Calrec Makes Follow-Up Sale to Russia's NTV-PLUS 

Egor Sakharov at one of the Artemis Beam Consoles

Calrec Audio announces repeat business from NTV-PLUS, a Russian subscription satellite and HD service that broadcasts sports, news, movies, documentaries, and children's TV. NTV-PLUS has installed two more Artemis Beam consoles and a Hydra2 router core in its Moscow studios.

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The new gear will enable NTV-PLUS to produce 5.1 surround sound and share consoles among its four studios with full redundancy. NTV-PLUS became Calrec's first customer in Russia when it purchased its first two Artemis Beam desks last year.

"We focus heavily on live sports production, so we need a versatile system with robust equipment we can count on. We purchased our first Calrec consoles last year to use during Wimbledon and then rented three consoles during the London Games. We were impressed, so now we're upgrading all of our studios to Calrec," said Oleg Kolesnikov, chief technology officer at NTV-PLUS. "Being able to route audio signals and share consoles across all of our studios gives us complete redundancy."

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NTV-PLUS installed two full-featured, 48-fader Artemis Beam consoles, which come standard with Calrec's Hydra2 audio routing capabilities that enable the desks to communicate with each other. The satellite company also purchased a stand-alone Hydra2 router core so that it can easily place all of its Calrec consoles and their associated I/O on the network, and ensure easy expansion of the network later. Based on 8192² router modules, Hydra2 allows connection of audio sources and system components over copper or fiber, with signals routed to any consoles or I/O boxes on the same network.

Having the Artemis Beam consoles in all studios means NTV-PLUS can produce 5.1 audio efficiently throughout the company, which was the main reason for upgrading the studios. Without the new consoles, NTV-PLUS was forced to embed the audio signals into the video signals and then de-embed them for mixing after they went through the video router. It was a cumbersome process for the engineers, especially in real-time operations. Now, with the digital Hydra2 network, NTV-PLUS can route the signals on the premises without ever touching the video router.

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"Calrec gives us the perfect balance of cost and features, as well as an exceptional level of support, which can be hard to find in Russia," Kolesnikov said. "Because of the consoles and router core, we've been able to abandon the constant incremental expansion of our router. We're avoiding mistakes and missed connections and we no longer need a backup console in each studio in case of failure, which saves us money and down time."

Commissioning is expected to be complete in mid-August, and then NTV-PLUS plans to upgrade its sound studios, which primarily handle the voice-overs for incoming sports feeds. The new setup will be especially useful when NTV-PLUS launches the terrestrial version of its 24/7 sports channel, and will also help the satellite service to produce more Games-related programming during the 2014 Winter Games. NTV-PLUS will also take advantage of Calrec's rental services to rent five more consoles from Calrec's partner OKNO-TV during the games.

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"Our goal is to provide every customer with high-quality, reliable equipment and support to match, because we want them to keep coming back. This repeat business from NTV-PLUS shows that we met our goal once again, and that clearly the company feels its initial decision to purchase Calrec consoles was the right one," said Mike Reddick, Calrec's manager of European sales. "This new order doubles the number of Calrec consoles at NTV-PLUS, and the addition of a Hydra2 router core lets them network, share, and expand easily and cost-effectively."

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