How broadcast and AV are converging

The broadcast market has always been a force to be reckoned with in its own right. Reece Webb explores how broadcast is converging with AV and highlights key projects from across EMEA.

While the broadcast sector stands on its own two feet with its own technologies and well-attended trade shows, many projects across EMEA are now seeing a growing demand for broadcast applications within AV installations. This is not entirely unexpected; This year’s CABSAT trade show, held in Dubai in May 2023 saw the inaugural, commercial AV-focused, Integrate Middle East held alongside it at the Dubai World Trade Centre, reflecting the changing demands from both end users and integrators. Later, in late June 2023, AVIXA and IABM explored the future of broadcast and AV convergence at their UpStream event in London, focusing on the evolution of broadcast from its own distinctive realm into an integrated core of many projects, not just in the world of broadcast-specific studios but hotels, education, and corporate environments.

Dan Goldstein, chief marketingofficer, AVIXA, explains: “From producing high-profile corporate town halls to streaming engaging hybrid classroom lectures, expertise in content, production, streaming, and related broadcast tools has become an integral part of the AV skillset. This trend has been accelerated by the almost universal adoption of online collaboration tools at the enterprise level. Both AVIXA and IABM have been tracking that trend. ”What is driving this change? Why have these two distinctive trades now found an opportunity to converge? Massimiliano Papino, show lead, Integrate Middle East, comments: “In the last few years, broadcast and media have been borrowing technology from the AV sector such as cameras, mixers, decoders, audio, light, LED screens for virtual production studio set ups and more. The main reason [for this convergence] is the IP adoption that has narrowed the gap between these two industries, and we will definitely see greater convergence.”

The pandemic played a role in the expectations and needs of customers: where hybrid participation in events was once the remit of niche, small scale events, today’s needs see quality broadcasting as an essential requirement for many clients who demand the very best quality for their hybrid events.Sercan Atkas, director of integration, Red Mouse, adds: “The Covid epidemic has significantly changed the necessity for broadcast in areas where it hasn't been necessary in the past. The need for livestreaming, video conferencing, and remote collaboration technologies has increased as a result of constraints on in-person meetings as well as the expansion of remote work and virtual events. Conference rooms, classrooms, and places of worship are just a few examples of places that today depend on broadcast systems to provide distant participants with high quality audio and video experiences. This change has sped up the deployment of broadcast technologies and changed the way that AV systems are developed and put into use.Broadcast in the spotlight

Inavate has highlighted leading examples of broadcast convergence in projects from across the EMEA region.

The Hall – Switzerland 

Described as a ‘light-flooded, divisible and customisable room’, The Roof has had a tech upgrade in order for it to accommodate events covering anywhere from 50 to 500 people. The Loft now features fully functioning sound and video technology including broadcasting and a complete lighting system.

New this time around is a control room, with 10 multifunctional workstations for directors, image mixers, graphic operators, producers, video players and others. Events in the adjoining room can be observed, coordinated and directly processed via 10 permanently installed and individually 55-in recordable screens. The direction is geared towards standard studio operation with up to six Blackmagic Ursa Broadcasting cameras.

The customer lounge is slightly elevated and comfortable at the back of the video control room. It invites customers to follow the ongoing production up close.This idea of complete transparency in the production process for customers is also expressed in the one-sided glazing of the control room. The ICF's multi-camera production, in particular, now uses ten Blackmagic Design URSA Broadcast G2 cameras for live production, replacing the previous URSA Mini 4.6K.The live camera feeds are routed to the venue's main gallery, which has been newly equipped with two dedicated ATEM Constellation 8K live production switchers.

The main venue space also features a new 3D cable camera system, supplied by another arm of Event AG. Rigged with an URSA Broadcast G2, the EagleEye uses fibre for all video and CCU signals plus control. For large live events, such as the weekly church services, the video content is streamed and recorded, then played out on a 120sq m 4K LED wall running from a BarcoE2 Event Master processor and to various monitors installed inside and outside the multipurpose venue space. Blackmagic Universal Videohub 288x288 and Universal Videohub 72x72 handle signal management, as well as three Smart Videohub 12G 40x40 12G routers.Blackmagic DeckLink and

UltraStudio capture and playback cards are used across the various computers used for fill and key signals. The ICF also produces smaller live streams throughout the week, using an ATEM Mini Extreme ISO and multiple Pocket Cinema Camera 6K cameras.

Parliament of Uzbekistan - Uzbekistan

Incorporating lavish luxury   of the line functionality, the Supreme Assembly of Uzbekistan, the Oliy Majilis, required a state-of-the-art broadcasting solution to televise ongoing proceedings to audiences around the country. Integrator Redmouse provided a solution to allow broadcasters to ‘plug and play’ into the facility with little setup. The Oliy Majilis, in Tashkent, is fitted with the latest broadcasting facilities to bring Uzbekistan’s parliamentary business into the future.

