Toronto, Ontario, Canada – June 24, 2008 … 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 (Südwestrundfunk, “Southwest Broadcasting”) that’s responsible for transmitting the sound and images from its HDTV OB truck FÜ2HD – in which an mc²66 console from Lawo resides at the nerve center of operations.
The Lawo desk boasts 140 microphone inputs, 192 DSP channels and 56 faders, while 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 parceled 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 are provisions for sixteen. It can also be connected via fiber-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 manner, 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 (Consortium of public-law broadcasting institutions of the Federal Republic of Germany) reports cover things like the national squad’s training sessions, whilst the lakeside studio on Lake Maggiore complements these with interviews and additional bulletins on the team. In all, the ARD, and ZDF (public service German television broadcaster Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen) have committed around 950 of their employees to cover EURO 2008 (the two broadcasters take turns broadcasting 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.
Lawo is a manufacturer of digital audio networking systems and consoles for a wide range of applications from small to large scale audio production in television and radio, post production, and live sound. Established in the 1970s, the company’s manufacturing center is located in the Rhine valley town of Rastatt, Germany. For information on all Lawo products, visit the company online at www.lawo.ca.