In a project that began nearly three years ago, Radio Caracas Television (RCTV), Venezuela, took possession of an abandoned bank building and began construction on three new television studios. Rolando H. Loewenstein, a director of photography with more than 20 years in the organization, was asked to take control over the entire lighting and lighting controls system of the new studios from conceptualization to finish. Edgardo Mosca, VP engineer, oversaw the elaborate project.

“RCTV was looking for three new studios; one conventional permanent news studio and two re-configurable studios,” says Lowenstein. “Edgardo wanted all three studios to be equipped with an integrated lighting system and the best technology available. This is a facility that will serve the people of Venezuela for years to come, and I was proud to have been asked to be part of it.”

Lowenstein worked with Steve Mulkey of Redwood Media Group, the systems integrator for the project, to complete a lighting package for the state-of-the-art facility, which would produce a variety of broadcasts, including news and opinion programs plus all the morning talk shows

Most of the lighting fixtures were to be fluorescent lighting utilizing Baselight 220, V-Beam 168, PowerKey 110, and Setlite 110 fluorescent studio fixtures, which house their own DMX512 capabilities. Lowenstein knew he would need direct tungsten lighting as well, and he chose the Dedolight 650W and 150W new generation fixtures with double aspheric technology that guarantees a great output and low-energy consumption.

The Dedolights would be used in a variety of positions and orientations, so a portable dimming solution was also needed. Mulkey suggested using Entertainment Technology Bak Pak™ individual dimmers on the Dedolights.

“We found a very practical solution to control the dimming for the two re-configurable studios,” explains Lowenstein. “The Bak Pak individual dimmers allow us to reposition any of the Dedolights to fit into the configuration that we need quickly and easily. Plus the Bak Pak emits no ambient interference which is perfect for a television studio where uncontrolled noise is not acceptable.”

The Bak Pak individual dimmer is a compact dimmer that easily attaches to conventional lighting fixtures, providing powerful and silent IGBT dimming capability instantly. Because the Bak Pak is an individual dimmer, it mounts wherever a need exists for a “single” dimmer, eliminating the need for additional rack space.

In the third studio, the set was a permanent installation, therefore the lighting positions had no need to be reconfigured. As a centralized and permanent dimming system was needed, Lowenstein chose Entertainment Technology’s Capio™ Plus dimmer rack. “Based upon his extensive field experience and our needs, Steve suggested the Capio™ Plus,” explains Lowenstein. “With the studio setup the way that it was, it simply made more sense to go with a permanent installation, instead of placing the dimming adjacent to the lights. The Capio Plus dimmer rack has worked out perfectly.”

Capio Plus dimmer racks provide the performance and energy-efficient advantages of the patented IGBT dimming technology in an economical, lightweight, low-profile, high density rack, and allow for the even and equal distribution of lighting power throughout any size venue. Each dimmer incorporates a microprocessor that adjusts voltage and current in response to changes detected in the load and the electrical service. These adjustments suppress surges, protect against dead shorts, and extend lamp life.

For lighting control, Lowenstein and Mulkey chose the Marquee™ lighting control console, also by Entertainment Technology. “In the previous studios, we worked with Strand consoles, but this time we wanted to go with something different,” says Lowenstein. “Steve mentioned that Entertainment Technology also made a lighting control console, and so we decided to go with the Marquee for continuity. Plus, compared to the other consoles on the market, we got a great price.”

With software designed by Horizon Control, Inc., the Marquee utilizes a fast and familiar Graphic User Interface (GUI), much like a personal computer, complete with Internet Explorer and Media Player. The Marquee is a true last-action tracking console that can run any live performance, operate as a conventional preset desk, and provide complete support for color palettes and other automated lighting functions.

Lowenstein concludes, “In the end, we wanted to go with one provider for all of our dimming and controls equipment in order to standardize the new facility. It simply makes life easier and everything has worked perfectly. Everyone, including the Board, is very happy. And the public has responded quite nicely.”

The Centro National de Noticias RCTV studios signaled the completion of the project with the inaugural broadcast of El Observador, a nationwide news program that was seen by over 1 million viewers.