25. January 2022 Mark

SWR relies on Ross LCS for Rhineland-Palatinate state parliament studio

Südwestrundfunk (SWR) has commissioned MCI to modernize the multimedia production of Rhineland-Palatinate’s state parliamentary sessions. The Lightning Control System LCS from Ross Video is used in conjunction with the Graphite All-In-One production system, also from Ross Video.

Reporting on the Rhineland-Palatinate state parliament sessions is one of the journalistic tasks of SWR’s Rhineland-Palatinate state broadcasting directorate, which is based in Mainz. The remodeling of the state parliament building has resulted in changes in the general conditions for production. Due to the new framework conditions and to take into account technical innovations in the transmission possibilities, production will in future be carried out remotely from SWR’s state broadcasting center in Mainz.

Ulrich Schneider, Project Manager at SWR: “Our focus was on making the new control room simple and intuitive, or smart to operate. After a lengthy evaluation of systems on the market, we decided on the Ross systems that are now being used.”

For this purpose, a remote control room was installed at SWR Funkhaus Mainz. The technical core is a Ross Graphite system, which provides the basis for an efficient and smart production environment. User-friendly video switching is provided by a Ross Carbonite Black mixer and a Ross RAVE audio breakout module as a counterpart for intuitive and fast audio editing. The technical furniture was made by Studio Hamburg Design Works.

The software-based control of the technology in the state parliament takes place via the Ross DashBoard. The real-time graphics are created and played out via the XPression software installed on the Graphite. Likewise, this graphics system offers two integrated clip players and a recorder. In conjunction with Ross’ LCS (Lightning Control System) GUI, intuitive control of the entire live broadcast is enabled by a simple user interface even in “one-person operation”, turning SWR’s new remote control system into an efficient control center. Automated control of the Sony BRC-H800 PTZ cameras is provided by Ross’ Sony Camera DashBoard panel, which is controlled by the LCS system. Up to four cameras with three presets per seat can be offered to the operator by LCS.

To ensure smooth signal communication between the control room and the state parliament of Rhineland-Palatinate, a CWDM Mux-16 multiplexer and two modular BarnOne matrices from Barnfind were integrated. In the future, these matrices will transmit the video and audio signals via two fiber-optic ring lines between the state parliament building and the state broadcasting center.

Gunnar Franke, Project Manager MCI: “Due to the very good planning of SWR in advance and thanks to Ross’ concepts, there were no unpleasant surprises during the modernization. The cooperation of the entire project team was also absolutely outstanding.”

A LAWO Power Core is used for the integration of the radio. For remote production, VisTool MK2 Unlimited sapphire software was customized to meet the specific production requirements for reporting from the state parliament.

In addition, a commentator area with a Marshall camera and a CCP1116 commentator unit from Riedel in mobile stage boxes was installed in the state parliament. This makes it even easier to report from the floor.

The new smart control center began remote operation at the start of the 2021 state legislative sessions.