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New router at ZDF in Germany adds flexibility to news production

German national public TV broadcaster Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF) has deployed a Utah Scientific UTAH-400 digital routing switcher at the core of its new 24/7 news studio in Mainz.

The facility uses virtual studio technology and a flexible routing architecture to enable production crews to switch quickly between sets for ZDF's flagship news programs, including "Heute News," "Heute-Journal," "Mittagsmagazin," "Wochenjournal," "Logo" and "Blickpunkt."

For maximum flexibility, almost all of the studio's components, including studio cameras, video mixers, chroma keyers, linear keyer, and graphics and monitoring systems, are routed through the UTAH-400. The router is configured with 400 x 576 crossover points, which can be upgraded to 576 x 576.

The system architecture allows ZDF to avoid making direct connections between equipment in the studio. As a result, the broadcaster has the oppotunity to not only switch quickly between setups for each program, but also to create new configurations easily as needs change. In the event of a failure of any studio component, ZDF staff can use the routing switcher to quickly crossmix. For example, the broadcaster can reroute all inputs to the video switcher or outputs to the graphics system, or connect equipment in one studio with another.

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