Rich feature set and versatility are key to meeting broadcaster’s requirements.
CTV Television Inc. recently signed agreements with Lawo North America to purchase and install a sizeable audio production system as part of an extensive facility upgrade that will transform an existing analog studio to full HD (high definition) capability. The agreement encompasses Lawo’s new 48-fader mc²56 digital production console, a 16-fader zirkon XL console, along with both Nova 73HD and Nova 17 routers. Delivery of the equipment is slated for October 2008, with scheduled completion by the end of the calendar year.
Overseeing the audio transition to HD video with embedded audio is David Craig, CTV’s Audio Maintenance Supervisor, whose responsibility it is to manage CTV’s day-to-day audio requirements, design and install the studios and control rooms, as well as maintain the facility’s intercom system.
According to Craig, “When the existing audio rooms were built, we had one ENG truck. We now have five and more are being built. As these trucks are upgraded, they will be capable of providing more and more audio paths. In addition to the live remotes from the trucks, the news also includes live reports from facilities outside this building. We expect that as the audio equipment is installed, many of the music elements will be in 5.1 surround sound instead of stereo.”
“These changes require a console with more inputs, more mix minus outputs for IFB’s and, at the same time, direct outputs from those same sources for monitoring,” Craig continued. “As this console has more power, the ability to use surround inputs and provide many more outputs, the mc²56 was a perfect match. Also, the compact, 48-fader form factor of the mc²56 made this console a good choice.”
Addressing the routing challenges in CTV’s large complex, the de-embedded audio (audio not carried as part of the HD video signal) will feed the Nova 73HD router, located adjacent to the video switcher in a separate equipment area. Stage boxes for microphones will also feed the Nova73 HD via MADI lines.
“With this arrangement,” said Craig, “the Nova 73HD is basically collecting inputs. The Nova 17 will serve as the interface to the intercom, so from the mc²56 console, we’ll send 8 aux feeds, 20 mix minus and 20 direct outputs, as well as some miscellaneous feeds to the Nova17. In similar fashion, the zirkon XL (which for us, will function more as a router than a console) will send 4 aux, 4 mix minus, 4 direct outputs, and other feeds to the Nova 17. The Nova 17 will have the ability to switch feeds from either console as necessary to the intercom. It will also switch microphone direct outputs from either console to the intercom - providing talent talkback or talent listen. The two consoles will be connected to the routers via MADI links, making installation much easier.”
When asked about those attributes that made Lawo the vendor of choice for CTV’s audio requirements, Craig pointed to Lawo’s ability to be flexible and responsive. “We’ve developed our own way of building systems and working with our equipment,” said Craig, “which is not necessarily the same way other people may choose to do so. Instead of Lawo telling us how we should use their products, they showed us how their equipment could integrate into our environment.”
Allan Morris, CTV’s Senior Vice President of Engineering, Operations, and Information Technology shares Craig’s enthusiasm about the forthcoming integration of Lawo equipment into CTV Toronto’s studio. “Lawo has a well-deserved reputation in the broadcast sector, and their attention to detail has impressed all of us here at CTV. They’ve demonstrated their products are up to the tasks we require and of equal importance; they’ve been very responsive to our questions. I believe this is a good foundation for the type of business relationship we need to have.”
CTV, Canada’s largest private broadcaster, offers a wide range of quality news, sports, information, and entertainment programming. It has the number-one national newscast, CTV National News With Lloyd Robertson, and is the number-one choice for prime-time viewing. CTVglobemedia Inc. is Canada’s premier multi-media company which owns CTV Inc. and The Globe and Mail. CTV Inc. also owns radio stations across the country, and leading national specialty channels. Other CTVglobemedia investments include an interest in Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, and in Dome Productions, a North American leader in the provision of mobile high definition production facilities. More information about CTV may be found on the company website atwww.ctv.ca