In 2016, Wiener Staatsoper (Vienna State Opera) Chief Sound Engineer Athanasios Rovakis began investigating the possibility of moving its audio and video distribution to fibre. Initially the Opera House modernised its audio system, purchasing a network fibre solution based around Optocore X6R-FX analogue devices and M8 Madi switches to gather additional sources from distant places in the house, and to share signals for broadcast.

Vienna State OperaLooking to expand its communications outreach, the following year the venue considered further options provided by Optocore partner company, BroaMan. This resulted in the purchase of a point-to-point set of Mux22 multi-signal transmission devices, with the new FrameSync8 board. Offering a superior solution to traditional frame sync technologies, this allowed sync distribution together with eight video channels, IP and serial data.

But the upgrade path was far from complete, and this year the State Opera invested in a complete BroaMan architecture, with a system based on ten Repeat48WDM that provide five point-to-point transport systems with 12 video channels, each transported on a single duplex fibre; a Repeat48 electrical-optical media converter, with six SDI-In and six SDI-Out; and six compact Repeat8-Nano to convert SDI to and from fibre. In a fairly unique deployment, all video is transported on multimode fibre.

When designing the system Rovakis had quickly came to regard the BroaMan devices as essential since the transmission distances in the vast building ruled out the use of copper, leaving fibre as the only viable option. ‘The audio control room has been steadily upgraded over the past 70 years, with devices from many generations and manufacturers – all with their own unique formats, connections and protocols,’ he says. ‘It is a major challenge for any new device that gets installed as it has to work with the old ones. But BroaMan’s Repeat48’s brings a complete tunnelling to the entire Opera.’

He adds that, since the Opera is under a preservation order, new cables are difficult and expensive – therefore they have to work with a limited amount of space, channels and bandwidth. ‘This made multiplexing basically the only viable option.’

Rovakis said he had full confidence in specifying the BroaMan solution since the Optocore-BroaMan platform had been solid since first being installed in 2016. He also saw its many advantages over similar systems. ‘In contrast to others, the Repeat48 has no boot-up time, which is vital for events with little prep time, and there is zero latency which is equally important,’ he says.

‘We have recently noticed huge interest in our solutions for the installation market, specifically in concert halls and theatres,’ says BroaMan Technical Sales Manager, Maciek Janiszewski. ‘These venues require ultra-fast fibre transport with high flexibility, and lower channel count than in broadcast.

‘The BroaMan portfolio fits very well in that regard, offering simple and cost-efficient, yet extremely reliable solutions. The Vienna State Opera video system is based on point-to-point multichannel fiber transport between different locations in the building, and the Repeat48 family is a perfect match for that.’

More: www.broaman.com

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