Skip to main content

ZDF used MediorNet to broadcast Germany's Presidential Elections

While the voting for the next President of Germany took place in front of the cameras, behind the scenes MediorNet from Riedel Communications, one of the leading manufacturers of intercom and fiber technology, provided a real-time network to flexibly distribute and route video signals between OB trucks and the Reichstag.

The German public television network ZDF ordered a comprehensive MediorNet network for broadcasting the election of the German President on May 23rd. As part of the installation, eight different locations around the Reichstag were connected through fiber cabling. To integrate the frames, about 5 kilometers of fiber were installed. The setup consisted of 17 MediorNet mainframes equipped with 77 SD-I/O media cards. 32 MN SD12I input and 45 MN SDO output cards provided 92 inputs and 90 outputs for SD signals. Riedel provided connections to integrate the digital video router of the OB trucks and one of the SNG trucks via RS-422 interfaces.

The MediorNet network connected two OB trucks, two DGN trucks as well as several locations within the Reichtag including the plenary chamber. In addition, ZDF’s control room and the stage in front of the Brandenburg Gate were also integrated into the MediorNet network. MediorNet’s point-to-multipoint functionality made any video signal available at any point of the installation. This allowed the videowall production and the live broadcast of the election to use the same signals, which were made available through the same infrastructure.

Due to its open network topology, MediorNet could be closely adapted to the local demands. The ZDF installation used ring, daisy chain and star topologies. The signals were seamslessly exchanged between the different topologies.

“Although MediorNet was first presented just a couple of weeks ago, we decided for Riedel’s new fiber solution. Riedel is renowned for providing rock solid and flexible installations. The amount of time needed for setup using MediorNet was reduced significantly – a crucial factor in such a complicated and time sensitive installation as the broadcast of an election. So it was clear to us, that we want to use MediorNet for the event. We were really pleased to use tomorrow’s technology today,” said Rolf Decker, Chief Technician at ZDF.

The Riedel Rental department set up the MediorNet installation. Despite the tight the schedule, the production was quick and easy. Only seven days passed between the order and the event itself.