When TV3 launched in 1998, it became Ireland’s first commercial broadcaster. Today, it remains the country’s only commercial station, operating three platforms — TV3, 3e and TV3.ie — and enjoys around 25 percent of overall viewership. TV3 presently has two fully functioning studios, with two more currently being built — and it was to equip its new 464.5sq m HD studio, which will be used mainly for light entertainment and factual entertainment shows, that the broadcaster recently purchased a 42-fader HARMAN Studer Vista 5 M2, along with four Vi Compact stageboxes.
The M2 upgrade to the popular Vista 5 provides the addition of TFT metering; this is capable of displaying signal levels from mono through to 5.1 channels on each input, with a user-configurable lower area.
The station opted to invest in Studer technology for the first time, based on both price and facilities — in particular the 32/16 fiber stage boxes, according to Jose de Freitas, TV3 CTO, and Simon Dowling, head of engineering. But their decision was made only after they had reviewed a number of alternate console options.
Sound engineer John Mullen explains that the Vista 5 M2 will initially be deployed for all recordings and live shows in the HD studio. “It has already featured on a late political panelist series, a light entertainment series, and as a ‘front-of-house’ desk when the studio is used as a live venue.” Aside from its use both with and without audiences, the desk is currently deployed on a 10-part factual entertainment series.