Founded over 40 years ago, Hungary’s EWTN Global Catholic Network has become one of the world’s most extensive religious media networks. The broadcaster’s worldwide TV channels and radio services are available in multiple languages, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to more than 400 million households in 150 countries.
EWTN Hungary currently reaches more than three million Hungarian-speaking households, and is poised to extend its reach via a partnership with a new signal transit service provider, allowing it to reach more rural parts of the country.
Funded entirely through viewer donations, Catholic Television produces its programming from a roughly 5,400-square-foot facility comprised of three studio spaces for voiceovers and podcasting, a morning magazine-style show, and a dedicated studio control room (SCR).
“Our goal was to design and build a facility that looks and delivers on broadcast level output cost-effectively,” reveals EWTN Hungary’s Csucs Zoltán. “Having achieved that, we are now at a point where we use Blackmagic Design in every aspect of our production chain.”
Production has deployed six URSA Broadcast G2s, the Blackmagic URSA Viewfinder, and Canon B4 Zoom lenses across two sets for studio acquisition.
For signal management and distribution, the master control room (MCR) relies on a Smart Videohub 20×20 router while the SCR features a Smart Videohub 12G 40×40 with transmission lines between the two. “We have configured each space for independent, parallel operation using a pair of routers while patching together the main control systems, including remote camera control and comms, to give us maximum flexibility,” explains Zoltán.
For gallery control, the SCR relies on an ATEM 1 M/E Constellation HD and ATEM 1 M/E Advanced Panel for hardware control. “The fact we can patch the six configurable AUX outputs into the router and a reference monitor makes this a flexible bit of kit and works well alongside the ATEM Camera Control panel for remote control,” notes Zoltán.
The switcher’s multiview output is used to display incoming camera feeds and the preview and programme output. An additional Blackmagic MultiView 4 allows production to configure the two remaining screens, while several HyperDeck Studio HD Pro broadcast decks record programme signals and act as a video playback solution.
“What sets Blackmagic apart from other manufacturers is the interconnected nature of its offerings, coupled with its ease of use and operation,” concludes Zoltán. “As a complete solution, it delivers tremendous value for money and technical advantages at all stages of the production chain while giving us a predictable content pipeline that is reliable.”