Cécile Gonfroid (RTBF)

Our tools are changing, our behaviour is changing, our relationship with time is changing. New realities emerge and become more and more important: digital transformation, artificial intelligence, big data, remote working, cybersecurity; these terms and concepts are now the backdrop of our daily lives, but they only make sense if people are at the centre.

New technologies allow us to do our jobs with ever greater efficiency, using more and more interconnected tools that adapt to each user’s needs. Their impact on RTBF’s men and women is significant and positive: streamlining and automating our processes enables us to capitalize on high value-added activities. This makes everyone’s job easier and more rewarding.

Sitting in the driver’s seat of evolution, co-creating with the business, and being an operator of trust will remain my ambitions for the coming years. To put this another way, our future priorities can be listed as follows:

  1. Being an early follower and data-driven
  2. All IP and fully software- based
  3. Security by design
  4. HDR and 4K from end to end
  5. Versatile workplace
  6. Mobility first: wireless and with maximum interconnectivity
  7. Unified and centralized post-production system
  8. Secure, cloud-oriented base infrastructure
  9. Total experience (TX) for users and audience
  10. Self-service and hyper- automatization


I want to mention two projects in particular that show where we are headed. The first is our new headquarters in Brussels. We will move into RTBF’s Media Square in late 2024. The facility will embrace modern, robust, efficient and scalable tools, based on up-to-date and standardized technologies.

Our guiding principles for this project include the early adoption of innovative technologies, and using high- performance tools that really fit our needs, ensuring both quality and compliance with universal standards. Collaborative tools, where users are involved in the selection process, will ensure that teleworking and mobility are prioritized. Internal communication and knowledge- sharing are critical, as are training and support to ensure mastery of the tools.

Media Square will be designed to allow production of more content on all platforms in an agile and efficient way, by a true 360° approach from acquisition to publishing (via post- production and distribution).
Technological specificities by brand or medium will be limited, to ensure simplification.

Control Room 42

Another project that encapsulates our technology vision is Control Room 42, an experimental broadcast production control system based on IT, IP and software technologies. It is designed to reinvent the way we create live content.
The objective of this proof of concept is to evaluate and challenge new ideas in a real live production environment. Fully software-based, Control Room 42 gives the opportunity to test ideas and concepts in a period of just a few hours. This allows a quick design process with our production partners. Hardware and function-specific tools disappear and are replaced by a touchscreen interface, reshapable for each position, allowing a flexible usage of each workspace.

While dedicated production tools and their specific ergonomics have, for decades, shaped our ways of production, supporting and integrating, Control Room 42 represents tomorrow’s versatile workspace. Virtualizing the tools with a common interface represents a disruptive transformation for unprecedented flexibility in all productions.

This digitalization deeply changes methods and expertise: it is a major technological and human challenge.


This article was first published in issue 50 of tech-i magazine.

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