Live Event Wireless Intercoms


Tom Turkington TV-Bay Magazine
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Live programming is a powerful tool for broadcasters against the encroachment of OTT services and the ensuing loss of advertisement revenues. Live content is the answer to drawing viewers. Broadcasters are constantly searching for ways to provide more live sports, news and other live content to viewers. This programming, particularly sports, still attracts a large and devoted TV consumer base as viewers want to discuss news and events of the day with friends via social media.

However, live event production can be heavily resource-concentrated and conventional OB production limits the amount of live content that can be economically delivered to viewers. To increase the amount of these types of productions, broadcasters must address costs by embracing live production workflows that are more conducive and cost-effective.

Remote production may be the solution that broadcasters are looking for. Because there is no need to send large OB production trucks to the venue and fewer staff resources are required with remote production, it offers the ability to dramatically reduce costs associated with workflows and allows broadcasters to deliver more and richer live content.

Major broadcasters are currently using remote production to deliver high-quality and economical live coverage of events. It is now possible to transport signals over dark fiber or via IP circuits with high security and relatively low latency. Compact remote equipment reduces transport costs, is easy to assemble and establish connections and has redundancy built in to eliminate disruptions.

There are many technical considerations in achieving remote production of a live event, but one factor that is often disregarded is communications. Because much of the core team operates remotely from a central production facility, it is vital that strong, reliable and effective communications are executed. The actual intercom configurations will look very different at each end of the production while linked with whatever technology is being used to transport the audio, video and control signals.

At the central production facility, there will likely be an intricate, multiport matrix intercom with additional 2-Wire party-line and wireless extensions. This augments flexibility and power at the expense of higher costs and large amounts of infrastructure and personnel resources. This may be a reasonable exchange in a dedicated production facility, but not for a load-in/load-out event site.

The remote flypack cannot easily sustain this level of hardware, nor can the limited number of technical personnel at the event administer the necessary infrastructure for this type of centralized topology. The solution is an on-site intercom implementation that uses a decentralized architecture with broad-coverage wireless technology. This method permits all on-site personnel to go wherever and speak to whomever they need to at the event site while decreasing equipment and infrastructure.

Using a broad-coverage wireless scheme helps to eliminate infrastructure and ensures that all on-site personnel can move about as needed to do their jobs. The key to attaining wide area wireless coverage for a live event is the capability to locate radio transceivers (antennas) where the coverage is required. In the past, this was typically achieved utilizing highly engineered antenna distribution systems. These were effective but were frequency dependent, expensive to implement and required a proficient RF engineer to design and install the system. This approach is not pragmatic for live event production where fast load-in/load-out is paramount and limited crews are on-site.

The key to adept on-site antenna placement is a wireless intercom system with a frequency-agnostic network that permits radio transceivers (of one or more frequency bands) to be located through a distributed architecture network topology. This enables frequency selection of different RF bands by location of the venue as required and provides the ability to cover as wide an area (or individual locations) as needed to meet production requirements. Wireless users may then roam effortlessly from one area to another while still maintaining their assigned communication routes.
It is necessary for wireless users to be able to communicate with multiple individuals and/or groups based on their specific operational requirements. To achieve this, audio and control data must be distributed and processed in a decentralized method using a distributed architecture. This allows multiple conferences (conversations or communication channels) to be dynamically generated and assigned to each wireless user. These conferences must be capable of supporting point-to-point or multi-user conversations. Each individual wireless user must have access to multiple conferences based on their particular needs. In more intricate events, wireless users may need up to four separate conferences with individual volume and talk control for each.

This configuration efficiently emulates the matrix-based communication at the central production facility while being more suited to remote venue operation. The two sides of the production are then connected via the transport technology being used to connect the central production facility with the event venue. In this way, a seamless, sturdy and reliable communication configuration is established that allows all parties -on either side of the link-to work as if everyone were based at the event.

While remote production opens the door for lucrative content opportunities, pursuing those possibilities without a proven, reliable and economical communications solution puts the production in jeopardy. With a little preparation and proper intercom technology, even the most demanding remote productions can be successful. If implemented correctly, viewers will never know that the entire production staff was hundreds or thousands of miles away from the actual event!


