Upgrading Guangdong Radio & Television’s (GRT) video operations to IP is an on-going process that started in 2018, with their first 4K UHD OB truck, a new 300m2 studio and a series of other upgrades.
According to William Liu (pictured), Managing Director and Project Manager at Lawo-partner Mindo, “The MCR we helped to build, which is a part of this master plan, will evolve in two stages: right now, GRT operates in HD, but they are determined to switch to UHD 4K as soon as this becomes a necessity for their operations.
“When we started discussions about migrating GRT’s MCR to IP-based video, Mindo as the system integrator suggested considering Lawo solutions for open-standard-based ST2110 IP technology.
“Having used Lawo mc²-series audio consoles in most of their studios and OB trucks since 2007, Guangdong TV knew exactly what they expected from a Lawo solution: stability and and reliability under critical conditions, such as live broadcast and sports productions. The fact that Lawo has always thought two steps ahead of everybody else gave us the confidence to propose a video solution from Lawo.
“Today, we are happy to say that the V_matrix solution we installed in May 2020 delivers on Lawo’s and Mindo’s promises and leaves all options open regarding future updates. We believe that GRT’s IP-based MCR is the first full-IP setup in China that can handle SD, HD and UHD indiscriminately. As it turns out, Guangdong TV currently operates 14 HD channels and 1 UHD channel.
“Their Lawo-based video infrastructure consists of four Vmatrix8 and eight V_matrix solution2 units for a total of 38 C100 flexibly programmable processing blades (FPGAs), some of which are used for their MCR multiviewer, based on four vm_mv 24-4 licenses. Since quite a few video sources are still baseband SDI, we added 34 vm_streaming licenses and the adequate connection backplates. GRT run two +fs add-ons for video frame syncing and delay as well as sample-rate conversion and delay for audio. For 4K UHDTV1 Single-Link and Quad-Link (2SI) operation, two +12g licenses have been added.
“We are still amazed at the compact size of the Vmatrix platform and the flexibility Lawo’s C100 processing blades afford. Simply by uploading different software to these blades, GRT can change their functionality. Plus, the blades will not become obsolete when they are no longer needed as SDI > IP gateways. Uploading different software will allow Guangdong TV to use the “free” C100 blades for other tasks, such as switching to Lawo’s vm_dmv flexibly scalable, distributed multiviewer.
“Apart from being an excellent ROI, the V_matrix solution allows GRT to work in its private, on-site cloud, using the massive processing resources for whatever the future has in store for TV stations that operate on the cutting edge.”