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The German Football Federation’s daily press conference from Tenero with Lawo equipment.

There’s been no shortage of talking points so far: arguments with the fourth official, German coach Joachim Löw’s touchline ban, Bastian Schweinsteiger’s red card and his tremendous comeback in the quarter final against Portugal; and then, of course, the usual transfer gossip… And when the journalists assemble just after 12 o’clock for the German Football Federation (DFB)’s daily press conference, it’s the SWR that’s responsible for transmitting the sound and images from its HDTV OB truck FÜ2HD ─ in which an mc²66 console from Lawo is at the nerve centre of operations.

The Lawo desk boasts 140 microphone inputs, 192 DSP channels and  56 faders, whilst the router with its redundant routing card offers 8,192 x 8,192 crosspoints. Four program paths are available making possible the simultaneous transmission of multiple feeds. In the event of a failure, backup is provided not only for the program and transmission paths but also for the monitor system and all auxiliary sends by Digidesign’s Pro Tools. The mc²66 is operated by two sound engineers. The user panel has been comprehensively pre-programmed and disposes over an audio-follows-video functionality. 170 GPIs are in operation, including virtual GPIs for the control of peripherals, fader starts and the like.

EURO 2008 marks the maiden voyage of FÜ2HD, the SWR’s latest HDTV outside broadcast vehicle. It is parcelled into two image control rooms and one sound control room that are being used in Tenero for the parallel production of national and international feeds. The FÜ2HD currently possesses twelve cameras but there is provision for sixteen. It can also be connected via fibre-optic cable to an ancillary OB truck in case the production calls for a  still greater technical outlay. When two trucks are linked in this way, twenty-four cameras can be operated simultaneously with the images and sound fully integrated.

In addition to the DFB’s daily press conference, the ARD’s reports cover things like the national squad’s training sessions, whilst the lakeside studio on Lago Maggiore complements these with interviews and additional bulletins on the team. In all, the ARD and ZDF have committed around 950 of their employees to cover EURO 2008 (the two broadcasters take it in turns to broadcast the matches live). On location in Tenero, there are some seventy radio and TV technicians alone. In all, somewhere between six and eight hours of live coverage of the championships are being broadcast daily.