Located in a six-storey building formerly occupied by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the building was entirely reconstructed with new facilities to meet the needs of a modern parliament. “This project has everything,” says Sercan Atkas, Redmouse, “Broadcast, lighting, automation, video systems, audio systems, anything we could think of, they wanted it. This included videowalls, LED screens, videoconferencing systems and so on as they were thinking about the future; they wanted to make sure that they have the best technology in the building.”The main hall is supported by a press room which is fully equipped to meet the needs of journalists and broadcasters within.

Atkas explains: “This space is used daily by the press to provide daily updates on parliamentary business. They wanted a space that is supported with audio, video and automation, as well as with inputs and outputs [for equipment]. We provided them with the correct equipment that they required.”The press room is equipped with an LG 86-in display mounted on a Vogel’s wall mount to allow journalists access to parliamentary proceedings. Extron SF68Ts loudspeakers provide crystal clear audio of ongoing parliamentary business, while an Extron TLP Pro touchpanel is available to control room automation, alongside XTP matrix switchers.

WPP Prague – Czech Republic 

The WPP Prague is a facility that offers “experiential workplaces” for communication and advertising agencies that operate under the WPP banner. Integrator AV Media was brought in to deliver a collaborative audio-visual experience of the highest quality for the seven-floor, 16,000 sq m space. The system had to be implemented as one consistent environment while still allowing WPP’s agencies to work independently. This required AV Media to make revisions to the initial fit-out, as it was not initially possible to develop a multi-tenant environment on one videoconferencing infrastructure, a lesson for both the client and AV Media. The facility is home to a 50-seat auditorium space for formal meetings.

This space is outfitted with a state-of-the-art AV system to broadcast toother locations around the world with minimal set up or configuration. To meet this need, AV Media installed a dual-camera setup extended with more connection points to allow additional flexibility for managed meetings. The Poly dual-camera system is paired with a Poly-based ceiling microphone system and Crestron speakers and amplifiers. Shure MX wireless microphones are also present to allow speakers to move around the space while addressing the audience.

Deep Space – UK

Located at Creative Technology’s UK headquarters, this multipurpose studio space boasts a 11mx3m ROE2.8mm LED screen with Brompton processing at 3872x1056 pixels. Featuring re-useable environments, an in-house content team, HDR capabilities and film-grade LED/processing, this state-of-the-art studio has played host to the AIM Independent Music Awards, Panasonic Business Showcase and Ford Horizon demo event. Ready for any eventuality, the Deep Space studio even comes equipped with fully ISP redundant internet connections to counteract any potential interruptions.

AED Studios 4&7 – Belgium

Located at the heart of AED Studios’ headquarters, studio 7 near Antwerp, Belgium, clocks in at a size of 1,500 square metres with an LED screen size of 29mx4m. As the largest studio facility in Belgium, AED Studios hosted the world premiere of the first live tv show in XR in January 2021 and is currently being expanded to accommodate large scale film productions. The studio features an additional hybrid studio area for full XR productions with an additional green key area and LED area for digital livestreams, this studio offers a flexible experience for the ever-changing needs of its customers. Boasting ROE Visual Diamond 2 and BlackMarble 4 LED screens, this leading facility features LEX media servers, Stype tracking, Grass Valley LDX alongside Panasonic cameras and Barco processing.

Sonic College – Denmark 

The next generation of technical audio professionals are being trained in a one-of-a-kind facility in Denmark packed with the best technology and tools available today. A range of spaces offer students the perfect sonic playground complete with cutting-edge products that deliver hands-on experience with the very best AV, broadcast and studio tools and technologies in commercial use including Blackmagic Design broadcast kit. Lars Tirsbæk, a lecturer at Sonic College was instrumental in setting up the new facility and deciding what spaces would be most beneficial to students and essential to delivering a good grounding in sound design. “[Building the new facility] was an opportunity to start from scratch," he says. “This was a complex project. With so many adjacent studios and performance spaces we had to consider acoustics and sound isolation carefully."

The Arab League HQ – Egypt

It’s not often a systems integrator will get to work on the same project three times in their career, but that is the case on this installation for Quality Egypt and the headquarters of the Arab League in Cairo. Quality supplied a new audio system, conference system, interpretation system, camera recording system and a TV broadcasting network this time around. A way to record sessions was an absolute must for the client, and the end result can record up to four simultaneous languages at once.

Visuals for recording are captured via a Panasonic 4K camera, and Panasonic camera controller, BlackMagic ATEM Television 4K switcher and BlackMagic HyperDeck Studio recorder. Nearly all of the AV in the main hall is fixed in one place, the only exception is the broadcast network, so that TV channels can place their camera whenever the director wants it to be situated.

The AV feed from the main hall is also sent via the broadcast network toa nearby room, where the live real-time translation takes place, which then feeds that audio back to the main hall.


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