Südwestrundfunk (SWR), a member of the German ARD consortium and the second largest broadcasting organisation within the ARD, is now on-air with Aveco's new studio automation solution, ASTRA Studio 2. SWR's three production control rooms—which are all configured differently—can control any of its four studios.
In a tender, the project group at SWR was looking for a file-based studio automation system that met its requirements and budget to automate its studio productions. SWR was specifically looking for a powerful and flexible studio automation system that enabled a single operator to control all the devices in the studio but also could have some equipment manually controlled by the operations staff in the control room. Products integrated into the solution by systems integrator Wellen & Nöthen included Annova’s OpenMedia advanced newsroom system, Vinten and CameRobot robotics, Sony video mixers, Lawo audio mixers and an MA Lighting grandMA lighting control console.
"ASTRA Studio 2 is uniquely able to support the complex processes that we have in our virtual studio where we produce our news shows," said Udo Fettig, project manager for SWR. "Studio 2 now has control of the camera robotics, the camera movements, and the virtual studio system. For other productions, we use Studio 2's basic features for a lower level of automation. Of special interest was Studio 2's Preproduction Mode, which lets us stop the recording, set a new splice point in the timeline view and then continue with the recording. Being able to combine production automation with studio automation and do pre-production at the same time with the same system made this an easy decision."
ASTRA Studio 2 is Aveco's second generation of studio automation and comes with three major enhancements:
• A new user interface with multiple workspaces that span multiple monitors
• A new pre-production mode for easily making corrections in a show
• New journalists tools to enable them to take advantage of all the features in the hardware without having to understand the technical details of the equipment
"We are excited about the customer feedback we have from Studio 2 demos at NAB 2012 and after a 10 day road show throughout Germany where knowledgeable customers have said that Studio 2 has features not seen in competitive products," said Roger Crooks, VP Sales and Marketing for Aveco. "In addition to the advanced feature set, Studio 2 is hardware agnostic so that customers can select the best studio automation application that meets their needs and not worry about what switcher or vision mixer they have."
Picture credit: SWR, Alexander Kluge