Doordarshan is India’s public television company, built on public broadcaster Prasar Bharati. It manages television channels at a national, regional and local level in open signal, cable and satellite platforms, which makes it one of the largest television networks in the world.
In New Delhi it has its two main production centres:
- DD News is the production center of the Doordarshan National News Channel, it is the only 24-hour terrestrial television news channel in India.
- CPC is a production centre for General Programs with four studios: A, B, C and D.
In both centres a new digital intercom system was needed to communicate in each studio the producer and director with the cameras, manager and studio assistant, presenters, lighting technicians, sound technicians, CCU, and general centre services such as VCR, graphics, etc.
During 2021, with the travel restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Doordarshan, AEQ and Falcon had to carry out the entire manufacturing, installation, acceptance, commissioning and training process remotely between Madrid (Spain) and the two centres in New Delhi (India).
AEQ located in its Madrid offices an Intercom platform equivalent to the one sent, with the CONEXIA matrix, panels, beltpacks, concentrators, etc. In this way, and thanks to the means of remote control of the equipment and video conferences, the AEQ technical staff was able to carry out the necessary tasks for start-up and training from Madrid. AEQ’s Crossmapper real-time control and configuration program allowed real-time control and supervision from Madrid of the operations in Delhi.
This Project arises from a need to provide a flexible and reliable intercom system for the DD News and CPC centers in Delhi. In mid-2020, the public tender was published, which was answered by the main international companies in the sector.
Doordarshan DD especially prioritized robustness and reliability over any other functionality. The CONEXIA system configured by AEQ was fully adjusted to the functional needs of both centres.
The AEQ intercom system has great configuration flexibility. Even though the AEQ intercom system usually uses high quality Dante combined AoIP connectivity with G722 / G711 for low bit rate transmissions, due to an express requirement of system design, for reasons of simplicity of configuration and maintenance, DD preferred the digital connection. point-to-point for the wired panels in rack format and point-to-point high-quality analog connection for the rest of the wired and wireless beltpacks and CCUs (intercom hubs with camera operators).
Also by design requirement, the widest redundancy was installed, so that most of the possible causes of failure do not prevent the global operation of the entire system, and very few causes can cause very localised interruptions that affect only very small parts of the system and never to complete sub-systems.
Thus, intercom and matrix controllers were supplied with redundant and hot-swappable elements that allow any intervention in the system without the need to stop the operation.
In elements where there is no redundancy such as individual connections to panels, beltpacks and cameras, audio distribution equipment, etc. AEQ proposed a configuration in which destinations are distributed among the largest possible number of cards in the CONEXIA matrix. In this way, an unlikely failure of a CONEXIA matrix card would only affect part of the subsystems and never one completely.
Despite all the complexity of the system required, Doordarshan’s AEQ CONEXIA intercom is easily operated and controlled from the intercom system panels. By pressing the corresponding buttons, authorised persons can contact the destinations and groups that should receive each message. The panels have mechanisms to give the highest quality and security to communications: noise gate, dynamic and equalisation process, recording of the last message, etc.
The DELHI CPC System
The heart of the system is the CONEXIA intercom matrix, responsible for the distribution of audio signals between the wired user panels TP8116 in rack format, BP 3004 in wired beltpack format, as well as the Xplorer wireless user terminals based on Wi-Fi technology , and CE 6000 X01 hubs for cameras.
- Common areas have 6 TP8116 panels
- Studio A and B have 4 TP8116 panels and a TP8116+EP8116 set as a 32-key panel. In the studio, the Floor Managers and Presenters are equipped with two Xplorer wireless terminals with two WIFI access points, two wired beltpacks and two camera hubs.
- Studio C has 1 TP8116 panel, a TP8116+EP8116 set as a 32-key panel, two Xplorer wireless terminals with two access points and a wired beltpack.
- Studio D has 3 TP8116 panels, a TP8116+EP8116 set as a 32-key panel, an Xplorer wireless terminal with two access points and a wired beltpack, and two camera hubs.
The DD NEWS system
The heart of the system is also a CONEXIA intercom matrix, responsible for the distribution of audio signals between the wired user panels TP8116 in rack format, BP 3004 in wired beltpack format, as well as the Xplorer wireless user terminals based on Wi-Fi technology, and CE 6000 X01 concentrators for cameras.
The different user panels are distributed between the general technical area and the L, S, CB-1 and PRES studios. STUDIO.
- Common areas have 8 TP8116 panels
- Studio L has 5 TP8116 panels, a TP8116+EP8116 set as a 32-key panel for the Producer. In the studio, the Floor Managers and Presenters are equipped with two Xplorer wireless terminals with WIFI access points, two wired beltpacks and two camera hubs.
- Studio S, CB1 and PRESS, each have 4 TP8116 user panels, a TP8116+EP8116 set as a 32-key user panel for the Producer, two Xplorer wireless terminals with two access points, two wired beltpacks and two camera hubs.
Supply, Installations, Commissioning and Training
Once the supply was confirmed by Doordarshan, AEQ had to manufacture the equipment during the first part of 2021. Despite the complications due to the supply of components since the Covid19 pandemic, AEQ was able to supply all the equipment in a record period of 4 months. Once the merchandise was shipped, during the months of September and October of the year 2021, the rest of the process was carried out with the client Doordarshan.
The installation, configuration, commissioning and training was led from Madrid by the AEQ technical team and coordinated by our local distributor in India Falcon Broadcast Solutions.
Thanks to the programming, control and supervision advantages of the AEQ Crossmapper program, all these tasks could be carried out using simple and common tools in these cases such as the Anydesk program.
Once the entire system was up and running, two two-day remote training courses were conducted for DD News and CPC staff. In this way Doordarshan staff were trained to program and maintain the system requiring very little support from AEQ.
On behalf of AEQ, Mr. Roberto Tejero, as the technical manager of the Project, said “Throughout these hard months we have carried out important configuration and distance training tasks, but it is the first time that we have developed a Project of this magnitude without traveling. This opens up a new way of working that will allow us to solve it if any problem arises as if it occurred in a station in Madrid. Their eyes will be our eyes and their hands will be ours, and the solutions will be the same as if we were to move.”