Cologne-based rental company smartregie has selected Lawo’s Virtual System Manager (VSM) as the control and workflow solution underpinning its rental offerings of modular control rooms for events and TV productions.
“VSM can be easily and quickly adapted to the frequently changing network setup we deal with in equipment rental – and it is also easy to operate, so we can make much better use of the potential of our production infrastructure,” said Christian Brauksiepe, responsible technical manager at smartregie.
In order to manage its existing IP-based network architecture more flexibly and make it more user-friendly, the company chose Lawo VSM to handle the video routing of a Riedel Mediornet system via IP network using Ember+ protocol, as well as tally and label transfer via TSL-5 protocol to the internal multiviewers, said Lawo. Three virtual VSM panels on tablets are used as the user interface.
“For example, on a production we just completed in Croatia, we had 45 permanently installed remote cameras and five shoulder-mounted cameras in use,” added Brauksiepe. “Monitoring and adjusting the streams of the 50 cameras in parallel use would have been impossible with the conventional and operator-intensive solution.
“But with VSM running on tablets, all the controls are at our fingertips. A single keystroke is all it takes to switch streams and access settings. Real-time feedback from all components brings transparency, and status information can be displayed at a glance through global labeling.”
Smartregie plans to employ Lawo VSM for its work on the new season of Germany’s The Bachelor/Bachelorette, which uses over 30 cameras distributed over two sets. The company says it intends to refine the workflow using VSM, integrating both sound and vision.
“Our modular, mobile, networked smartregie system, managed via VSM, is a solution that fits every TV and film production,” said Brauksiepe. “Our concept proves that with innovative ideas and components it is possible today to produce shows flexibly, efficiently, cost-effectively and sustainably. In a reality-show format, there is one reality that rarely changes: ‘things usually turn out differently than you plan.’ That’s why it’s so important that the workflow behind the numerous cameras is lean, efficient and flexible.”