Ethiopia’s OBN Leans on Lawo mc²36 Audio Mixers, Compact I/O in Digital Satellite News Gathering Units
Ethiopia’s public broadcaster Oromia Broadcasting Network (OBN) has chosen Lawo mixing consoles and I/O devices as the basis for new DSNG units with 4K workflow. Based in Adama, Ethiopia, OBN is Oromia State’s leading media organization, serving a regional audience of 35 million people, and viewers nationwide, via satellite.
For the technical basis of their OB units, both set to 4K standard, OBN chose self-contained Lawo mc²36 mixing consoles, complemented with Compact I/O units for expanded connectivity and use as remote stagebox solutions.
OBN’s first DSNG to be delivered is a versatile 12-camera unit of about 12 meters in length with a full 12G workflow, capable of handling a wide variety of ambitious live broadcast situations. This unit, with its 40-fader mc²36 console and Compact I/O, features a layout that maximizes internal space while enabling interoperability among the different production areas: Technical room, Production and Graphics rooms, and Audio room are all interconnected.
Another DSNG vehicle, suitable for smaller productions and TV reporting assignments, carries 4 cameras and a 16-fader mc²36. The van features an acoustically insulated audio room — a unique solution, especially given the 4-meter overall length of the vehicle.
Concept, design, and installation of the brand-new DSNG vehicles has been carried out by Italian systems integrator ARET Video and Audio Engineering, a longtime Lawo partner active globally. ARET has extensive experience providing sophisticated broadcast projects by selecting, combining, installing, and commissioning broadcast equipment for tailor-made, turnkey projects.
“Lawo’s console technology gave ARET the ability to design systems for OBN that deliver easy, redundant operation, and highly flexible workflows,” explains Ralf Schimmel, Director Sales Africa & Radio Partners at Lawo. “Thanks to the MADI connection to the video matrix, the audio operators have access to all of the facility’s embedded sources, allowing them to mix and send program audio to the embedder via the MADI connection themselves. To ensure reliability in unpredictable remote locations, all audio sources are also connected directly via the mc² consoles’ built-in analog and AES connectivity.”
Uniquely, ARET’s approach to building OB vans is ‘end to end’, using their own coachbuilding facility, ARET Coachworx.
“Our capabilities include consultancy, structural design, electrical engineering, air-conditioning, and system design, and each job proceeds from coachbuilding to systems integration, commissioning, training and after sales support,” says Umberto Asti, vice president of ARET. “All these phases are carried out exclusively by ARET personnel, providing the customer with a single point-of-contact, both during the build and in the future. We keep a full record of every OB van we deliver, including full documentation: drawings, software and firmware releases, hardware inventory for both the broadcast equipment and mechanical components. It’s a big added value for the customer.”
Asti adds that in OBN’s DSNG vehicles, the 4K video workflow is uniquely integrated and extended by Lawo’s audio system.
“Our equipment’s audio networking and I/O capabilities extend far beyond standard analog and AES ports. There is a direct MADI connection with the client’s audio embedder, and also a RAVENNA connection with the stage box to ensure maximum flexibility. With both satellite antennae and Internet streamers, these vehicles should be a match for any live broadcast situation!”