High Tech behind Old Walls
The new Swiss Parliament media centre opts for a sound control room with AURUS / NEXUS
Outdated technology, not enough workplaces: Journalists have suffered from bad working conditions at the Swiss parliament – the Bundeshaus (Federal House) – for quite a while. The same was true for the local production facilities used by the SRG (Swiss Broadcasting Service) which is responsible for broadcasts from the Bundeshaus. Yet this is to change now: A new centre for the media named Bundesmedienhaus is currently being erected in a 19th century building complex close to the parliament. After completion (scheduled for May 2006) the centre will house not only modern workplaces but also a new central multimedia-control room with an AURUS/NEXUS system. From this control room all video and audio will be made available for TV broadcasts in the future.
The core of the new control room is an AURUS with 32 channel strips, 80 audio channels, and 64 buses in a mainframe allowing the desk to be extended to 48 channel strips in future. A star-topology network of nine NEXUS base devices and a NEXUS STAR is used for routing all audio signals between the plenary assembly hall, the CCR, and the control room. A specialty about the installation is that the broadcast audio must be made available in multiple languages as German, Italian, French, and Rhaeto-Romanic is spoken in Switzerland. For that reason, a program feed mixed from the hall-microphone signals will first be created using the AURUS – an approach known from large international productions. The commentary voice-overs in the four languages will be added to the feed later. The four commentary signals are recorded directly to the audio tracks of the cameras, thus ensuring audio/video synchronicity also for subsequent mixdowns. The NEXUS SDI board is the perfect partner for this approach: »Using the XSDI board in the NEXUS allows for de-embedding the audio from the video stream, processing it, and re-embedding it to the video – without any latency. The ability of acting as de-embedder and embedder simultaneously and in real-time is one of the major benefits of the XSDI board,« says the managing engineer in charge of the project Sebastian Schmidt.