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RTBF and EVS sign strategic co-development agreement for new flexible control room solution

Following a public tender process, French-speaking Belgian Broadcaster RTBF has chosen to partner with EVS, the leading provider of live video technology, on the development of a new flexible control room solution designed to increase operational flexibility, creativity and productivity across its TV, radio, and digital platforms.

Building on the capabilities of EVS’ Cerebrum broadcast control and monitoring system, the solution aims to introduce a common production environment that users can access through a dynamic and flexible interface, whether they are producing content for the broadcaster’s TV, radio or digital platforms. The resulting front end will display the necessary functionalities and propose various widgets that match multiple production requirements as well as the skills of the operator.

The solution, which is being developed ahead of RTBF’s relocation to its future Media Square production facility in 2024, is an evolution of the Control Room 42 (or CR42), a prototype born out of the broadcaster’s ambition to reinvent its working methods using cutting-edge technology. The Proof of Concept built by RTBF’s users and engineers gained high visibility across the industry for its breakthrough innovation potential and was even honored with an EBU Technology and Innovation Award in 2020.

Thierry Piette, RTBF’s Technology Program Manager in charge of the deployment of the new Media Square facility said: “EVS’ reliable solutions and forward-looking technology roadmap are giving us the right foundations to make our ambitious vision, as outlined in CR42, RTBF’s new reality. As a result of this partnership, our teams can look forward to working in a highly flexible, software-defined environment that removes the constraints of physical, dedicated workspaces and can easily adapt to all our future production needs.”

Besides broadening the scope of operational control, the flexible control room solution will enable the support of new creative formats and optimize the back-end infrastructure without any compromise on the quality of the output. It is characterized by an open architecture that enables the control of any EVS product or third-party device needed on a live production through modular interfaces that abstract away the complexities of the underlying infrastructure from the user. The solution is also capable of scaling on-demand, to accommodate additional operators if a live production suddenly grows in complexity or to allow RTBF to quickly adapt its control room functions for back-to-back productions.

Serge Van Herck, EVS’s CEO said: “We are very excited to be working with RTBF on a groundbreaking solution that fosters the deployment of EVS’ visionary blueprint on many aspects: transforming the live production user experience, relying on flexible infrastructures, optimizing resources and accelerating customer capabilities in terms of live storytelling.”

“As a long-standing customer, we’ve witnessed first-hand EVS’ deep understanding of live environments, and we trust their teams will continue to work closely with our staff to make sure the solution perfectly meets our needs in terms of usability,” commented Cécile Gonfroid, Director of Technologies at RTBF. “This project is an integral part of our 2027 strategic road map where we aim to modernize our live production infrastructure across our facilities in the French-speaking community of Belgium and more importantly, where we position RTBF as a driver of technological innovation in a rapidly changing media landscape.” BCS Bureau

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