Korea's Broadcasters Push Digital Envelope with Orders for Ten Lawo Consoles

HDTV and digital audio upgrades demand mc² series desks

In the past 6 months, a diverse group of TV news and entertainment programme makers have snapped up ten Lawo digital audio consoles in Seoul and other Korean cities. Some are existing customers, others are new to the Lawo marque; the market for the mc²66 and mc²56 desks is being driven by the upgrade path to HD-TV as well as by brand-new studio and OBV facilities.

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Three of the new customers have found the Lawo solution in a joint enterprise. Privately-owned, the local broadcast stations JIBS in Jeju Island, TBC in DaeGu and KBC in Kwang-ju worked together on researching and testing high-definition systems for their news and production studios. Together with main contractor Soundfox International, the broadcasters settled on the mc²56 model as the ideal upgrade for control rooms handling daily news and entertainment programming. All three have selected a 32-fader console, specified with DALLIS I/O frame and 8192x8192 router.

KBC has linked its mc²56 with two studios, each fitted with a DALLIS I/O frame and connected to the HD core. The studios are located more than 100 metres from the control room, and have been linked by a single fibre optic cable running MADI from the stageboxes to the HD-SDI card in the DALLIS unit, a very economical set-up compared to normal cabling options.

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According to Mr Dae sik Kim from TBC, “the main requirement for all three broadcasters was for system stability and redundancy, and we also value Lawo’s guarantee of technical support. This is important as it is not easy to replace equipment here in our local areas.”  He agreed with Mr Ko and Mr Lee of JIBS that the versatile configuration of the mc²56 “makes it very useful. We can use it for live as well as recording production, which is a great benefit for us.”

Soundfox International has installed two other mc²56 consoles in the news studios of Edaily TV in Seoul, a channel providing stock trading information on Korean cable TV. Edaily is implementing an HD upgrade, and has commissioned identical 32-fader consoles, with redundant 8192x8192 routers and control servers. These are the first Lawo desks for Edaily TV; project leader Mr Kim Hyung Man explained that “we carefully considered the features and stability of consoles from each manufacturer, and finally we found the right audio mixing system for our live news studio. The mc²56 is delivering a very satisfying performance in both the live news and the production news environments.”

Based in Seoul, Korea’s largest online retailer GS Home Shopping is one of the most successful in the world, and has been using Lawo’s mc²66 classic and MKII designs for several years. 2011 saw the opening of its third TV production studio, and the installation of the third Lawo console, to be used in a networked configuration.

The 40-fader mc²66, which offers 128 channels of full DSP, and a 8192x8192 HD core, was chosen for its interactive signal processing system and flexible configuration.

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Peter Moh, CEO of Soundfox International,explained that the GS team had found the channel display and user interface tobe highly intuitive and useful. “They could add the functions they wanted tothe system, for example customising the GPIO control function, specifying portredundancy on the DALLIS I/O frames, and including 7x HD/SDI interfaces for thevideo server. Now the network is complete, I/Os can be shared across all threecontrol rooms.”

Lawo’s ever-popular mc²66 has been pickedfor two new Outside Broadcast Vehicles. MBC C&I has replaced an analogueconsole in its #3 TV OB with a 32-fader mc²66, offering 218 DSP channels and 1redundant DSP. This vehicle will be used on a variety of programme productions,from drama to sports events and concerts. The 12-metre van has a separate audiobooth for the Lawo console, which features a redundant router and controlsystem, DALLIS master board and DSP board. With two stageboxes, the system canprovide 72 channels of mic/line input, 24-channel line in and 48-channel lineout, plus 32x AES in/out.

The audio engineer in charge of the MBCproject draws on his experience in Kocca DMS studios, a government-ownedfacility which installed one of the first mc²66 consoles, the MkI. “When MBC’spartner companies started demanding a more complex production workflow tohandle 5.1 surround and multi-track recordings, our old analogue console couldnot support them,” says Mr Min su Na. “So I decided to specify this console forthe OBV, because it is a very flexible and intuitive design, and will supportthe variety of productions that we will do in the future.”

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Another new OB van is on the road in Seoul. jTBC is a new broadcaster for cable TV; the JoongAng Media Network has been awarded a general programming license and is expected to go on air this year. Currently, they are fitting 2x 32-fader mc²66 consoles into a MADI network at their studio production facilities and a 24-fader model into a new OBV. The OB set-up is similar in design to that of MBC C&I, both of them specified by Soundfox International. More details to come from jTBC when the station goes live.

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