South Africa’s Multichoice Transitions SuperSport Studio to IP With Lawo Gear
South Africa’s Multichoice, Africa’s largest satellite television channel service provider, has successfully completed the infrastructure rebuild of their Studio 6, which is mostly utilized by SuperSport, a content brand under the Multichoice umbrella that specializes in live sport production across almost 40 linear channels. The installation, carried out by local system integrator and Lawo supplier Inala Broadcast, comprises a vm_dmv-based Lawo V__matrix multiviewer solution and a Lawo mc²36 audio console combiled with an A__stage64 stagebox and a Nova73 router.
In addition to the studio production audio workflows, the system interfaces into IP-based commentary booths to enable adding multiple languages into the IP audio backend. SuperSport’s overall infrastructure is controlled by an all-encompassing VSM virtual studio manager system which also controls 16 galleries used for turn-around operations of smaller events, adding the right logos in the right places.
“The migration of broadcast signal reticulation from traditional baseband to IP brings us new options in the way things are done, which required us to re-define the way we all – Multichoice Technical Team, Inala Broadcast, SuperSport Operations and Lawo – install, configure and commission an audio system of this size and nature,” explains Multichoice Technical Team.
Anthony Teunen, Lawo’s System Engineer, who configured the new Studio 6 setup and supervised the hand-over starting on October 12, called Studio 6’s new audio infrastructure “an innovative small console-large router scenario.” The configuration for the Multichoice studio in Randburg, Johannesburg (South Africa) was configured remotely from Theunen’s office in Belgium. For health and safety reasons during the covid-19 pandemic, hardly anybody was allowed on-site for some time, and even remote configuration operations were temporarily put on hold, because no-one would have been available locally to reboot devices after an update or in the event of a programming issue.
SuperSport specializes in airing international and SA-based live sport feeds from all over the world as well as locally-produced content across more than 50 channels, to which multiple language commentary is added in local languages. SuperSport’s big Studio 1 was equipped with a Lawo-centric setup a few months ago, while their international control room (ICR) migrated to Lawo V__matrix-based vm_dmv multiviewers in Spring 2020.
Studio 6’s newly configured infrastructure is mainly used for incoming sports feeds, like soccer, rugby and cricket, with all footage being transmitted to the presenters in charge of producing pre-match, half-time and post-match analyses.
Studio 6’s infrastructure rebuild was completed last week—again with Lawo material. As a result of this steady transition towards IP, the ICR, Studio 1 and Studio 6 are now part of a giant IP network.
“We are very grateful to our South African systems integration partner, Inala Broadcast, for their hard work and innovative solutions,” says Ralf Schimmel, Lawo’s Sales Director Africa & Radio Partners. “This partnership has resulted in a cutting-edge infrastructure that provides SuperSport’s unrivaled operations with even more flexibility.”