C2S Systems builds integrated studio complex in Kenya for SuperSport, MNET

C2S Systems, the broadcast System Integration arm of WTS Group, has completed installation of a new studio complex with post-production facilities for MNET and SuperSport in Kenya. The four-studio complex has been designed for flexibility to support production both of MNET’s new prime-time drama-serial titled “Kona”, as well as presentation of SuperSport for east African sports events. Along with MultiChoice Africa and M-Net, SuperSport is a wholly owned subsidiary of the MIH Group of multinational media group, Naspers.

Positioned over two buildings in Nairobi, Kenya, the four studios are supported by two control rooms, nine post production suites, two QC suites and ICR Central Distribution. MCR and uplink facilities are currently being designed.

With completely file-based production workflows, in two different and separate production environments, there were some considerable technical challenges in the integration. The two control rooms were carefully designed to meet the challenging brief, providing both flexibility and suitability for the different types of production.

The editing platforms are Avid Media Composer and Protools, plus Final Cut Pro. EVS IP Director was used to provide asset control, and the C2S designed touch-screen router control helped simplify routing operations for studio staff whilst allowing instant status of all paths. Twelve camera channels were installed across the studios — eight for the SuperSport studios and four for "Kona" with provision for an additional four in future.

Control One included a tiered layout for a production team of up to 18 people, working with five VTR / SSD decks, eight HD Sony camera channels, an eight-channel EVS XT3 with two EVS IP Director production positions, two channels of production graphics, separate audio control area and work stations for two producers. From here, studios 1, 2 and 3B can be controlled, depending on requirements of the production. Control Two is the main control area for "Kona" and controls studios 3A, 3B and exterior sets. The space was designed specifically for a drama team and split into three areas for production, vision and audio. It includes control of three VTR/SSD decks, four HD camera channels, a four-channel EVS NANO XS with two EVS IP Director production positions.

The facilities were pre-built and tested in C2S’s Leeds workshop in the UK, before final installation on site while the studio buildings were being refurbished. C2S provided systems design, installation, equipment supply and custom-made technical furniture for the project, as well as on-site IT infrastructure. C2S Systems also supplied technical support contracts, so provided remote support capabilities to allow access to, and management of, all technical networks by both C2S Systems and manufacturer technical support staff.

The studios went into full operation in mid June 2013.