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Televisa Univision Upgrades to Immersive with Genelec

Televisa Univision se actualiza a inmersiva con Genelec

Mexico. Televisa Univision has a history of being attentive to the cutting-edge standards expected by its global audience. The latest example of this has been the broadcaster's move towards immersive audio production, with Genelec smart active monitors and GLM calibration software playing key roles in the upgrade.

Televisa's studio complex in San Angel is one of two in Mexico City, along with the Chapultepec facility and a third in Santa Fe, which perfectly encapsulates this philosophy, with the three locations led by engineer Elías Rodríguez, general director of Television and Operations.

The San Angel complex was chosen as the perfect location for a new 7.1.4 immersive mixing and mastering room, as it records an average of 15 telenovelas and television series each year, and houses 16 digital studios, all with 4K production capability, and more than 20 HD and 4K video editing rooms. There are also 13 sound design and audio post-production rooms, as well as six recording, editing, and foley rooms.

The incorporation of immersive production arose from commercial demands: "The world expects content with this format," says Rafael Alfaro, Televisa's coordinator of engineering and audio projects. "The most important television production companies such as Televisa, Univision must have series prepared for Atmos."

- Publicidad -

Studio 7 is the largest post-production room in the San Angel facility and proved to be the best space to perform the conversion. It had previously been a 5.1 room and it was the proportions that led the in-house installation team, in close collaboration with Genelec's Miguel Dominguez and local distribution partner VARI, to select it for the upgrade.

Televisa has been a Genelec user for more than 20 years, first relying on the much-loved 1031 and 1032 two-way monitors before upgrading to Smart Active Monitoring (SAM) technology, including 'The Ones' family of three-way coaxial models. "We started using Genelec monitors around the year 2000," Alfaro recalls. "We compared the quality of many brands and felt that Genelec was the best for our purposes."

Today, if you walk through the post-production facilities in San Angel, you will find around 200 Genelec monitors in the various editing rooms, with it being common to see 8351 coaxial monitors in the 5.1 rooms. "Working with Genelec across all of our control room facilities allows us to ensure that every recording has the best sound quality," says Alfaro. "It doesn't matter which room you finish the mix in, because they all use the same brand."

To upgrade to 7.1.4, Studio 7 has been equipped with seven slim 1238 three-way monitors in the surround positions, comprising the five original 1238CF models and two new 1238DF models. Four of Televisa's existing 8351A three-way coaxial monitors were placed in the room to provide the height channels, while the original pair of 7271A subwoofers took care of the low frequencies. "These were the right monitors for us in terms of the size of the room, the quality of the monitors, and the supporting technology," Alfaro says.

Among this supporting technology, the key was GLM calibration software. "GLM was key to solving the challenges we faced in the room," Alfaro recalls. "We use it to analyze, compare, and make adjustments to get the best response from the room automatically. It's a wonderful piece of software, and the added ability to make manual corrections makes it even better."

With Studio 7 up and running for immersive production, Raul Oropeza, the facility's Audio Engineering Manager, considers the upgrade a success. "When the 7.1.4 format arrived, we didn't hesitate to opt for a comprehensive monitoring system from Genelec," he reflects. "We are very satisfied with the result obtained with the integration of this system and the accuracy of the GLM's calibration settings in terms of phase, delay, EQ and SPL. They are extremely precise, which in particular has allowed me to make sound decisions in my mixing and mastering processes without any problems."

While Studio 7 was the first space to receive the immersive treatment, it won't be the last. The current plan is to upgrade most of the facility's 5.1 rooms to 5.1.4 or 7.1.4. "Our plan for this year and next is to continue to create new content in 4K HDR and Atmos sound. So we're definitely planning to add more monitors to the audio rooms!" concludes Alfaro.

Richard Santa, RAVT
Author: Richard Santa, RAVT
Periodista de la Universidad de Antioquia (2010), con experiencia en temas sobre tecnología y economía. Editor de las revistas TVyVideo+Radio y AVI Latinoamérica. Coordinador académico de TecnoTelevisión&Radio.

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