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Dual language audio for new Kenyan TV studios

African pay TV network M-Net has opened a new four studio broadcast centre in Nairobi, Kenya, which it shares with its sports channel, SuperSport.

African pay TV network M-Net has opened a new four studio broadcast centre in Nairobi, Kenya, which it shares with its sports channel, SuperSport. The facility has been designed for the specific needs of both drama production and sports coverage, with Yamaha LS9 consoles and Avid Pro Tools on the audio side. The studios are split between two buildings and based on a full file-based production chain. Each channel has its own dedicated gallery areas. Control One is used by SuperSport and can accommodate up to 18 production staff. It houses five VTR/SSD machines and an eight-channel EVS XT3 connected to two IP Director positions. The separate audio section features a 32-fader, 64-channel LS9 desk, running in AES mode. A similarly configured LS9 has been installed in the dedicated sound suite of Control Two, which has been designed to suit the requirements of M-Net’s new prime-time drama serial, Kona. The broadcast centre also offers nine post-production suites with Final Cut Pro, Avid and Pro Tools workstations (drama sound editing room pictured) and two quality control areas. Plans are being made for additional central distribution, master control and uplink areas. UK systems integration company C2S worked on the installation project. The WTS Group subsidiary has also built six outside broadcast trucks for SuperSport in recent years. The facilities were assembled and tested at the company’s workshops in Leeds, UK before being transported to Kenya. Jonathan Lyth, systems manager of C2S, comments that designing studios for two different types of production “made the system quite complex”. He adds, “Three different post-production platforms were needed and the tapeless production-to-transmission workflow meant that each production needed its own asset control system to be integrated under a single workflow so there were a few considerations.” Lyth says that by comparison the audio was “fairly simple in terms of TV production”, although there was the complexity of accommodating two languages for sports commentary, Swahili and English. “SuperSport’s sound requirements include presentation from the studio, the two commentary feeds, effects and four audio channels, arranged as a stereo pair, from the EVS used for highlights and replays,” Lyth explains. Audio is passed round the studio centre as either discreet analogue or AES and is embedded for distribution. Dolby E is available for incoming feeds involving multiple channels. www.c2ssystems.com

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