SYSTEM INTEGRATION                 OBVAN                DSNG                STUDIOS                MCR                AUDIO ROOM                AND MORE....
         

Astro Radio Makes “High Stakes” Commitment to Lawo Virtual Mixing

Print Email

Installing a third generation of consoles in its radio studios, Kuala Lumpur’s Astro Radio has standardized on virtual studio technology from German broadcast innovator, Lawo.

 “We had to re-think how a studio broadcast console should be in a rapidly evolving commercial FM radio industry,” says Astro Radio Chief Technology Officer, Bala Murali Subramaney. 

Astro began operation in 1996 using a cutting-edge audio routing system and digital broadcast consoles custom manufactured to meet its specific technical requirements. By 2006, greater functionality was required to simplify studio workflows and to allow on-air talent to focus on content.

“We took the best features of our first console, analyzed common operator mistakes and asked for improvement suggestions, then we condensed this data into a comprehensive document and presented it as our mandate to Lawo – whose response was the Zirkon-2s modular broadcast console,” says Bala of its “second generation” of console. “The Zirkon-2s was simplicity personified in both form and function. For example, a press of a macro button could simultaneously record telephone calls, edit talksets and run an outside broadcast.”

This success has now taken Astro Radio to its third generation of console for new studios in Kuala Lumpur as, in 2017, the operation acquired two new radio stations and needed space for new on-air studios, producer workstations and equipment room – on top of its existing 13 on-air studios, seven news studios, three voice booths, eight audio production studios and edit suites, and six equipment rooms. Plans for the consoles and routing system were already in hand, when the station relocated to share premises with other Astro company divisions in order to accommodate its expanded studio requirements. 

“In mid-2016, we had begun sketching out plans for a virtual console, which would challenge the industry perception of a broadcast console,” Bala recalls. “We wanted to radically re-imagine what an on-air studio would look like, including what to fit inside the studio and what to leave out. The studio environment would impact how the on-air talent uses the technology inside the studio with the new virtual console as its focal point.

“Our mandate to the interior designer was to create designs for three on-air studios that were minimalistic, stunning, functional and meet Noise Criteria (NC) rating 20. We wanted designs that would inspire our on-air talent to deliver compelling content on-air and on-line for today’s radio.”

The mixing requirements were all met by Lawo’s Virtual Console, whose control surface is software, driven by a multi-touch interface on a high-resolution computer display, and which had been successfully the trialed in Astro Radio’s news room. Without the limitations of physical knobs, buttons and faders, the screen presents users with only relevant controls and information, hiding anything not needed for the task at hand.

Along with screen brightness and reliability – which the Virtual Console comfortably addressed – operational flexibility and cost had ranked high among Astro Radio’s concerns. “A great advantage of the Virtual Console is the cost-savings over physical consoles – there is no need to stock-up on console spare parts and accessories. It is also aesthetically more pleasing to the eyes, and gentle on the hands,” Bala says.

“In addition to the standard Virtual Console control features, Lawo’s VisTool-PC also shows all the virtual modules of both touchscreens – a user can control all channels, faders and buttons on the touchscreen from the VisTool-PC interface.” 

Astro Radio’s on-air talent is drawn from established online personalities with huge followings, allowing it to grow its radio listenership through on-line streaming and on social media platforms, as well as FM broadcasts. Presenters are not necessarily conversant with broadcast technology, however.

“Content managers expect new on-air talent to quickly build momentum, and get up to speed with listeners on social media regularly during their shifts – every day. There is very little time for training or familiarization with the technology in the studio,” Bala confirms. “The Virtual Console, therefore, had to be very simple and intuitive to use for first-timers.”

Use of the Virtual Console also offers a faster software development cycle: “We are able to develop new features and functionality both for default and user-specific snapshots. We can easily customize the console layout – or skins – re-design and re-size fader and button shapes and colors, incorporate macros and GPIO signaling. This flexibility gives us the freedom to explore new possibilities in console design paradigm. For example, we added more channel faders per screen and moved monitoring controls to a pop-up screen.

“We took a huge risk by implementing fully touchscreen Virtual Consoles, but from the faces of our on-air talent and their content managers, our ‘high-stakes’ gamble has paid off handsomely,” Bala concludes.

