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Cosmolight sets the mood for SABC’s Cricket Test Series coverage

Cosmolight sets the mood for SABC’s Cricket Test Series coverage

Cosmolight sets the mood for SABC’s Cricket Test Series coverage

South Africa:

The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) constructed a temporary set inside Studio 7, one of its seven drama studios in Auckland Park, in order to cover the recent Cricket Test Series with England. The broadcaster called upon studio LEDs from Cosmolight to provide effective presenter lighting while creating a warm feel.

For the past 35 years, Andre Rossouw has worked at SABC as a lighting designer/electrician and head of electrical distribution on outside productions. His role includes the task of streamlining a system that keeps the power on, despite the current instability of the South African power grid. The SABC wanted to create an intimate atmosphere inside Studio 7, so the television host and guests are seated on a large couch, while an LED touchscreen keeps viewers updated with video clips, stats and data, all streamed in from the director and talented crew pushing the buttons in the OB Van.

Rossouw and freelancer Retsepile Botsane were asked to create the lighting rig. ‘The studio, working in unison with a state-of-the-art OB Van, operates via a 80kVA UPS, linked to the studio’s backup generators, to make sure we don’t go down during load-shedding,’ Rossouw explained. ‘All gear, including the air-conditioned OB Van, runs off 55A-per-phase. The studio lighting for the Cricket Test Series uses a minimal 12A-per-phase, thanks to the LED technology being used.’

The lighting rig consists of 12 Cosmolight Quartzcolor Studio LED X6 Plus fresnels, four Cosmolight Quartzcolor Studio LED X5 fresnels, three Robe 600 Spots and 22 Longman F4 Up LED parcans, all operated from an MA Lighting grandMA dot2.

‘We created a morning, lunchtime and evening lighting look, and also a cold look to be used on rainy days so that the set mirrored the action on the field,’ Rossouw added. ‘Cosmolight has made me confident to not only use LED as key light but to implement a full LED rig, which I think is what we have achieved in this production. Due to the fact that the LED fixtures consume so little power it was possible to incorporate it onto the UPS system. This is a big plus point for us as we can maintain broadcasting during load shedding. The cost-saving implications and reduction in maintenance are phenomenal. A chip costs half the price of a bulb, and you gain a life of 50,000 hours compared to a 400-hour “lamp” life. It’s a major saving.’

The SABC first invested in Cosmolight fixtures through DWR Distribution five years ago. ‘The fixtures are robust and can handle the bumps thrown at them during transportation and rigging for OB productions,’ explained Rossouw. ‘The greatest advantage is being able to run at low intensity while maintaining the colour temperature. If we had a 2K running at 30%, the colour temperature would drop. The lights also feel a lot brighter than normal tungsten. They are very reliable, and we’ve not had one go down. Another big plus for us was the noise factor on microphones. We have tested and placed microphones on boom poles right up against the fixture and still experienced no noise. We could not find any “lamp zing” as we would on the normal tungsten fixtures.’

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