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20 Years after the Fall of the Wall with Riedel MediorNet

Domino Wall at the Brandenburg Gate

It was one of the major public events in Germany: the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Riedel Communications, one of the leading manufacturers of intercom, fiber and audio technology, delivered a comprehensive video, audio and communications distribution network for the multiple stages, video walls used at the event and the various departments. Responsible for the planning of the event was the Berlin based agency COMPACTTEAM.

The celebration was a spectacular success. It included live performances, shows and festivities on 5 stages plus a 1.3 mile (2 km) model Berlin Wall made out of 1,000 styrofoam dominos. The HD/SD video and audio signals from the five stages were distributed to 9 LED video walls and 3 LED trucks via the video control room. Furthermore, a communications infrastructure for the event needed to be established. To guarantee the secure transmission of all video and audio signals, COMPACTTEAM utilized the world's largest MediorNet and RockNet installation to date. MediorNet is a fiber based distribution and routing technology for HD video, audio, intercom and data signals. Each MediorNet mainframe provides a router for up to 32x32 720p/1080i signals, 160x160 SD-SDI signals, 27,000x27,000 AES signals or any combination of these. The modules and mainframes were connected through a 3.7 mile (6 km) dual fiber ring. 14 MediorNet mainframes distributed 18 HD/SD signals and one NTSC stream from 19 inputs to 33 outputs, thus allowing point-to-point and point-to-multipoint routing. "The system worked perfectly from the beginning to the end of the whole event, even though the weather conditions and the location were far from perfect. Everyone involved in this event was very excited about the system’s performance,“ said Frank Abromeit, chief technician for Riedel Communications. "One the most challenging parts of the installation was the location and timing. Just the night before the area was set up for the Fall of the Wall event, the MTV European Music Awards used the Brandenburg Gate as the stage for its U2 concert." In addition, all of the event's audio signals were distributed by Riedel's digital audio network RockNet. RockNet utilized the same fiber ring as the MediorNet installation. A total of 83 RockNet modules were used, including microphone/line inputs, line outputs and fiber converters. They transported 160 RockNet channels with 120 inputs to 192 outputs. Since the installation covered such a large area, RockNet RN.351FI and RN.352.FO fiber-I/O-modules integrated the RockNet network into the fiber structure. To cover the whole event with copper cabling a significantly larger number of cables and inline repeaters would have been needed. That would have unnecessarily increased the complexity of an already extremely complex installation. Due to RockNet's ring topology, the audio distribution was protected against single-points-of-failure. Furthermore, 12 Artist DCP-1016 desktop control panels and two C44 Performer System Interfaces were integrated over the MediorNet network. An additional TETRA Radio network with over 200 participants complemented the communications infrastructure. TETRA offers several advantages over regular analog or digital radio solutions. Besides, its excellent digital audio quality, it provides secure tap-proof communications and offers parallel transmission of data and audio. Flexible calling options make TETRA the perfect solution for events like these. 12 of the 17 radio channels were also integrated into an Artist matrix via Riedel RiFace interfaces. The RiFace is a universal radio interface used to link wired communication systems with radio systems.