German public broadcaster Südwestdeutscher Rundfunk (SWR), based in Stuttgart, has installed RTW’s flagship SurroundControl 31900SD surround-sound monitoring controller in its top-of-the line FÜ2HD HD-enabled OB truck.
The SurroundControl 31900SD combines comprehensive analysis functions with high-level monitoring control, practical routing tasks and a host of analog and digital audio interfaces. Thanks to its flexibility, the SurroundControl 31900SD serves various applications in the complex SWR installation. For example, it serves as a key component of a sophisticated backup system, which provides an alternative signal flow in case the mixing desk or router fails.
The SWR FÜ2HD truck, which is primarily used for sports broadcasts and has covered events such as the 2008 European Football Championships, accommodates 12 cameras as standard and can handle an additional four cameras if needed. Featuring an internal usable width of four meters, the van is equipped with an Avid Unity MediaNetwork, three EVS systems providing a total of 12 video channels, a Lawo mc²66 digital console and a Pro Tools system including a D-Command controller. With 270 IP addresses in use, the truck's 17 workstations have access to 24 CPUs via CATCenter units.
The FÜ2HD also features a comprehensive backup system covering the complete signal flow from source to destination. Users can create a complete backup mix with up to 48 source channels using the Pro Tools system and the D-Command controller, thus bypassing the audio and the main console. It is also possible to use backup channels for monitoring and metering all critical signals to ensure that those key functions will still be available in case of a router or mixing desk failure. This scenario makes optimum use of the RTW SurroundControl 31900SD's analog, AES and SDI I/O capabilities as well as of its preset-controlled routing options. By simply pressing an emergency switch, the 31900SD control unit, located next to the D-Command, immediately takes over the audio monitoring control from the Lawo console. Furthermore, SWR is able to control the complete metering and monitoring setup of the RTW system via GPIs, and even the background color of the 31900SD's GUI changes to reflect the backup scenario being activated.
The SurroundControl 31900/31960 units comprise eight-channel integrated systems for complete visual and acoustic monitoring of surround and multichannel signals in professional production, post-production and broadcast environments. The integrated Surround Sound Analyzer allows for efficient processing of surround material up to and including the 7.1 format. The ITU BS.1771-compliant loudness metering function for stereo and surround signals comes as a standard feature. In addition, the flexible hardware concept with an integrated monitoring controller and analog and digital audio interfaces also provides sophisticated routing functions. For seamless workflow integration in TV production environments, RTW offers an optional HD/SD-SDI de-embedder interface and an integrated Dolby E and Dolby AC-3 decoder.