location. The Lawo network takes care of all tieline management and ensures that all tielines have an additional backup path available.
In detail, the audio infrastructure comprises five 48-fader mc²66MkII consoles, a 32-fader mc²66MkII console, and three eight-fader crystal consoles, as well as the Nova73 HD. The Nova73 HD router can handle up to 8192x8192 crosspoints, with the RT installation currently supporting currently 2816 in/output signals with up to 480 DSP channels.
Key to its operation is that a very large number of I/O resources are managed very simply, with snapshot portability making transfer of setups between production rooms particularly easy.