German broadcaster WELT has opened two new studios in Berlin, which are the first broadcast studios to be exclusively equipped with Ethernet/IP-based lighting technology down to the last lighting fixture.
The ARRI System Group handled the consulting, planning, and turnkey installation of the studio lighting and control systems on behalf of system integrator Qvest Media and in partnership with mo2 design.
Studio 1 includes motorised and movable LED video panels on three sides and required minimum range of movement for the presenters on set without changing the lighting fixture positions. After extensive testing, a total of 100 soft lights from the ARRI SkyPanel series (S60-C, S30-C) and Moving Lights with the Fresnel characteristics from Robe Lighting were chosen.
They are supplemented by LED bars affixed to the top of the motorised video panels to direct an appropriate backlight onto the presenters.
ARRI’s SkyPanels with different apertures (S120-C, S60-C, S30-C) were chosen for Studio 2 in order to achieve optimal light distribution according to templates of photometric simulations created by ARRI. The lights were chosen for their ability to meet the requirements of an HD/UHD environment in the future, including the level of colour rendering index, options for colour temperatures adjustments, and calibration standards used for the LEDs.
The core of the studio lighting design is an IP-based control system for the luminaires including their integration into the broadcast automation and a central monitoring for lighting.
“Lighting networks that have been traditionally controlled exclusively via DMX are experiencing more and more limitations in practice. Therefore, increasing our customers’ requirements for efficient workflows can be met by specifying or designing end-to-end IP systems only,” said Paul Flemming, head of projects at the ARRI System Group.
“ARRI has been a pioneer in this area thanks to the integration of an IP interface in the SkyPanel series from a very early stage, and we have found strong support for this idea with the manufacturers of Moving Lights, Robe Lighting,” added Flemming.
“DMX, as a traditional network protocol, limits the use of an intelligent monitoring for the lighting system. Using RDM as a return channel may destabilise the network, plus there are limitations defined in the standard in regards to the data rate and the maximum number of channels per one DMX universe. With a lighting control infrastructure based solely on Ethernet/IP, as with WELT, we were able to achieve a system-wide increase in lighting system flexibility and reliability, which is hugely important, especially in 24/7 operations.”