Blackmagic Design’s switching, routing and monitoring being used as the backbone to a ship-wide AV solution


Blackmagic Design has announced that its infrastructure products for switching, routing and monitoring are being used as the backbone to a ship-wide AV solution for entertainment and leisure onboard AIDAprima and AIDAperla that includes a state-of-art broadcast gallery for content production.


The installations aboard AIDA cruises’ two newest ships feature the ATEM 2 M/E Production Studio 4K and ATEM 2 M/E Broadcast Panel for vision mixing, Teranex Express for standards and frame conversion, as well as multiple Universal Videohub 288 routers to handle ship-wide signal management.

Each day the on-board content teams produce and broadcast a host of daily programing, including live shows, cruise itineraries and event schedules, to television screens throughout both ships’ 1,643 cabins and many public areas, as well as to a multipurpose, three-tier Theaterium which features a giant moveable LED stage backdrop.

As well as receiving signals from three PTZ cameras in the Theatrium, the gallery is also connected to a smaller onboard television studio and 55 optical fiber connection points. Located throughout the ship’s public decks, these afford the production team total flexibility when filming.

“Across the AIDA brand, we pride ourselves on the quality, variety and creativity of our onboard shows, so our live production has to be broadcast quality,” explains Steffen Bachmann, manager, Broadcast & Media Technics AIDA Cruises. “This is even more important on board AIDAprima and AIDAperla where we recreate AIDA versions of popular television formats in cooperation with license holders for onboard entertainment.”

The heart of each broadcast gallery is an ATEM 2 M/E Production Studio 4K and accompanying broadcast panel where a live program is vision mixed and fed through to the ship’s playout system. As the cruises also feature guest performers, many of whom bring their own videos for use during live shows, the Teranex Express helps to standardize all show material to 1080i50 regardless of its source.

“When the ships are out at sea, the last thing you want is for a performer’s videos to be incompatible with our systems. The Teranex affords us total adaptability and guarantees that the show goes on, no matter what the production team is presented with,” explains Steffen Bachmann.

A pair of Universal Videohub 288 routers handle shipwide routing of audio and video signals, relying on a custom-built control app designed by AIDA using the Videohub’s SDK. Not only does it provide an interactive map of all connected fiber points and displays on the ship, but it can also be operated remotely by the central AIDA technical team in Hamburg, should the need arise.