Estonia Radio goes digital with Lawo technology

Having replaced the two formerly separate institutions Eesti Raadio and Eesti Televisioon in 2007, Estonian public broadcaster ERR (Eesti Rahvusringhääling) recently relocated five radio stations on its campus in Estland’s capital Tallinn to a new production complex.

The move took place in several stages, moving the studios and installing Lawo equipment in its new premises for radio production, as well as for the networking the complete building. In addition to a central Nova73 HD router, ERR has also adopted five crystal and eight sapphire radio broadcast consoles. This has given dramatically increased flexibility and efficiency over the previous setup in the old building. With its new Lawo technology base, ERR has taken the step from analogue into a completely digital environment.

Vytautas Martinonis, head of radio technical and sound recording department, is very pleased with the results of this modernisation: “After consulting with other radio stations all over Europe, we were in a position to define our requirements very precisely – and Lawo won the official tender due to the advanced technology and the price for both points it scored highest. Now we have efficiency and flexibility in our workflows we never had before.”

Besides acting as central router for signal distribution, the Nova 73 HD handles the studio switching and functions as talkback matrix. As master control system, ERR installed Virtual Studio Manager from L-S-B.

In the main control room, a 12-fader sapphire radio console is used as a broadcast mixer for the management of the five radio programs, and additionally will be configured for switching the scheduled studios. The studio complex is designed as a multi-purpose studio for panel discussions, meetings and general recordings and, due to the networked infrastructure, can be used by each programme.

The first station to go live from the new studio complex was Raadio 2. This involved three control rooms, each with a 16-fader Lawo sapphire console for production. The first of its programmes was aired on 18 December, the date reflecting the birthday of radio in Estonia in 1926. The other stations – including Viker Raadio, Raadio 4 and Klassika – moved into the new studio complex between February and April 2015. A fifth station, Radio Tallinn will soon join them using the main control room, and broadcast from there.

Vytautas Martinonis adds: “Presently, we benefit from the redundancy, flexibility in configuration, efficient use of resources and facilities from the Lawo equipment. In the future, this solution will allow us to expand simply by integrating the installation into our IP infrastructure using the AES67 compatibility of its RAVENNA IP technology.”

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