Vendor Spotlight: Lawo

Lawo supports customers with experience, industry standards and a proven IP migration strategy.

In 1970 Phillip Lawo founded his company as a development firm for technologies used in the making of electronic music. He soon moved on to programmable analog mixing consoles, medical lasers, helicopter crew helmets with radio intercoms, and programmable destination displays for buses and trains.

More recently, Lawo envisioned an IP future with a single digital infrastructure for transport of audio, video, metadata and control, and defined a corporate strategy aimed at fully covering next-generation Broadcast Core Infrastructure.

Today Lawo’s company is renowned for its broadcast TV and radio mixing consoles, but has also continued to expand its portfolio into audio routing and video networking—primarily through the application of IP-based technologies.

Perhaps most famous for its mc² series of audio mixing consoles and accompanying A__UHD Core and Power Core DSP processing units, Lawo has also established itself as a leading vendor of video conversion and processing devices through its .edge and V__matrix. Thanks to an early adoption of, and active contribution to, open IP standards, Lawo products are often used in remote-production, OB and broadcast facility application areas. It’s clients include those producing and distributing content for Broadcast, AV, corporate, OTT stream delivery, live events.

“Apart from belonging to a roster that has been firmly rooted in open-standards ST2110, AES67 and RAVENNA IP since 2015, Lawo products have been software-defined for a number of years and have therefore evolved in line with new expectations by equipping existing hardware with innovative, cutting-edge functionality,” said Phil Myers, CTO at Lawo.

This in turn has moved Lawo into the field of sports announcing, with a system that uses IP Commentary Control Software to allow the control unit to be located some distance from the commentator units.

He said that during the pandemic, operators realized that IP-based production scenarios allowed them to make more efficient use of their human and technological resources. Thanks to “lighthouse projects” delivered well before 2020, Lawo was well-positioned when the broadcast industry decided to migrate to IP at scale.

“Some customers had been wary of a disruptive technology that requires additional skillsets and supposedly also new infrastructure,” said Myers. “With the .edge gateway, Lawo managed to prove that SDI devices do not become obsolete when an IP backbone is installed, and that the flexibility of IP allows operators to distribute their SDI infrastructure over several locations rather than forcing all contribution lines to converge towards one location.”

Phil Myers, CTO at Lawo.

Phil Myers, CTO at Lawo.

Lawo’s manufacturer agnostic VSM broadcast control system is widely embraced around the globe by production facilities, OB trucks and remote production control and monitoring. VSM is complemented by HOME, Lawo’s management platform for IP infrastructures, which allows for plug-and-play device discovery and registration, while also catering to in-depth parameter control of HOME-native video and audio devices.

In addition, software-based product marketing strategies include flexible licensing schemes for processing power (A__UHD Core), video and audio processing capabilities (V__matrix) and application-specific feature sets (Power Core.edge) that can be software-licensed for easy scaling.

Perhaps the most valuable feature of the company’s products is that they can be located in a private-cloud (data centers) anywhere in the world, while also allowing for distributed production scenarios and cross-continent resource sharing.

“Until cloud-based production offerings become as secure, reliable and cost-effective as promised, a fast-growing number of customers happily subscribe to Lawo’s private-cloud strategy that allows them to remain in firm control of their content,” said Myers.

Lawo’s products are backed by a team of planning, configuration, troubleshooting and customer service hotline experts.

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