Radio Televisión de Galicia installs extensive new Clear-Com intercom for flexibility and full integration across systems at Television de Galicia
Galicia is an autonomous community of Spain in the northwest of the country, with a strong regional identity - more people in the region speak Galician, which is closely related to Portuguese and Castilian, as Spanish is known locally. The public broadcaster Compañía de Radio-Televisión de Galicia (Radio and Television Company of Galicia, abbreviated to CRTVG) plays a key role in creating and promoting Galician culture.
Founded in 1985, CRTVG's function is to ‘improve and standardize the use of [the] official language’ and generally promote Galician culture through Television de Galicia (TVG), which has two domestic digital terrestrial channels and two satellite services for North America and Europe, and the three stations of Radio Galega.
CRTVG broadcasts from the San Marcos production centre in Galicia's capital, Santiago de Compostela, where it recently upgraded the intercom system for TVG. The new Clear-Com communications installation gives the broadcaster the opportunity to embrace a wide variety of modern intercom technologies to offer native IP, integrated digital wireless cellular, MADI interfacing, voice over IP (VoIP) for the corporate communications server, redundant ring topology using dual fibre optics and intelligent management of control devices, including panels featuring rotary audio level adjusters.
The system was supplied by Madrid-based QinMedia and comprises a Clear-Com Eclipse®-Omega advanced digital matrix intercom platform and an Eclipse HX-Delta point-to-point matrix, which has the capability to seamlessly integrate digital, wireless, IP and analogue signals. The two platforms are connected using non-blocking fibre, which ensures there are no internal bandwidth bottlenecks. The combined system has a capacity of near to 550 ports but is contained in only nine rack units, with over 300 possible interface types.
Through the integration of the Eclipse's native IP communications facilities, based on the I.V.Core® (Instant Voice-Core) technology, and V-Series IP-enabled panels, users can choose between two connection modes and alternate them on the fly, without the need for additional external interfaces.
Operation of the intercom system is predominantly through V-Series rotary keypanels, which allow for quick and intuitive selection and control of settings. Among the parameters that can be selected and adjusted are input, output, crosspoint in listening and IFB (Interruptible Foldback) level. Access to the intercom can also be extended beyond the dedicated Clear-Com hardware panels and on to PC clients through Clear-Com Concert™ server software connecting to the Eclipse system. This can be done in a simple and economical way and is designed for jobs that do not need a physical control panel.
MADI is now an integral part of broadcast centre installations for audio distribution and at TVG an interface is used to connect this technology to the Eclipse matrix. In this way 64 bi-directional channels can be accommodated on a single card, pulling together all four-wire communications between the matrix intercom and the facility's digital audio consoles.
Full intercom connectivity for production staff working on the studio floor or elsewhere away from the control galleries is provided through FreeSpeak wireless beltpacks. Approximately 50 of these are available, running on an extensive cellular network with antennas covering all areas of the broadcast centre.
The whole system is managed through Clear-Com's new EHX (Eclipse HX) configuration software, which is much more powerful than the earlier ECS program. EHX gives both administrators and operators an easy and intuitive means of configuring the Eclipse HX network, using an efficient, graphical system. By using this application all communication, conferencing, multiplex, duplex and IFB functions can be controlled from a single operator position. A key element of EHX is its graphical interface, which ensures fast, simple and secure operation of the communications system. This is seen as being particularly beneficial to large-scale live broadcasts such as election coverage, major sports and news events.
But this extensive Clear-Com intercom installation also brings huge benefits for TVG's day-to-day production and transmission workload. It meets the current needs of a broadcaster that produces most of its output at its San Marcos headquarters, which houses studios and post-production suites and is also the base for four outside broadcast units. This programming reaches nearly 4 million people in northwest Spain, covering Galicia and surrounding areas, plus northern Portugal as well as more far flung territories over TVG's satellite services.
"TVG produces a wide range of programming, including news, concerts, game shows, debates, cultural and children's programmes and sport, all of which rely on the production team being able to communicate with each other so that everyone knows what is happening all the time," comments Jose Maria Alvarez, General Manager QinMedia. "The new Clear-Com system gives our customer that capability, with the flexibility of being able to select what carrier format they use depending on the type and scale of programme."
Richard Palmer, Clear-Com's Regional Sales Manager adds, "TVG is a major regional broadcaster in Europe and we are pleased to be involved in raising the efficiency of its productions even higher. The demands on broadcast communications are only set to grow as time goes on but because the Eclipse combines many established and emerging intercom technologies, TVG is now well placed to cope with any future changes in both technology and broadcasting."