In August 2023, Dyn Media launched as a new broadcaster in European sports, aimed at giving sports beyond football the exposure and viewership they deserve. The broadcaster is taking completely new approaches in the production of its content. NEP Germany was contracted as the production service provider to develop a remote production infrastructure. The technical concept, signal workflows, and process operations were also created in collaboration with DYN. Broadcast Solutions served as the system integrator responsible for implementation.

The core of the entire infrastructure's audio workflow is a comprehensive system solution from DirectOut Technologies, featuring several of its multifunctional PRODIGY.MP, .MC, and .MX units. With a total of one PRODIGY.MX, 20 PRODIGY.MP, and 12 PRODIGY.MC, this project represents the largest PRODIGY installation for DirectOut to date. Additionally, a variety of other Audio Solutions from DirectOut are in use, such as ANDIAMO and EXBOX.MD. To realise complex and completely novel requirements and enable integration with other manufacturers, DirectOut developed and adapted new functions and interfaces.

DirectOut has evolved from a pure hardware manufacturer to a provider of Audio Solutions with its Audio Solution Model (ASM). The PRODIGY tools from DirectOut implement the ASM philosophy with modular hardware components, powerful DSP, and customisable control. DirectOut's ASM comprises five layers: modular hardware, device functions tailored to specific applications (Skins), Control Protocols, Software, GUI and AI, and ADD-Ons consisting of hardware and software enhancements from other manufacturers. As a result, the ASM offers a high degree of compatibility and interconnectivity in the development of seamless audio workflows across the entire production chain.

DirectOut @ DYN MEDIA and NEP Germany © Broadcast Solutions

With the project for NEP Germany and Dyn, DirectOut ventured into entirely fresh territory and scale, gaining many new insights and know-how regarding workflows, software, and the further development of its solutions, especially challenging given the short realisation time of eight months.

Michael Lindermeir, Head of Audio at NEP Germany GmbH, comments, "The successful implementation was made possible by the excellent cooperation of all companies involved. Their experience, coupled with a great deal of enthusiasm and high motivation, made it possible to achieve the seemingly impossible by the Dyn launch date, leading this project to success.

“In our conceptual approach, the decision to use the PRODIGY series was made due to its alignment with our requirements: integrating several decentralised mixing consoles with freely configurable DSP functions within an ST 2110 audio network; configuring and controlling all existing audio devices from multiple workstations using common software. The fact that several of the currently available control protocols are integrated into the PRODIGY devices also contributed to achieving all our workflow goals. Simultaneously, we were able to independently develop and programme the standalone advancement of the cross-manufacturer control of all devices in the installation."

Michael Lindermeier

The heart of the installation is a central hub at NEP in Munich with a central equipment room, two control rooms, and the National Operations Centre. The other part of the technology is located at Dyn in Cologne, with four control rooms and commentator positions. The seamless integration of the venues is achieved via an MPLS connection from Riedel to Munich and Cologne. Dyn in Cologne has access to all resources in Munich and can remotely control them. Technicians and editors can also access the technology in the Venue Kits.

A total of 33 PRODIGY units are integrated into the project to handle the audio signals. In each of the six Venue Kits, two PRODIGY.MP and two PRODIGY.MC are in operation. In Munich, there are seven PRODIGY.MP and one PRODIGY.MX, and in Cologne, one PRODIGY.MP is in use. These devices act as audio crosspoints for the streams and as gateways between the networks, realising the complete audio workflow, including I/O, processing, and audio mixing. The PRODIGY units handle the audio signals to and from the venues, the intercom signals, and the commentator audio.

PRODIGY DYN MEDIA and NEP Germany © Broadcast Solutions

The entire Dyn infrastructure of NEP Germany is based on SMPTE ST 2110 and relies heavily on the automation of production workflows. The AutoMix function of the PRODIGYs allows engineers to call up various Automixes depending on the sport, focusing on maximum simplicity in handling. The globcon control software enables easy configuration of the PRODIGY units while the production teams work with the HCONTROL.16 hardware controllers developed explicitly for this project. Switching in the PRODIGYs is also possible via Stream Deck units at the workstations. The audio supervisor can monitor several games from one workstation. The finished PGM audio signals follow the PGM video signals. From the Venue Kit to the PCRs and the audio workstations, the audio streams are discretely routed. NEP's control system, TFC, manages the workflow. Any production can be driven from any workstation in Cologne or Munich.

Since the complete installation is based on ST 2110, the audio signals from the venues are converted into ST 2110-30 / AES 67 streams via Ravenna cards in the PRODIGY.MPs on site. The Ravenna modules in all PRODIGYs have sufficient buffer to compensate for fluctuations in the WAN and transport 30 audio signals overall between the venue and Munich. Mirror Mode with a second PRODIGY also ensures sufficient redundancy. Another safety tool is the Input Manager of the PRODIGY.MX, which automatically switches to a backup signal upon receiving a stream without audio content. With Dyn Media's remote production infrastructure, all companies involved have ventured into new paths and workflows. DirectOut demonstrates how flexible and powerful its solutions are from the interplay of PRODIGY units with external hardware and software, ensuring the management of such a complex and never-before-implemented production infrastructure.

DirectOut @ Dyn MEDIA and NEP Germany © Broadcast Solutions

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