Riedel MediorNet Routes Spain’s ‘Gran Hermano VIP’

Riedel’s MediorNet real-time network is a critical behind-the-scenes player for the fifth season of the popular Spanish reality show “Gran Hermano VIP” (“Big Brother VIP”). MediorNet provides a redundant and decentralized signal routing and transport infrastructure for the on-location Gran Hermano VIP House near Madrid, moving video from more than 70 cameras and audio signals originating from four mixing consoles. As Spain’s celebrity version of the worldwide “Big Brother” franchise, “Gran Hermano VIP” launched its current season in January.

Monitor wall at the Gran Hermano house.

Monitor wall at the Gran Hermano house.

The Riedel Communications MediorNet network in the Gran Hermano VIP House was designed and installed by Spanish system integrator Crosspoint. They worked closely with the production company Zeppelin Television (a division of Endemol Shine Iberia).

The network consists of five MediorNet Compact Pro frames, two MediorNet MetroN frames, and 18 MediorNet MicroN high-density media distribution network devices — all connected over a 10 Gb/s optical fiber network to form a decentralized routing matrix.

"For 'Gran Hermano VIP,' we had fairly complex networking requirements. The network topology had to handle all of the inputs and outputs needed to put on a show with multiple cast members moving from room to room. We also needed a single system from which we could sync all cameras," said José Luis Gacal, Technical Director at Zeppelintv. "After our experience with Riedel MediorNet on another production last year, we knew it could provide the flexibility, reliability, and ease of operation we needed for this show"

The topology of the MediorNet network.

The topology of the MediorNet network.

The MediorNet Compact Pro and MicroN frames are placed in five strategic locations throughout the Gran Hermano VIP House to collect signals from all 70 camera sources. The MicroN devices are able to multiplex camera signals along with PAN/TILT and camera control data and deliver them to the machine room over a few 10G fiber links, a task that would otherwise require a large and heavy bundle of copper cabling. The MediorNet network also serves as the audio router, with audio channels coming from the four mixing consoles via MADI interfaces. In addition, the "Gran Hermano VIP" production is using Riedel's RockNet real-time audio network devices to provide additional analog audio inputs and outputs.

In the machine room, one MetroN frame provides routing for all fiber links and outputs the signals to the vision mixer. The second MetroN acts as a backup, providing full redundancy. Redundancy is also built into the network through dual fiber paths, with one set of fibers in the suspended ceiling and the other underground. This setup gives MediorNet the ability to reroute signals in the event of a network error.

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