Radio NRJ has opened a new flagship studio at Ringier Press House in Zurich. Guests can now relax in contemporary setting and watch their favorite presenters live in the new café-bar “The Studio”, right next to the Centre of Energy Zurich. To renew Radio NRJ’s studio from a visualization technology point of view, Radio NRJ came to VuWall Technology because of the company’s expertise in Multi-surface display functionality across rooms, whereby multiple screens or displays of various configurations and resolutions can be controlled across several rooms.

The need: Easy information management

The whole project started with a need: Radio NRJ had to renew from a visualisation technology point of view. The technical team of Radio NRJ began in early 2015 with the detailed planning for the new NRJ Flagship Studio. The team wanted to be able to easily manage all information screens and branding video walls. For this purpose, the technical team travelled to the leading tradeshow for audio-visual technologies, Integrated Systems Show (ISE), in Amsterdam early 2015. The team was there to look for suitable technologies for the new studio. Amongst others, they also visited the stand of VuWall Technology.

“We were immediately convinced by what we have seen there,” said Silvano Giacomello, Head of IT and Technology at Radio Energy, “They could just give us the features we were looking for. So the decision was easy, also because the European branch of VuWall is only about 1.5 hours from Zurich, which allows us to rely on a fast service”.

The solution: Multi-surface display functionality across rooms

Besides the Zurich location, the VuWall systems are also deployed at the sites in Bern and Basel. One of the key features of VuWall’s solution is that it is a combination of a video wall controller and a matrix switcher, and it can display high-definition content such as browser windows (websites, social media, etc.) directly. However, the outstanding feature is the multisurface display functionality, where multiple screens or displays of various configurations and resolutions can be controlled across several rooms. At Radio NRJ in Zurich, a VuScape Video Wall Controller VS-400M series with 32 outputs, 10x DVI and 4x HD-SDI inputs is being used. The controller is also equipped with the VuWall2 PRO Video wall management software and is connected to different display areas, video screens and individual monitors with different resolutions and configurations. For example, at a variety of monitors, you can follow impressions of different events (e.g; NRJ-Air – 40,000 visitors, NRJFashion Night – 7,000 visitors, NRJ-Stars For Free – 13,000 visitors, NRJ Live Sessions and other). In addition, display areas installed in Studio 1 and 2 respectively behind the presenters.

These can also be used as branding displays. In addition, there is a portrait monitor in the studio, which serves as an info screen. On this info screen, 5 presets are used in which the subject-scheduling tool is appearing with a variety of other information.

In the café bar “The Studio” there is a 3×2 meter large LED wall installed, equally connected to the VuWall system. In the news-editorial office in Zurich, there is a video wall consisting of a 3×2 set-up of 55″ monitors. On this wall 3 presets are available. The main content of this display consists again of various information sources from the Topic Planning Tool (online statistics, scheduled items, incl. of status, etc.) and 2 television stations.

The entire control of the system and the layouts switching on the different surfaces is managed through a Crestron media controller. For more specific applications such as events and special occasions for which no preset is available, there is the VuWall client. On the input side at the VuScape controller, there are approximately 6 television stations, an SDI matrix and with the TV team of “Blick”, there is a line available on which signals can be interchanged. This means that virtually any signal in the building can be presented in any way over the VuWall system.

Some further background on the project

The hypermodern NRJ Flagship Studio, which is now open to the general public, is a significant example of the rejuvenation efforts of Ringier Press House. With this reopening, Ringier secures the future of Zurich as a media capital and shows it is ready to take on the new challenges in the media industry. The digital development at Ringier is even perceived as an historic opportunity: the successful conversion of the press house stands for entrepreneurial courage, innovation and political foresight. This is also underlined by Initiative Digital Zurich 2025, initiated by Ringier CEO Marc Walder, and the initiative is likely to take effect even beyond the industry.

“We are also very happy with the assistance during installation and implementation and the overall support of VuWall as a team. For us it was the right choice for such a technically demanding concept” concluded Giacomello.

Next to the NRJ Flagship Studio on the ground floor, the cafe-bar “The Studio” also successfully opened. It is run by Kramer Gastronomie and is equipped with a small show stage and has a direct view into the radio studio itself. Furthermore, there is meeting zone “The Gallery” by the famous British artist Liam Gillick, which has become a new meeting place for employees, a waiting area for guests, a meeting location and and exhibition area for exhibits from the Ringier Collection.