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Photon Beard shines bright in South India integration of the new channel. RGB Broadcasting is well-known and respected for proposing and carrying out innovative broadcast solutions throughout the continent, and this project has been no exception. by Peter Daffarn, Photon Beard O n 23 January 2013, the highly anticipated Mathrubhumi News Channel, part of a 24-hour Malayalam-language cable television network based in Trivandrum, capital city of the state of Kerala on the southwest coast of India, was officially launched. Also launched that day was India’s first wirelessly controlled studio lighting/ dimming system, all provided by Photon Beard. Mathrubhumi News has a potential audience of more than 33 million Malayalam speakers and its newsroom is the largest in the state with regional bureaus established across Kerala as well as the major capitals of Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai. In addition to hourly bulletins covering international, national and state-level news, the channel now broadcasts a variety of current affairs programmes including those focusing on business and sport as well as special features for women, children and youth. Mathrubhumi Managing Director M P Veerendrakumar and Managing Editor P V Chandran commemorated the channel’s launch with the traditional lighting of a lamp at the Trivandrum- based studio, but the commemorative lamp was not the only light that illuminated the new venture on the day. Also switched on was a new studio lighting and dimming solution that is currently unique to Mathrubhumi, and to India. We were chosen to conceive and deliver the crucial lighting systems for this project for a number of reasons, including personnel recommendations; the successful use of Photon Beard products in other studios by Mathrubhumi technical staff; and our reputation for cost effective, energy efficient lighting solutions at a reasonable price. In a broadcast first for the entire continent, Mathrubhumi News is using wirelessly controlled lighting technology from Photon Beard. Our “Highlight” wireless DMX-controlled fluorescent lighting has been deployed not just for the main News Studio but for Mathrubhumi’s Programme Studio and each Regional bureau studio. Along with my colleagues at RGB Broadcasting, I first visited representatives from Mathrubhumi Group and toured the proposed studios in May 2012. Amongst other topics in a wide-ranging discussion about lighting options during this visit, I brought up the idea of Mathrubhumi News being the first studio in India to take advantage of our “Wi-Light” wireless DMX control option and distributed IGBT (Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor) dimmers. Because Mathrubhumi Group has always been receptive to new ideas and innovation, they embraced the idea immediately. In fact, we examined the situation, proposed the solution and prepared a quote on day one. On day two, we shook hands on the deal. We worked with our partner in the region, RGB Broadcasting, who had been appointed as Mathrubhumi Group’s technology partner for the development, engineering and system The benefit of wireless DMX to Mathrubhumi – and any other users for that matter - is that wireless DMX makes installation and future adjustments very, very quick and 84 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE TV-BAY074FEB13.indd 84 11/02/2013 16:55