Tags: iss125 | intercom | pliant | ob | Tom Turkington
Submitted by Tom Turkington Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
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Submitted by Gordon Capaccio Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Modernizing the Cutting Edge
Myles Carter - new Over the last decade, streaming as a medium has seen tremendous growth. Services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Video are no longer just post-hoc distributors of broadcast television content, they have become content creators and are producing some of the most well received "television" content of the past few years.
Tags: iss124 | matrox | ip | h.264 | h.265 | streaming | Myles Carter - new
Submitted by Myles Carter - new Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Navigating Unfamiliar Territory
Vijay Sagar Vinnakota The traditional broadcast model - where TV networks play content on a linear schedule, and viewers tune in on their TV sets - is under siege. Linear TV is not going away anytime soon, but the model is becoming less and less relevant. Thanks to the rise of OTT services, viewers have become accustomed to watching content when and where they want, on just about any device with an internet connection. For that reason, broadcasters must add an OTT component to their offerings.
Tags: iss124 | cloud | amagi | ott | hls | rtmp | mpeg-dash | yupp tv | netflix | amazon prime | sling tv | Vijay Sagar Vinnakota
Submitted by Vijay Sagar Vinnakota Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Why is drone training even an option
Tim Bearder It's fair to say that one of the most disruptive, liberating and inventive technological advances for independent filmmakers in recent years has been the incredible leaps made in the world of Drones.
Tags: iss124 | caa | drone | drone training | drone academy | Tim Bearder
Submitted by Tim Bearder Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Mr MXF does Vegas
Bruce Devlin - new For quarter of a century I have been boarding planes to Las Vegas every April and the thing I look forward to most is the Sunday morning cycle from the Strip up to the top of Red Rock Canyon to look back down upon Vegas. From up there, you get a sense of perspective of how alien the city stuck in the desert really is.
Tags: iss124 | nab | mrmxf | cloud | ptp | imf | ip | Bruce Devlin - new
Submitted by Bruce Devlin - new Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Designing the correct workflow
Harry Smith Last year I took a year-long placement as a video editing support technician. The role exposed me to the common issues that students run into when editing their projects, and I developed an understanding as to why they might struggle understanding the complexities of video workflow.
Tags: iss124 | portsmouth | tvfutures | ccitv | post production | Harry Smith
Submitted by Harry Smith Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Controlling the Chaos of Remote Uplinks
Roger Franklin For Satellite Broadcasters, consumer needs have never been so varied. Audiences are increasingly accustomed to personalisation in every type of content they consume. They now demand, or rather expect to receive breaking news from a scene, content specific to their regions and access to live sporting events held thousands of miles away.
Tags: iss124 | uplink | satellite broadcast | crystal | Roger Franklin
Submitted by Roger Franklin Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Thinking clearly about the cloud
Chris Steel 2 As someone who is constantly trying to build better products, I'm always asking questions and listening to the ones I get asked. For several years now I've asked every broadcaster and media production company I've met what they plan to do about 'the cloud'
Tags: iss124 | cloud | marquis | archive | network | Chris Steel 2
Submitted by Chris Steel 2 Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Welcome to the world of filming The Island with Bear Grylls
Paul Scurrell How do you make a polished television show worthy of broadcast on Channel 4 when the camera operators are starving, dehydrated and sleep deprived? Most of them also have no previous experience of professional filming and are more concerned with finding their next meal than making sure they've got their cameras switched on ready to record. Welcome to the world of filming The Island with Bear Grylls.
Tags: iss124 | bear grylls | channel 4 | gopro | timecode | sync | Paul Scurrell
Submitted by Paul Scurrell Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
The Masters of Dirt - Extreme Production
Rian Bester On 22nd April 2017 Inside the Masters of Dirt, the world's wildest unscripted motocross reality series, will launch exclusively on INSIGHT TV in 4K UHD. Produced by Masters Of Dirt (M.O.D) and XTreme Video, the series follows the adrenaline-addicted crew that produces the popular freestyle motocross arena show of the same name.
Tags: iss124 | insight | masters of dirt | motocross | freestyle | fs700 | sony fs700 | 4k | uhd | Rian Bester
Submitted by Rian Bester Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Is now the time to compromise on investment
Mike Ransome - new It would seem on the face of it that many broadcasters and production companies are trimming spending to the bone, or at least postponing it in anticipation of more lucrative days to come.
Tags: iss124 | investment | presteigne broadcast hire | 4k | eng | Mike Ransome - new
Submitted by Mike Ransome - new Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Dick brings out his cutting room scales
Dick Hobbs - new At this time of year, in the run-up to NAB, my in-box is even more filled than usual with press releases craving my attention. It is one of the universal truths so unloved by PR people that the sheer weight of numbers threatens to overwhelm.
Tags: iss124 | cutting room | nab | kpmp | dick hobbs | Dick Hobbs - new
Submitted by Dick Hobbs - new Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
You need wave power if you are going surfing
Tim Bonython Tim Bonython's association with surfing films began in 1978, when armed with a Super-8 camera he set off to Hawaii's infamous North Shore, to capture the big waves and their riders. From that moment he fell in love with the sport, and became obsessed with making it the subject of breathtaking and inspiring films.
Tags: iss124 | surfing | red scarlet weapon | red brick | pag | battery | paglink system | 153wh | Tim Bonython
Submitted by Tim Bonython Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
DaVinci Resolve Mini Panel from Blackmagic Design - Reviewed
Rebecca Goodeve - new Blackmagic's new, more affordable control surface for professionals is probably the most perfect panel I've ever used......
Tags: iss123 | blackmagic design | minipanel | davinci | grading | Rebecca Goodeve - new
Submitted by Rebecca Goodeve - new Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Mr Cloud, as much about cashflow balance as technology
Bruce Devlin - new It was an ordinary Tuesday, the last day of February 2017. It was getting late in the day and I was online doing my monthly management accounts and was just finishing the data entry for a very long Invoice when refreshing the expenses Tab on my browser showed this delightful picture.
Tags: iss123 | cloud | mrmxf | aws | amazon web services | Bruce Devlin - new
Submitted by Bruce Devlin - new Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine