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Standards-based IP was once considered a daring venture into the unknown by broadcasters and audio professionals. Those who did make the switch were delighted with the ability to rethink their workflows from the ground up. While the others were still pondering the pros and cons of IP, the world came to a grinding, pandemic-induced halt. That’s when the benefits of IP technology became obvious.
Lawo’s IP products are WAN-capable. This allows operators to devise remote workflows for a variety of tasks: Audio engineers can mix shows from their homes; opera houses can pursue their production schedules while respecting physical distancing regulations; and broadcasters can station their processing cores in off-premises data centers in less expensive areas, and still use them in distributed workflow scenarios where different operators work on the same project from separate locations. Today, everything is in place to build potent private and hybrid clouds.
Besides its native support of ST2110, AES67/Ravenna IP and ST2022-7, Lawo’s audio and video solutions are surprisingly compact considering their DSP density: The A__UHD Core, which replaces a 10U unit as console core, and the Power Core are lightweight and only 1U high. This is good news for OB truck installs and flypack-based production scenarios. The “biggest” V__matrix unit, which can house up to eight C100 processing blades, is still only 3U high. In fact, the entire feature set needed to keep an all-IP OB truck running fits into 12U.
The software-defined nature of V__matrix’s potential allows operators to retask the C100 blades it contains to a different feature set for any specific project. Technically, operators can perform such software-based feature changes several times a day. Coupled with WAN support, it is even possible to solicit C100 processing power in different parts of the world — either for isolated tasks or for clustered processes, such as calculating an almost infinite number of multiviewer PiPs served to both local and remote users. This minimizes hardware idle time.
In line with the drive toward providing users with maximum flexibility is the licensing system for both the A__UHD Core and Power Core. The A__UHD Core offers up to 1024 fully-featured DSP channels that can be licensed in 256-channel chunks (256, 512, 768, 1024), depending on how many DSP resources users effectively need.
Short-term, agile upscaling — even for a limited period — allows broadcasters to “book” more DSP capacity for sports-laden weekends. Other flexible usage models include sharing one A__UHD Core among up to four (and soon even more) mc² consoles and/or mxGUI instances from different geographic locations. Without IP, this would be impossible.
While the others were still pondering the pros and cons of IP, the world came to a grinding, pandemic-induced halt. That’s when the benefits of IP technology became obvious.
A similar system is available for the Power Core, with two licenses for audio production purposes and five licenses for radio applications. One radio license, called Power Core Max (multiple access), allows up to four hardware or virtual radio consoles to each use a quarter of the Power Core’s resources. Nine different I/O cards allow users to equip their Power Cores with the required physical inputs and outputs in various audio formats, including analog, digital, Dante and Madi.
Lawo’s Home platform, on the cards for Lawo’s entire product portfolio, turns formerly complex IP configurations into a plug and play process based on automatic discovery and mindful registration of devices. It also caters to centralized device management and deep-dive editing as well as to securing IP networks. Home can be used locally and scaled to multi-location networks.
Significant improvements are rolling out for VSM, Lawo’s IP broadcast control and workflow solution. They will dramatically shorten configuration and setup times.
However, what makes us proudest is that these solutions evolved with users in mind — most product enhancements across the Lawo range are based on feedback and requests from users and incorporated into the feature set to make broadcasters’ lives easier.
Learn more about Lawo’s HOME Management Platform for IP-based media infrastructures in this video.