Article Overview

Germany's Summer of Football

BR's FÜ1 HD covers FIFA Women's World Cup with Lawo technology

After the inspiring male-dominated 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, now it was the turn of female footballers to impress the world. The task of broadcasting the opening match, featuring the German team in Berlin, fell to the FÜ1 HD truck. It was also used to cover the North Korea – Sweden match in Augsburg, and also the quarterfinal when Sweden battled (successfully) with Australia.

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German national broadcasters ARD and ZDF both used OB vans belonging to multiple public broadcasters, who produced and broadcast the unilateral output. Audio and video feeds, which were produced for the host broadcaster by contracted OB vans, were received and distributed for use for both radio and TV programmes. Bavarian broadcaster BR’s FÜ1 HD truck is equipped with eight cameras as well as a Lawo mc²66 as the main console for audio production.

During the run-up to the broadcast, the OB crews create console setups on the mc²66 that only require slight adjustments ‘on the night’. The integration of various playback devices, including two EVS units, each with four channels for audio and video, as well as the communication system for all microphones, is a slightly more complex matter. Among these signals, wireless mics for presenters and flash interviewers — the guys who interview players and guests on the touchline — feature prominently, as well as commentator feeds and additional playback devices.

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Perfect Atmosphere

The Lawo mc²66 installed in the FÜ1 HD truck is designed for two-man operation. It features 52 faders in a 32-8-16 frame, 336 DSP channels, and an HD-Core with integrated audio router. The router is equipped with three AES cards for BNC and D-sub connection and has a routing capacity of 8,000 x 8,000 crosspoints. Overall, the FÜ1 HD unit has twelve Lawo DALLIS-I/O systems redundantly connected to the HD-Core. Three of these are used as stageboxes, allowing the connection of up to 80 microphones.

“At mega sports events, many things can happen at the same time, and which must be edited simultaneously. For example, an interview conducted while the main show is going out. Since these events are also broadcast in DD 5.1, we have quite a lot of input channels to deal with. This is one of the reasons we pre-configured the mc²66 in FÜ1 HD to be operated by two sound engineers,” explains Jürgen Becker, audio production engineer with BR, the Bavarian public broadcaster.

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Gerhard Fischer, one of the on-site sound engineers, explains the advantages of a Lawo console: ”It offers extremely quick access to any signal by means of buttons on the control surface, but, more importantly, its overall controls are so very intuitive. The Audio-follow-Video function also came in handy during broadcasts of the Women’s World Cup: A commentator could, for example, trigger the opening of an atmos microphone at the push of a button, so preventing an atmos change when the commentator mic was closed.”     

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