In 2016, Golf Channel reached a decision to begin implementing a transition strategy for the future. Eric Gardner, Golf Channel’s Senior Director, Engineering & BOC explains, “When we started this project, our objective was to overhaul our entire audio infrastructure while achieving IP-transport, pooled resources, ease of operation, and improved workflows. Lawo’s portfolio of products allowed us to design and build a comprehensive system that seamlessly encompasses audio, video, intercom, and commentary into a single vendor solution.”
Three 64-fader mc256 consoles were installed in Golf Channel’s primary production control rooms for live audio, with an additional three 16-fader mc236 consoles installed in hybrid live audio and post production rooms. In addition to the consoles, Lawo Commentary Units were installed in voiceover booths located throughout the Golf Channel campus. Tying everything together is a Nova 73 audio router and eleven DALLIS audio I/O frames located in Golf Channel studios, control rooms, and equipment areas. Gardner continues: “The beauty of this design is that all the messy cabling only happens near the core or at the edge. RAVENNA allows for a sprawling audio network with clean home runs around our facility utilizing both fiber and copper.”
For additional flexibility, Golf Channel also installed four Lawo V__pro8 audio/video processors to take the complexity out of video and audio channel mapping. “The addition of four Lawo V_pro8 units gives us the flexibility to perfectly synchronize any of the eight inputs and outputs with a MADI audio matrix. Live video and audio monitoring is built into the HTML5 web GUI, and the flexibility to build program, auxiliary and camera paths in minutes rivals any other interface we use,” states Bob van Deering, Director, Systems Design & Transmission. The V__pro8 units are utilized as extra resources, with a dedicated unit per production control room and a fourth unit wrapped around the core video router.
“One feature that our Operations Team has been very excited about is the flexibility of Lawo’s custom functions.” states Dennis Milewski, Director, Systems Services. “Using the custom function of the mc² series consoles, the operators can program the console to do almost anything they can imagine. Currently, the custom functions are used for specialty audio monitoring situations, back-up microphone routing, and GPIO tasks like studio on-air lights, among many other uses.”
Lawo and Golf Channel worked under a tight schedule to integrate all systems during a December 2017 production hiatus. Milewski continues, “Lawo was incredible to work with from project start to finish. Our operators found that Lawo’s trainer went above and beyond, making them feel comfortable with extensive training and on-site presence.” Golf Channel launched the new system on January 2 earlier this year, utilizing it during its signature daily live news programs, Morning Drive and Golf Central.
About Golf Channel
Golf Channel is a multimedia, golf entertainment and services company based in Orlando, Fla. Serving the most-affluent audience in all of television, Golf Channel – co-founded by Arnold Palmer in 1995 and now part of NBC Sports Group – is available to nearly 500 million viewers in 78 countries and nine languages around the world. Golf Channel features more live golf coverage than all other networks combined, including tournament action from the PGA TOUR, LPGA Tour, The Open, Olympics, and Ryder Cup, as well as high-quality news, instruction and original programming. Delivering unmatched coverage of the world of golf, fans are able to enjoy 24/7 live streaming of Golf Channel content through Golf Channel Digital and the NBC Sports App, powered by Playmaker Media. In addition, Golf Channel connects the world to golf through a wide array of digital and lifestyle services including Golf Channel Mobile, a comprehensive app covering golf’s latest headlines, scores and analysis; GolfNow, the world’s largest online tee time booking platform and golf course technology partner, which includes the GolfNow Mobile App, featuring on-course GPS tracking, in-round scoring and game tracking; Revolution Golf, the largest direct-to-consumer digital platform in golf ; GolfAdvisor.com, the world’s largest golf course ratings and review resource for golfers, by golfers; a North American network of Golf Channel Academy instructional facilities; and Golf Channel Am Tour, the world’s largest amateur golf tour; and as the Official Media Partner of St. Andrews Links, the Home of Golf.
Lawo designs and manufactures pioneering network, control, audio and video technology for broadcast and post production, as well as live performance and theatrical applications. Products include control and monitoring systems, digital audio mixing consoles, routers, video processing tools as well as solutions for IP-based A/V infrastructures and routing systems. All products are developed in Germany and manufactured according to highest quality standards at the company’s headquarters in the Rhine valley town of Rastatt, Germany. For additional information, please visit the company online at www.lawo.com.