 

2022 386

Radio Free Europe - 4 IP-native audio consoles

ELEKTRONIKA in partnership with IVC and Lawo has just delivered and configured the largest ecosystem of Lawo audio consoles in SK & CZ region.Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFERL) based in Prague has put trust into the fastly evolving next-generation of…
2022 477

TV Markiza - Broadcast cameras for OB van

In Q1 2022 we delivered to TV Markiza 3 new Grass Valley camera chains (2x single-speed LDX 92, 1x triple-speed LDX 96) including camera heads, fiber adapters, CCUs, viewfinders, OCPs and a large lens adapter. By this purchase Markiza strengthened its OB…
2021 1433

Czech Radio - IP Upgrade

Czech Radio uses Lawo Nova73 and DALLIS technology for 6 years and the time has shown that this robust, thinked-through, in all aspects redundant set of devices was a lucky choice for the mission-critical role of central routing of over 20 radio stations, all…
2021 1269

Czech TV Brno - Audio Consoles

Czech TV Brno broadcasting over 6 years from their new facility has invested in two new Lawo mc2 56mkIII 48-fader consoles sequentially - one in 2020 and another in 2021. This was a logical step to replace their outdated mc2 66 mixing desks but reuse their…
2021 879

TV Markiza - Wireless Beltpacks

The best advertising is a working product. That's what we learned when we borrowed our Riedel Bolero demo to Markiza OB Van crew and received an order for 2 antennas and 16 beltpacks within just weeks. With spectacular wireless signal coverage area, whether…
2021 878

Czech TV - VSM Commissioning

In 2021 Czech TV refurbished their flagship OB van HD1. Much of the original technology of 2008 got exchanged, but the forever-young VSM control system by Lawo stayed. Due to its almost unlimited possibilities in terms of communication protocols,…
2021 848

O2 - Support Van

 In cooperation with HYCA, we designed and supplied a support van for the recently delivered 12-cam OB van. This vehicle provides not only an important storage space for all broadcast equipment necessary for production but also a very convenient dining room…
2021 908

O2 - 12-Cam OB Van

After 5 years of successful operation of a 16-cam OB van in the most advanced mostly sporting events in Europe, O2 Czech Republic purchased another brand new 12-camera OB van from the trusted partnership of ELEKTRONIKA and a renowned German manufacturer…
2021 889

RTVS - Audio Production Console

Large, ultimately reliable, future-proof a.k.a. IP-enabled, with extensive yet even expandable I/O system, with integrated advanced musical FX. These were the requirements that RTVS submitted with regard to the audio mixing console for their largest studio…
2021 911

TV Nova - VSM

In 2020 and 2021 ELEKTRONIKA delivered the latest and one of the largest VSM installations in our region. Integrating 3 extensive SDI routers, multitude of multiviewers, automation and mission-critical MCR main/bypass switching and monitoring of switch state…
2021 992

RTVS - MCR

Introduction of the 3rd TV channel of RTVS "Trojka" raised the need of a new MCR broadcast chain of playout, switching, branding, audio processing, control and automation. Alongside with that, the existing channels "Jednotka" and "Dvojka" needed an exchange…
2020 514

TV Markiza - Compact OB Vans

Breaking news? Live remote studio? Scheduled outside broadcast event? For any of these use cases TV Markiza reasonably invested into new small OB vans. The two brand new compact and versatile vans based on VW Transporter T6.1 equipped for instantaneous…
2020 507

SFZ (Slovak Football Association) - VAR Vans

The recent introduction of video assistent referee (VAR) into international football's Laws of the Game brought a new challenge to Slovak Football Association. In order to bring their GOAL technology wherever needed and secure its instant applicability, they…
2020 739

RTVS - SDI Router

Hybrid, full-redundant router with smaller footprint. That's Grass Valley Vega 400 that we delivered to RTVS in 2020.Featuring 192 bi-directional slots for SDI interfacing with audio (de)embedding and optional MADI ports, it is an ideal router for mobile…
2020 828

RTVS - Compliance Recording

By the end of 2020, we delivered a powerful compliance recording system to RTVS, who is as all broadcasters obliged to record its own TV channels and store this for 45 days. We chose a perfect system Actus which offers and ideal feature set for this…
2019 466

FTV Prima - Lawo VSM, Power Core and V__line in Action

By the end of 2019, one of the strongest Czech TV stations - FTV Prima - moved to a new building equipped with cutting-edge IP-enabled technology. ELEKTRONIKA delivered, installed and configured several important components of this broadcast facility: 10x…

TV Markiza - Filming Studio Renewal

2019 469
ELEKTRONIKA designed and delivered a reconstruction of TV Markiza's filming facility. The…

TV Markiza - Audio Mixing Consoles

2019 515
In 2018 & 2019 we delivered two first-class 48-fader Lawo mc2 56mkII consoles to TV…

LAWO Day Czech 2018

2018 6492
LAWO mc96 GRAND PRODUCTION CONSOLE presentation in Czech Republic. 

