One of Australia’s largest and most technologically advanced churches in the country is without a doubt Hillsong Church, with its main campus in Baulkham Hills, Sydney. Late in 2014 discussions began between Hillsong Church and PAT about building one of the most advanced video IP networks in the country. The design would connect Hillsong’s diverse network infrastructure across the country which is based on Avaya’s Fabric Connect technology. The project team lead by, Ricki Cook, Luke Irvine, Sebastian Heck & Brett Randall, tested various encoders and streaming products on the market over various network topology designs. choosing LAWO’s video over IP technology offered by LAWO’s V__Line products. After various demos and assessments the Hillsong team was convinced that the LAWO V__Link4 offered unparalleled flexibility, features and value for money, leaving other more established video manufacturers behind. 14 x V__Link4’s were ordered and delivered by PAT last month.
Offering 4 x Video-over-IP encoders and decoders, frame synchronisation for each channel, frame and line phasing, as well as variable audio and video delays for each channel, the LAWO V__Link4’s were chosen as the preferred product to contribute production-quality video over IP. Features such as embedding and de-embedding including SRC’s, RGB Colour correction and Proc Amp’s for each channel, on top of two surround-to-stereo downmixers per embedder, offer a magnitude of options to Hillsong Church. Quadsplit Multiviewers, Waveform and Vector display, Timecode insertion, test pattern generator and video ID generators for each channel deliver a set of tools necessary for Hillsong’s broadcast distribution network. Timecode and Sync generators, as well as lip-sync measurements assure time accurate content delivery while making use of 2 x 10Gbit and 4 x 1Gbit SFP ports, from which 2 provide PoE.
Needing to address the overall control of the system, again one of PAT’s manufacturers – L-S-B Broadcast Technologies – seemed to fit the technology bill better than anyone else. Initial testing of multi-stream switching within the V__Link4’s via VSM was convincingly trialled by Hillsong and PAT in close cooperation with L-S-B and LAWO in Germany.
PAT’s Engineering Manager Adam Langham explains “Its was always clear to everyone involved in this project that the most powerful and versatile control system for the Hillsong Video Network would be VSM. While VSM and LAWO were showing time accurate multi-stream video source switching at NAB in Vegas for the first time, we were testing the same software releases in parallel to make it all work in the real world. Hillsong stream J2K to each campus where the bandwidth is available, other facilities with less bandwidth availability will receive and send video in H264 or via the web. The support from the LAWO Group including LSB was second to none and we knew that, with the vision of the Hillsong technology team and the outstanding support from the manufacturers, we could leave traditional thinking behind, and deliver a technology solution for an IP Video network never deployed in Australia before on this scale.”
Once the Proof of Concept for the VSM control was successfully completed, phase two of this project started and the VSM solution was scaled up to a system that not only provides the control of multi-stream switching, but offers a multitude of cutting edge live production features. The new VSM system, which is scheduled for delivery in July, has a total of 45 control ports controlling a brand new ROSS VIDEO NK-3G144 SDI router with 144 x 144 cross points, AJA KiPro HD/SD recorders and players, a Riedel Artist frame, LAWO V__PRO8’s and LAWO V__Link4’s. With future expansion to include a LAWO Nova73 Audio Router.
The software components to be supplied with the VSM system include vLayer support for the connection to 3rd party control via ProBel SWp08 and SWp02, Leitch and Z-Protocol. Storage groups are enabled to create, load and save presets including labels, cross points, GPO states, parameters and panel layouts. A vsmScheduler allows scheduled events such as time based switching, while the use of Pseudo Devices will enable the engineers to link video/audio/TC/RS-422 signals into a switchable overall bundle, and allow them to create Audio to follow video rules, create stereo switching rules as well as up to 32 channel switching rules. Timers allow configurable up/down timers with multiple triggers to run actions, while Apology rules enable alarms to trigger an automatic recover to back-up condition. The VSM Tally module enables intelligent Tally management within vsmStudio of up to 32 tally levels, and Alarm Modules collect and process incoming signals via SNMP, GPIO or native protocol. The system consists of two server licences for full server redundancy, LBP-16e, LBP-41e, LBP-83e panels, GPIO 32, LTC and smartHub111 for interfacing into RS-232 and RS-422 devices.
With the system, PAT will also supply a brand new ROSS VIDEO NK-3G144 SDI router with 144 x 144 cross points and 6 openGear frames populated with various cards for traditional SDI equipment. In addition to this, PAT will also supply LAWO V__PRO8’s for embedding, de-embedding, video processing & frame synchronization as well as Boland broadcast monitors.
PAT’s founder and Managing Director Patrick Salloch is very pleased with the current progress of the project “It is always an exciting proposition if a customer pushes the technology as far as possible. This was made possible through a very close collaborative approach with the excellent subject matter knowledge of the Hillsong technology team, the outstanding support of the manufacturers involved and the team of dedicated engineers I have the pleasure of working with at PAT. This is one of the largest video over IP systems in Australia. The fact that it is controlled by VSM makes it also one of the most flexible and powerful content contribution systems in Oz. It is of course also a fantastic reference site for PAT and all manufacturers involved. We are honoured to be given the opportunity to be involved in this exciting project”