NTV-Plus' Egor Sakharov at Calrec Artemis Beam console

NTV-Plus became Calrec’s first customer in Russia when it purchased two Artemis Beam digital broadcast consoles in 2012. These have now been followed by two further Artemis Beams and a Hydra2 router core, which have been installed in the broadcaster’s Moscow studios to allow 5.1-channel surround operation and console sharing between its four studios and to prepare for the 2014 Winter Games..

‘We focus heavily on live sports production, so we need a versatile system with robust equipment we can count on,’ explains NTV-Plus Chief Technology Officer, Oleg Kolesnikov.

NTV-Plus is a subscription satellite and HD service that broadcasts sports, news, movies, documentaries and children’s TV: ‘We purchased our first Calrec consoles last year to use during Wimbledon, and then rented three consoles during the London Games. We were impressed, so now we’re upgrading all of our studios to Calrec. Being able to route audio signals and share consoles across all of our studios gives us complete redundancy.’

The 48-fader Artemis Beam consoles come equipped with Calrec’s Hydra2 audio routing capabilities to enable them to communicate with each other. The company also purchased a standalone Hydra2 router core so that it can place all of its Calrec consoles and their associated I/O on the network, and ensure easy expansion of the network at a later date. Based on 8192² router modules, Hydra2 allows connection of audio sources and system components over copper or fibre-optic link, with signals routed to any consoles or I/O boxes on the same network.

Having identical consoles in all studios means NTV-Plus can produce 5.1-channel audio efficiently throughout the company. Previously, NTV-Plus was forced to embed the audio signals into the video signals and then de-embed them for mixing after passing through the video router. With the Hydra2 network, audio can be routed without recourse to the video router.

‘Calrec gives us the perfect balance of cost and features, as well as an exceptional level of support, which can be hard to find in Russia,’ Kolesnikov says. ‘We’ve been able to abandon the constant incremental expansion of our router. We’re avoiding mistakes and missed connections and we no longer need a backup console in each studio in case of failure, which saves us money and down time.’

Commissioning is expected to be complete in mid-August, and then NTV-Plus plans to upgrade its sound studios, which primarily handle the voiceovers for incoming sports feeds. The new set-up will also play an essential part in the launch the terrestrial version of the station’s 24/7 sports channel, and with games-related programming for the 2014 Winter Games. NTV-Plus will also take advantage of Calrec’s rental services to rent five more consoles from Calrec’s partner Okno-TV during the 2014 Winter Games.

‘Our goal is to provide every customer with high-quality, reliable equipment and support to match, because we want them to keep coming back,’ says Mike Reddick, Calrec European Sales Manager. ‘This repeat business from NTV-Plus shows that we met our goal once again, and that clearly the company feels its initial decision to purchase Calrec consoles was the right one. This order doubles the number of Calrec consoles at NTV-Plus, and the addition of a Hydra2 router core lets them network, share, and expand easily and cost-effectively.’

More: www.calrec.com

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