Darmstadt University Broadcast Students Rely On Riedel Technology To Welcome Newcomers

Riedel MediorNet, Artist, and Bolero enable unique, student-produced broadcast at Germany’s Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences.

For the first time ever, the Hochschule Darmstadt – University of Applied Sciences (h_da) in Darmstadt, Germany, has replaced its traditional on-campus welcome event for first-year students with a live broadcast— powered by Riedel’s state-of-the-art signal transport and communications technologies. Broadcast students at h_da leveraged a Riedel MediorNet real-time network, Artist digital matrix intercom system, and Bolero wireless intercom to produce the multi-location program to professional standards.

“For the past 10 years, it has been our tradition to welcome new students with a big live event at the Staatstheater Darmstadt. This is not just about conveying information, but about forging an emotional bond and showcasing the size and diversity of the university,” said Martin Wünderlich-Dubsky, Media Relations Officer at h_da. “With this year’s special program, we were able to achieve all this — and more — in a safe and physically distanced manner. As a bonus, the high production value of the program meant we were able to reach a significantly larger audience.”

With the coronavirus pandemic, the university saw a unique opportunity: to give broadcast students a hands-on opportunity to produce a live television program using today’s advanced remote broadcasting techniques. Enabled by distributed and fully digital workflows and home studio-based technologies, students were able to produce video and sound from multiple distributed locations. The final program consisted of an interdisciplinary crew of more than 60 student video specialists.

The Riedel MediorNet infrastructure consisted of six MetroN decentralized routers, four MediorNet Compact stageboxes, and two MicroN high-density signal interface configured with the MicroN MultiViewer app. For team communications, an Artist-64 digital matrix intercom mainframe equipped with AES67 cards supported up to 20 Bolero wireless beltpacks. An RSP-2318 SmartPanel leveraged the MediorNet Control App to provide agile routing and control of audio and video signals transported across the MediorNet network.

This Riedel configuration enabled the production to go live from five main locations: the main set in a café, an outdoor set, the president’s address from a 14th floor office via IT network (using the Bolero intercom in standalone mode), a set in the Staatstheater Darmstadt, and a Zoom interview with the mayor of Dieburg, Germany.

“With its decentralized approach, MediorNet is ideally suited to remote productions that can enable teams to work safely while also maintaining world-class production standards. We are very happy to be able to support the next generation of broadcasters and help enable students to gain experience in a highly professional environment,” said Andreas Mohnke, Account Manager, Riedel. “At h_da, it was great to see how our products’ intuitive interfaces and ease of use enabled newcomers to perform highly challenging tasks, such as changing the configuration of the intercom matrix on the fly and during operation.”

Felix Krückels, Professor of Broadcast Production and System Design, h_da, added, “Facilitated by the Riedel equipment, this was a real television program — and our student team mastered all of the challenges with extreme professionalism. Hopefully the reason for this remote production, the pandemic, won’t happen again, but at the same time, it opened up lots of new possibilities to expand our students’ real-world broadcast experience. It was great to see all the motivation and enthusiasm, and we’re all really proud of the results!”

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