Norway's popular commercial broadcaster, TV2, is engaged in a multi-million Euro investment programme to refurbish its central Oslo studio premises and has specified two 42-fader Studer Vista 8 digital consoles for its new audio control rooms.
TV2's complete confidence in the Vista 8 is underlined by the nature of the first studio installation, which has run in parallel with the construction of the two new production studios. The pressure was further heightened by the need to continue making programmes throughout installation, including 'God morgen Norge' ('Good morning Norway'), the country's most popular AM broadcast. Sound engineers expected to have just one week's dry run using sources before going on air.
Head of Studio Productions, Stig G_ran Nordahl, has created a highly versatile network, enabling two control rooms to link to three studios with full interconnectivity. The design of the Vista 8 allows TV2 to place three or four wallboxes in every studio, supplemented by a 24-in/8-out remote stagebox which can go anywhere, even up onto the roof of the station building or into the busy pedestrian street that runs outside TV2. Tie lines to all the green rooms and VIP areas extend the network still further.
TV2's headquarters are located in Bergen, but the production centre in the heart of Oslo is making some high-visibility programmes, such as 'God morgen Norge'. Adding nearly 300 sq metres of studio floor will enable more live productions to be made there, not to mention the potential of external hire to production companies.
With ambitious plans being announced by TV2 management for new programming and new channels, Nordahl has specified "a lot more inputs and outputs for the consoles than we need at this minute. We had to prepare ourselves for the possibility of a large live entertainment/Saturday night show, with a lot of guests and live bands. We've bought extra cards, so we should be ready for most things. Currently we can handle 72 mics plus 16 channels of wireless. If that's not enough, we can buy another card.
"Probably it would have been foolish to buy anything other than a Studer Vista," continued Nordahl. "There is a small but closely-knit community of sound engineers in Norway, and they're all using Vista."
Indeed TV2's sister company, OB Team, which operates the station's outside broadcast fleet, has already installed Vista 8 in one of its flagship vehicles, and of course, the Vista 7 and 8 consoles are widely used by NRK, Norway's national broadcaster.
The popularity of Studer Vista in this region explains, to some extent, why Nordahl and his team are apparently relaxed about the tight installation deadlines. "We are all familiar with its operation, and, in any case, the desk is very intuitive. It's like getting into someone else's car; it's different but you know how to drive it."