China’s SDTV taps Euphonix for Beijing buildout

China’s Shandong Television (SDTV) has purchased a number of Euphonix audio mixing systems in preparation for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Looking to modernize its five studios, SDTV purchased one 40-fader System 5-MC integrated digital audio workstation (DAW) controller for its 6,500-square-foot studio, three 8-fader System 5-MC consoles for other studios, one 40-fader System 5-B on-air digital mixing system for an ENG vehicle and one on-air Max Air digital audio mixing system for a 400-square-foot studio. SDTV’s unprecedented digital overhaul will be served by Euphonix’s extensive portfolio, the only single-vendor offering that canvases the audio requirements of collective broadcast and post-production environments.

Founded in 1960, SDTV operates six channels and five studios, and is the first provincial station in China to completely modernize its broadcast and post-production equipment. The Olympic upgrade effort is to accommodate 28 summer sports from August 8-24, 2008. Though Shandong is 400 miles south of Beijing and only one of 31 provinces in China, SDTV is quickly becoming a regional broadcast leader thanks to its technological vision.

“Like many other television stations throughout China, we’ve trusted Euphonix to provide flexible yet stable sound systems for our newsrooms, live event broadcasts and post-production work,” Yu Shaoyuan, chief of Shandong TV’s audio department, said. “With our latest purchase, we’ve taken a leadership position in the industry to ensure our engineers have the best possible equipment to provide the highest quality broadcasts.”

A key component of the System 5-MC, Euphonix’s universal control protocol EuCon will enable SDTV operators to easily manage multiple mixing responsibilities across the digital audio workstations (DAWs) within SDTV’s massive studio complex. For example, the System 5-MC mix controllers connect to Nuendo and Pro Tools DAWs via EuCon over high-speed Ethernet for recording and mixing applications. Although EuCon was designed specifically for controlling audio and video software, it works with any Mac or PC application and can manage multiple workstations and applications simultaneously.

More than 130 million viewers watch SDTV broadcasts of live performances, soap operas and news reports. Industry insiders consider SDTV studio upgrades to be “elaborate works” — a sterling example for other stations to follow. The upgrades have elevated the station’s national profile and increased its bargaining position to cover future events.

“The Asian market for advanced digital audio workstations and large-format mixing consoles is exploding,” according to Shao Hongmei, general manager at JCE Electronic Equipment, the Euphonix distributor in China. “All the major players are demanding flexible units with high-definition capabilities, and the EuCon technology embedded in the Euphonix consoles delivers more flexibility than any proprietary system.”

“We’re grateful to JCE for arranging the sale and providing superb after-sales service,” Rob Lewis, the director of Pacific Rim sales for Euphonix, said. “They know the territory. They have the contacts. And they’re committed to helping customers truly understand the capabilities of the equipment they sell. With the biggest broadcast event in China’s history approaching, we couldn’t ask for a better partner in the region.”

The System 5-MC integrated DAW controller includes System 5 channel strips and an MC Media Application Controller for master console functions and integral control of DAWs. The Max Air digital mixing system is designed for on-air, live-to-tape and outside broadcast applications. More compact than the System 5-B, the Max Air includes a central, easy-to-use touch screen for most master functions. It uses the same DSP core and converters as System 5-B and also shares much of the same control surface software. It includes hardware redundancy and software diagnostics.

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