KBS Seoul / South Korea

2017 11373
LAWO VSM commissioning for upgraded 4K OB Van. We had only 5 days for onsite…

TV Nova OB Van Prague / VSM commissioning

2018 8744
Update of the existing system LAWO VSM. Our client required additional communications and…

TV Markiza OB Van

2017 4973
TV Markíza OB Van, March 2017 In 2017, in co-operation with the German company Broadcast…

Czech TV Brno

2016 5663
In october we successfully managed to finish a project at Czech Telvision Brno. The…

RTVS Backup MCR

2016 4076
Our goal was to create totally independent MCR, that will be in Stand By mode in case…

O2 OB Van and Support Van

2016 4722
In co-operation with German company Broadcast Solutions, we completed a 16-camera…

Studio for Sládkovičovo University

2015 3310
Complete equipment of new television studio intended for academic purposes. The studio…

Czech TV New Router NVISION

2015 3242
In the end of 2015 we supplied and installed for Czech Television main video router Grass…

Czech TV, 8 Camera HDTV OB Van

Older 3959
Czech Television, 8 cameras HDTV OB Van Used Technology: Grass Valley Cameras: LDK 4000,…

Czech Television, TV technology upgrade to HD in the studios KH1 a KH2

Older 3283
Complete reconstruction of two TV studios in Czech Television Used technology: - Grass…

TA3 Bratislava, DSNG HD OB Van

Older 4336
TA3 Bratislava, DSNG HD OB Van2-kameras DSNG OB Van with satellite antenna Technical…

National Council of Slovak Republic

Older 3172
National Council of Slovak Republic Automated CCTV and Archiving system of National…

Czech TV 16 Cam OB Van

Older 3547
Czech TV 16 Cam OB Van 16 cameras HD OB-Van pre cabled to 20 cameras Used…

Czech TV Praque - 4 Cam OB

Older 3234
Czech TV Praque - 4 Cam OB digital 4 cameras OB vanProject and documentationsystem…

Czech TV Praha and Brno - 2 SNG Vans

Older 3202
Czech TV Praha and Brno - 2 SNG Vans delivery of 2 SNG vansProject and…

Automated CCTV and Archiving system for National Council of Slovakia

Older 3486
Automated CCTV and Archiving system for National Council of SlovakiaProject and…

Project supply and installation of server techology for Czech TV News departament

Older 2943
Project supply and installation of server techology for Czech TV News departamentProject…

MCR for STV Mlynska dolina

Older 3004
MCR for STV Mlynska dolinaMCR modernization- 2. part - MCR VP2

MCR for STV Banská Bystrica

Older 3053
MCR for STV Bánská BystricaMCR modernization Digitalization, Disc recording system

TV Today, New Delhi India

Older 2886
TV Today, New Delhi Indiaproject and installation of TV technology for News departament…

Romania PRO TV - 6 cameras digital OB van

Older 3291
Romania PRO TV - 6 cameras digital OB vanTurnkey delivery of a 6-camera digital OB van…

News department of STS Markíza (delivered at that time as "MEDIAL, družstvo")

Older 2931
Supply and installation of satelite news gathering antennas and equipment for News…

Studio facilities STV Mlynská dolina - realization of 1st digital studio facilities at STV (delivered at that time as "MEDIAL, družstvo")

Older 3063
Studio facilities STV Mlynská dolina - realization of 1st digital studio facilities at…

News department STV Mlynská dolina - 2 studio facilities (delivered at that time as "MEDIAL, družstvo")

Older 2976
Studio facilities STV Mlynská dolina - realization of 1st digital studio facilities at…

Turnkey construction and realization of the studio complex in STV - Štúdio Banská Bystrica (delivered at that time as "MEDIAL, družstvo")

Older 3085
News departament STV Mlynská dolina - 2 studio facilities studio facilitiesRecording…