Datamatix’s AUDIO2 and a Lawo crystal console help visually-impaired audience members at Germany’s live television show “Wetten, dass...?” (Let’s bet that...?) follow along using audio description. Audio description is a technique that is used to help blind or visually impaired people to better understand and perceive visual processes. “For an entertainment show, the audio description has to be embedded carefully and delicately into the show in such a way that the listener doesn’t realize a thing,” explained Michael Kastelic (pictured), CEO of Datamatix Datensysteme. AUDIO2 has been responsible for creating the audio description for matches in the First Austrian Football League and other sports events for three years. “Wetten, dass ...?” is its first live-audio description on German television airing in January of this year. Broadcast from the Baden-Arena in Offenburg, the operation was based in a container next to an OB van operated by national public broadcaster ZDF, who was responsible for the international broadcast. AUDIO2 chose Lawo’s crystal console for its compact size and modular fader unit. “The demands on the technology and everyone working on this project were extremely high, so we really appreciate all the positive feedback we received! It shows us that we did a good job,” explained Kastelic. “Lawo provides systems with a high degree of flexibility that allows us to employ them in the best possible way in this sort of project. The other very important factor for us was Lawo’s quick and reliable support.” www.lawo.de
Lawo meets the twain of audio and video
The trend for video companies moving into audio continues, with projection giants Barco and Christie both marketing cinema sound systems, and Blackmagic Design launching an Audio Monitor. But it's a two-way street in which console manufacturer Lawo is exploiting its experience in IP to produce video matrix and processing units.