New Zealand’s premier television station, TVNZ, has been leading the way in New Zealand proudly broadcasting four free-to-air channels alongside a prominent online media presence. TVNZ’s Avalon facility provides 2 Control Room’s from which the New Zealand Racing Board’s 2 Horse Racing Channels originate from also. Recently, Senior Audio Director Andrew Stewart was asked to recommend a new console for one of these broadcast control room’s. After careful consideration, TVNZ opted for a DiGiCo SD8.
Given TVNZ had a strict budget in place, Andrew wanted a console that would meet both their current and future requirements. “For the price bracket it was by far the best suited Digital Console for our Broadcast needs (better suited than some of higher cost)” Andrew said.
Pictured above: TVNZ Senior Audio Director Andrew Stewart
“The number 1 feature/advantage is that all Faders/Channels can be Stereo. Other console options needed 2 mono Channels/Faders to be tied together and which reduced the Chanel count and often required cumbersome Gain, Pan, Left to Mono etc adjustment. 80% of our sources are stereo.”
Several other features also appealed to TVNZ’s requirements such as delay controls on each input, Left to Mono, Right to Mono controls and advanced DSP processing. TVNZ were very impressed with the sound of the SD8’s effects processing. “Compression and EQ exceeded expectations; we were expecting less for the price” Andrew revealed.
With TVNZ’s configuration being comprised of a combination of monostereo sources into stereo groups, mono/stereo aux sends; there was a lot of appeal in terms of the routingmapping flexibility of the SD8. “Any Fader can be a Mono or Stereo Chanel, Group or Aux Master. You are not stuck with a section of same types” Andrew notes.
The number of features and functionality certainly didn’t mean that the SD8 was difficult to use either. Andrew was impressed with the interface given the console is usually used in live productions and there are engineers who aren’t familiar with the console that need to learn it quickly. “Although the Broadcast specific software is yet to be commissioned the SD8, it’s very broadcast orientated. It is very user friendly. We have a number of freelance operators so a complex desk was out of the question”.
The constant demands a television station places on a console are clear and TVNZ have been very happy with the SD8’s stability also. “The SD8 operates 7 days a week averaging 12 hours a day live to air. We have not had a fault to date”.
Pictured above: TVNZ Senior Sound Operator Rick Croasdale