Chinese state television installs Lawo consoles.
Two mc²66 for China Central Television’s new HQ.
The new headquarters of the state-owned China Central Television (CCTV) in Beijing’s central business district is one of the boldest and most spectacular architectural works of the modern age. 230 metres high and covering 540,000 square metres, it is (in the words of its creator) “a fiendishly complex building in terms of programme and structure”. Inside the asymmetric monolith – a kind of inverted U with a right angle in the middle – where over 10,000 CCTV employees will work and interact, all is state of the art, with HD and surround-capable studios and control rooms, two of which, each extending over 400 square metres, have been equipped with Lawo mc266 consoles – the nerve centre of operations in the studios concerned. Each of the consoles, with their 16-8-16 and 16-8-8 frames respectively, has an HD Core boasting 96 DSP channels and a routing capacity of 3000 crosspoints.
Both mc²66 consoles will have their premiere when broadcasting the Olympic Summer Games for CCTV's Channel 5 (sports channel) resp. Channel 1 (news channel). These two channels will be working 24/7 during the Games.
The purchase followed an exhaustive study last summer of the options available on the market in the course of which decision-makers for the Chinese broadcaster visited some of Europe’s most modern studios. The plans were concretized with the help of Lawo engineers and the deal signed at the IBC 2007 in Amsterdam. It was a decision based primarily on the outstanding features of the device itself – its top-quality digital signal processing, impressive routing capacity, ergonomic user interface and, above all, designed-in system stability – with the Chinese engineers finding the failsafe dual star architecture and passive backplane particularly convincing arguments in the mc²66’s favour.
This was by no means the only occasion upon which CCTV has put its faith in the quality and reliability of Lawo solutions: coverage of the planned carrying of the Olympic torch through the Himalayas, for instance – another spectacular project – will also involve an mc266 with two DALLIS frames in support. These will be installed in a mobile control room exposed to temperatures falling to minus 40 degrees centigrade as well as the low atmospheric pressures associated with an altitude of 4,000 metres, and – no doubt wary of the logistical complications posed by the terrain up there on the ‘roof of the earth’ – the production team viewed the compact dimensions of the Lawo console as of particular importance.
Both projects were carried out by Lawo China in close cooperation with CCTV and Lawo’s Chinese partner Rightway Audio.
CCTV Headquarters in Beijing
For over five years – under the direction of the Dutch master builder Rem Koolhaas – a team of 60 architects, 120 engineers and countless construction workers have been involved in the realization of one of the most ambitious architectural projects of the 21st century. The new headquarters of Chinese state television, China Central Television Beijing, despite its daring and imaginative outline, is the fruit of a pragmatic examination of the projected workflow and circulation of staff and visitors within the building. The glass concrete structure with its linked towers has a combined floor space of 500,000 square metres, making it second only to the Pentagon in terms of size. The construction costs of the new building are expected to come to around 850 million US dollars.