German Broadcaster ZDF Opts for new DirectOut Transmission Solution

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ZDF, Germany’s second national public service broadcaster, has invested in a new transmission system based on equipment from DirectOut at their Lerchenberg site. The new installation was inaugurated at the opening of ZDF’s “Fernsehgarten-Saison 2014 (TV Garden season 2014). The program, which has been running every summer since 1986, has just made it into the Guinness Book of Records as the longest-running live, open-air TV show anywhere in the world.

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The renewed infrastructure means that all audio and video signals are now transmitted via optical fibre to the broadcast centre, with the audio signal transmission being handled by fully redundant MADI lines. Four DirectOut ANDIAMO.MC 32-channel microphone amplifiers with break-out panel serve as mic-preamps and stage boxes. They are controlled either via the network (D.O.NET) or via the DALLIS I/O system which is integrated into a Lawo console in the broadcast studio. Control via DALLIS is an option which has been available since April 2014.

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The PA system covering the Lerchenberg site comprises some 120 loudspeakers that are run from three different control rooms. Three DirectOut ANDIAMO.XTs handle signal conversion from MADI to either an AES or analogue feed into the amplifiers whilst signal distribution is managed by a DirectOut M.1k2 router featuring 16 MADI ports, network control and automatic redundancy switching in the case of signal loss.

The new infrastructure is reported to be a great success. “ZDF decided to swap out the miles and miles of copper cable they used to have for fibre optic cable which is far more efficient,” explained DirectOut’s Christian Muller. “They need to span very long distances between the broadcast centre, the central machine room and the three FOH control rooms. Their decision to use DirectOut products has resulted in a powerful, high quality solution with sufficient back-up resources to cover just about any eventuality, and all within the designated budget. Network control is very straightforward and convenient, and the ability to easily control and monitor individual system components from anywhere is a real plus. I am told that they particularly appreciate the flexibility of the MADI router, especially in terms of individual signal routing.”

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About DirectOut GmbH
DirectOut GmbH was founded in 2008 by a team of professional sound engineers headed up by Stephan Flock, an award-winning classical music sound engineer with over 20 years’ experience in digital audio signal processing design. The company specializes in developing essential pro audio connectivity, networking and bridging solutions for broadcast, studio, live and installed sound applications. Unique in that all members of the DirectOut development team are still active professional sound engineers, the company is thus fully focused on real-world demands and problem solving. The product range, marketed under the brand of DirectOut Technologies® (D.O.TEC®), offers solutions that build bridges between different audio worlds and make systems and formats more flexible. Audio formats supported include MADI, AES67 and RAVENNA. Headquartered in Mittweida, Germany, DirectOut products are distributed worldwide.

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