Vizrt Kit Central To German TV’s Virtual Studio

Welt television in Berlin has equipped its news studio and production installation with software-based production tools from Vizrt.

The German broadcaster’s SMPTE 2110 NMOS-based infrastructure switches and composites a full broadcast output without the use of a production switcher for greater accuracy, and operational efficiency.

Together with the solution integrator, Qvest Media, Vizrt delivered a number of software tools to achieve this: Viz Mosart for automation, Viz One for asset management, Viz Pilot Edge for journalist workflows, Viz Multiplay for video wall content control, and Viz Engine to power, interconnect, and output.

Thorsten Prohm, CTO for Welt said, “Creating a news broadcast facility is a technical challenge even with traditional architecture. What we invented at Welt are innovative workflows for every step needed to create the program we envisioned. This influenced the choice of journalist and automation tools and how our infrastructure needs to work and can be controlled. Our intention was not to eliminate the switcher. With the flexibility and functionality from software components and the underlying IP infrastructure, there was no need for one anymore. With Vizrt we found the right software provider to pull this project off the ground.”

To work without a traditional hardware production switcher, the planners used Vizrt’s software to provide the functionality and the flexibility needed to achieve this goal. All mix/effects and DVEs, as well as all content for the moving LED videowalls and the virtual studio are done with software. Welt’s journalists use template-driven software storytelling tools connected with their NRCS, enabling them to work from any location right up to the final second to file their stories and deliver content.

Gerhard Lang, CTO for Vizrt said, “The creative minds behind the workflows and aesthetics of Welt approached Vizrt with a concept where they wanted to take full control over every aspect of the production chain. Together we designed a setup which is entirely software based and functions without a production switcher. A technical challenge like this not only requires the modules to work, but a deep collaboration between the parties. We are happy and proud that Welt chose us as a partner for this groundbreaking project allowing us to show what is possible with IP and software.”

The studio setup features not only seven robotic cameras but also moving, fully motorized LED panels and IP-controlled lighting, making it a highly complex challenge. The broadcaster uses Viz Mosart to orchestrate the interplay between many different elements. Content on the video walls are also driven by software, being controlled by a combination of Viz Multiplay and Viz Mosart.

The setup takes full advantage of a SMPTE 2110 NMOS infrastructure with the help of an orchestrator and a broadcast controller. Pooling of inputs for fast access and for assignment through NMOS plays a vital role in keeping the setup lean and nimble, and ensures that while performance is always at peak, only the needed bandwidth is used all the way through the interconnected IP infrastructure. 

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