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Successful start of broadcasting in the completely renewed production facility NDR1 of Norddeutscher Rundfunk

Licht-Dummys unterstützen die Vorbereitung des Showdesigns

On December 7, 2020, the renewed broadcasting complex 1 of Norddeutscher Rundfunk was successfully put into operation with the broadcasting of Hamburg Journal and NDR Info. This last NDR television studio still equipped with SD technology went into operation in 2005 and has now been completely redesigned. One of the main objectives was to enable efficient production workflows with the support of an automation system. The studio was also modernized in terms of lighting and television technology and equipped with a large movable LED wall and two stationary LED themed walls. This allows for broadcasting four shows of Hamburg Journal and NDR Info, which will make up the majority of productions in NDR1, in their redesigned studio sets with very< short changing breaks in-between.

Sommer + spohr has supported the project since the end of 2018, initially in the project management for the new program design and the moderation of a concept group consisting of stakeholders from production, editorial and service departments, which has gathered the requirements and has developed the solution concept, including the organizational workflows and the workplace design.

Daran schloss sich die Koordination der Fachplanung für eine EU-weite Ausschreibung der Fernsehtechnischen Erneuerung an, die die sonoVTS Media GmbH Ende 2019 für sich entscheiden konnte. Die weitere Umsetzung des Vorhabens unterstützte sommer + spohr in der Leitung des Projektteams sowie mit weiteren Beratungsleistungen. Diese umfassten die Gewährleistung einer effizienten Erarbeitung und Dokumentation von Arbeitsergebnissen, die effektive Nutzung von Jira als zentralem Informations-Rückgrat für Anforderungen, Arbeitspakete, Klärungspunkte und Fehler sowie die Entwicklung eines maßgeschneiderten Testmanagements für die Abnahme der Anlage.

Automatisiert gesteuerte Kamera mit Teleprompter, im Hintergrund die Greenwall für schnelle Aufzeichnungen
Automated controlled camera with teleprompter, in the background the Greenwall for instant recording of presentations
Probebetrieb unter Corona-Bedingungen
Trial operation under corona conditions
Teleprompter-Platz im neuen Studio
Teleprompter workplace in the new studio

The main framework conditions for the project were the dependencies with parallel development work for the show design of the Hamburg Journal and the new OpenMedia StudioDirector, which supports editors in planning news shows that can be produced automatically. This required also interface adjustments between the Mosart automation system and the real-time graphics system Chyron. This repeatedly resulted in deadline risks that made adjustments to the planned procedure necessary.

Hier bewährte sich die früh mit den Nutzervertreter*innen und Projekt Ownern abgestimmte Vorgehensweise, die sendungsnahe Konfiguration aller im Automationsverbund gesteuerten Systeme in Eigenleistung zu erbringen. Dadurch konnten wesentliche Konfigurationsarbeiten durch die Experten des NDR-Produktionsteams parallel zu den Installations- und Montagearbeiten des GU sonoVTS erfolgen. Nach erfolgter Güteprüfung der erneuerten Fernsehtechnik konnten die Produktionsingenieur*innen des NDR mit dem sogenannten Showdesign beginnen. Diese Phase umfasste alle technischen Konfigurationen, Einstellungen und Anpassungen an Systemen und Studioanlagen, um die spezifischen Dramaturgien der Sendungen im Studio darstellen zu können.

The Covid19 pandemic posed an additional major challenge in recent months, which led to restrictions on assembly and commissioning work in Hamburg Lokstedt and delayed important software deliveries and bug fixes from a vendor in the USA. As a result, the schedule had to be adjusted and the go live originally planned for mid-October had to be postponed to the beginning of December.

The fact that the go live on December 7th was achieved as planned despite the intensifying corona measures is due not least to the high level of work of the NDR colleagues, the subject matter experts and project managers as well as the good cooperation of all those involved.

With the new studio, NDR now has a modern, multi-media and flexibly usable production complex at its disposal, in which news shows can be designed and produced with high productivity.

Oliver Haustedt-Sommer, Managing Partner at sommer + spohr and overall project manager on behalf of the NDR:
“We are delighted that we could support NDR in this ambitious project over the past two years and that we have been able to ensure, with our team on several levels, that the go live was achieved as planned. For me personally, the cooperation with the entire project team was a valuable experience, both in terms of the production-related demands and the professionalism of the project owners in balancing the various interests in the many planning conflicts that were cleared out of the way to accomplish an always ambitious timeline up to the start of broadcasting in NDR1. "