KPBS Modernizes Infrastructure With Major AES67 Control Room Upgrade From Beck TV and Lawo

Published: 02 May 2024

KPBS Modernizes Infrastructure With Major AES67 Control Room Upgrade From Beck TV and Lawo

Broadcast media systems integrator BeckTV and Lawo worked together on a large-scale AES67 build of radio control rooms at KPBS, San Diego’s NPR and PBS member station located on the campus of San Diego State University (SDSU). The new control rooms modernize the infrastructure to the AES67 standard, ensuring all-digital origination, with studios, routing core, signal intake, and distribution all embracing AoIP networking for maximum flexibility and maximum redundancy.

As part of the renovation, KPBS and SDSU contracted with BeckTV to build out new control rooms and refurbish existing ones. There are now five control rooms connected to corresponding studios, two hybrid studio/control rooms, and three announce booths.

BeckTV joined forces with Lawo, who had helped design and supply AoIP control rooms for NPR’s two headquarters locations. The two companies worked together to design and build the rooms at KPBS, with multiple Lawo consoles at the heart of the operation.

Key to the upgrade was replacing all audio mixers with Lawo diamond radio mixing consoles. The facility needed an expandable, AES67-compliant, AoIP-driven audio infrastructure. Switching to an AES67 infrastructure driven by Lawo’s standards-based AES67/RAVENNA networking and sophisticated, expandable mixing, processing, and routing systems was a significant upgrade for KPBS. In particular, the mixing consoles are all interconnected with AoIP player/recorders and other AoIP devices, resulting in a completely connected KPBS-FM facility. The AoIP network environment also seamlessly interfaces with the new audio mixers. And because Lawo systems are scalable, native AES67 networks, adding capacity will be easy to accomplish when the need arises.

BeckTV also integrated new intercom and telephone systems for the facility, and both can be patched through the AoIP network.

“It’s gratifying to have such a productive partnership with Lawo because Lawo’s expertise has been instrumental to this project. Together we rebuilt KPBS’ radio systems to a current standard that’s already in use by NPR and at other facilities throughout the industry,” said Brendan Cline, Senior Engineer & Director of Engineering at BeckTV. “With this project, we brought the station into the modern era and ensured it is capable of handling networked audio for years to come.”

“There was a lot of complexity with this project, and BeckTV did an amazing job managing those challenges with us. Together we were able to deliver a powerful networked audio solution to KPBS that we both can be very proud of,” said Tony Staires, Sales Director, Audio at Lawo North America. “This AoIP solution truly meets the demands of modern radio by blending the hands-on immediacy of physical faders with the context-sensitive efficiency of multi-touch controls.”

In addition to working on the radio side of the KPBS facility, BeckTV also integrated many TV rooms and systems, bringing KPBS up to date using the best available broadcast systems. This includes a new TV router, a new broadcast IP network stack, a modern IPTV system, a showcase master control room, an automated TV control room and studio, and a virtual control room with an adjoining virtual set for augmented reality productions.



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