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Radiotelevisione italiana (RAI)

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Radiotelevisione italiana (RAI)


Radiotelevisione italiana



Case Study

Rai (Radiotelevisione italiana) is one of the 23 founding members of the European Broadcasting Union and is the national public broadcasting company of Italy, owned by the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

Commercially styled as Rai since 2000, the broadcaster operates many terrestrial and subscription television channels, including Rai 1, the most-watched television channel in the country and AM/FM radio stations (Rai Radio 1, Rai Radio 2, Rai Radio Live and 11 others). It is one of the biggest broadcasters in Italy competing with Mediaset, and other minor radio and television networks. Rai has a relatively high television audience share of 35.9%.

Rai broadcasts are also received in neighbouring countries, including Albania, Bosnia, Croatia, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, San Marino, Slovenia, Vatican City, Switzerland, and Tunisia, and elsewhere on pay television. Half of Rai's revenues come from broadcast receiving license fees, the remainder from the sale of advertising time.

Overview at a Glance:

Install new audio mixing consoles as part of a renewal of Rai's regional television and radio stations.

  • Install 47 Studer audio mixing consoles at regional production centers.
  • Integrate audio consoles for use in OB van, flightcase, remote production applications.
  • Install audio consoles at multiple concert/event spaces for front of house (FOH) production.

The Challenge

Rai began a search to upgrade a number of aging broadcast consoles across their network of studios with consoles that could streamline workflows. As a producer of both television and radio content, it was critical for Rai to install a reliable audio console that could easily integrate into its main broadcast center in Rome, at 20 regional broadcast facilities, at multiple event spaces and concerts halls across the country, and for use in mobile productions. Rai wanted an audio console that could be used for a variety of applications, that was user intuitive and could make content sharing for use on all of Rai's platforms (broadcast, radio, digital) easier.

The Solution

In 2016, Rai approached Leading Technologies, Studer's licensed distributor in Italy, to acquire new audio mixing consoles to renew regional TV and radio stations across the country. After extensive research Rai decided that the Studer Vista platform best met its needs, resulting in the acquisition of 47 Vista console, including 27 Vista 1 Black Edition consoles with 32 faders and support for Meter Bridge, 18 Vista 5M3 consoles, and one Vista Compact Remote Bay.

Technology at a Glance:

Install professional Studer mixing consoles to establish a streamlined workflow across all their regions and consoles.

  • Combination of Vista 1 Black Edition and Vista 5M3 consoles for identical operation at all production centers.
  • Install consoles of different sizes to offer versatility.
  • Vista 1 Black Edition with a D21m high-density audio interface system for additional inputs/outputs.
  • Meter Bridge display with bargraph meter for every channel from mono to 5.1 surround.
  • Vista Compact Remote Bay for use as an easily transported secondary desk.

The Technology

The national broadcaster's Rai 3 channel acquired a Vista 1 Black Edition console to replace an analog console for television news production.

Each of Rai's 20 regional broadcast centers required new consoles to assist and improve daily live news segments transmitted four times daily, along with the daily (excluding summer) production of the "Buongiorno Regione" regional magazine show. Some of the regional broadcast centers (Lombardia, Lazio, Piemonte, Campania) already had digital mixers installed, including an older Studer OnAir 3000 in Lazio. Meanwhile, Trentino-Alto Adige (Sudtirol) needed three consoles installed (two in Bolzano, one in Trento) due to the different language (Ladino, German and Italian) required for that broadcast region. In total, 18 consoles would be in operation each day.

Additional Vista 1 Black Edition consoles were needed in a smaller single studio in Turin used for television production, one console was installed in an OB van at Rai's facility in Bolzano, a console was required by the Rai flightcase department for use at external music events, and three consoles were used for mobile control room applications on large external events (Festival di Sanremo, etc.).

The flexibility of the flight cased Vista 1BE consoles came into their own on the prestigious Festival di Sanremo where 5 Vista 1BE 32 fader consoles were used as back up and side consoles for the main audio mixer in the main studios used by RAI in Rome (DEAR Studios). The consoles included a D21m high-density audio interface system for additional inputs/outputs, including SDI embedders / de-embedders.

Four Vista 5M3 consoles were delivered to external flightcase department of Rome (based in Saxa Rubra) for use in large music television events. Application of the Vista 5M3 varied from monitor console for large orchestra (two console linked in mirroring mode), to front of house (FOH) amplification control in the venue, to post production editing after recording.

Two Vista 5M3 consoles were provided for FOH and monitoring at Rai TV's Naples Auditorium.

Another Vista 5M3 console was provided to the external flightcase department in Milan for TV events dedicated to classical music and post production, used for example during Venice La Fenice Theatre's annual New Year's concert.

A Vista 5M3 was installed in the main studio of Rai's Turin TV production center (Torino TV1).

Two additional Vista 5M3 was integrated at the Via Asiago Rome Radio production site to be used for FOH and stage monitoring in main auditorium Sala A. The facility retained its main Studer Vista 9 console for production.

Two additional Vista 5M3 were installed at the Via Asiago Rome Radio production site in Sala C and Sala M for use in radio programming production.

Further Vista 5M3 consoles will be installed at Rai's Naples TV production site or delivered to the flightcase department in Rome. Vista 5M3 configurations vary flightcase from flightcase. Almost all consoles has been provided with six DSP cards and up to four MADI cards.

A single Vista Compact Remote Bay has been provided to the Rai television production facility in Milan.

The Future

Rai's decision to choose Studer's industry-leading audio mixing consoles at its television and radio broadcast centers and for remote and live events, is a testament to the reliability, flexibility and intuitiveness the Vista 1 Black Edition and Vista 5M3 offer.

The near identical operation of the two consoles has streamlined the efficiency of Rai productions, as an operator can virtually enter any control room and be familiar with the audio mixing console at their fingertips.

Additionally, the ease of configurability Vista consoles offer means Rai is ready for any future workflows or evolving technology.

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