Wireless Audio at the sharp end


TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online
Wireless Audio at the sharp end
It's noisy, it's very, very hot, but then often it can be cold or raining but it's still noisy and everything has to be de-rigged and moved to another country, sometimes in a different continent, every two weeks – did I mention it's noisy? Formula 1 motor racing has never been more popular – witnessed at the tracks by thousands and watched on the TV by in excess of 500 million more and this audience expects and gets the highest quality coverage.
Sky TV have invested heavily in Formula 1 since they won the main rights for this year and, alongside their colleagues at Gearhouse Broadcast, they have set out to redefine the way in which the sport is televised with a dedicated Sky Sports F1 HD channel and a completely new approach to the audio side. This has all audio being delivered wireless from pit-lane remotes to studio interviews. To achieve this Sky and Gearhouse Broadcast turned to wireless audio specialists Raycom who specified a range of Wisycom radio equipment including the new intermod-free transmitters in belt-pack and hand-held form which feature the widest frequency tuning range in the world of 232MHz for global use.
For receiving, a selection of rack-mount MRK960 dual receivers and camera-mount MCR42 dual-diversity receivers were specified with up to 370MHz available RF bandwidth. This ultra-wide bandwidth is of prime importance in Formula 1 as the whole show moves around the world to twenty different countries all with their own regulatory frameworks and different available radio bands. The advantage gained by using the Wisycom equipment was that one set of equipment would cover every eventuality; a feature unique to this manufacturer.
Whilst many may think that such a wide frequency range might mean that the receivers are susceptible to interference Wisycom have countered this with fully tracking narrow-band filters that automatically centre themselves on the required frequency. Other manufacturers make do with fairly wide 'switching' filters which still leave the receiver open to interference.
Gearhouse Broadcast's Group Operating Officer Kevin Moorhouse said “Raycom provide some of the best wireless microphone systems available today. Their products are well designed and they fulfil the requirements we have for this prestigious project for Sky which is why we chose them”.
The extensive use of wireless audio in Formula 1 coverage is just one example of how this is fast becoming the norm for TV productions the world over. Freeing the talent from cables be they microphone or talkback is key to flexibility, quality and safety. Rigging times are drastically cut, last minute changes of location are quickly accommodated, ageing plugs in ageing sockets induce crackle, rain brings with it more difficulties and people can't trip over radio waves! But it's not all sweetness and light; wireless audio brings along its own set of problems. Range is the major hurdle associated with radio microphone usage, especially over challenging terrain like a racing circuit.
The Wisycom equipment supplied by Raycom proved itself well capable of covering an entire circuit. Sky have a choice of receive antennas either at a remote site or at the operations base but it was during tests of this system before the inaugural race of 2012 at Melbourne that it was ascertained that the Wisycom transmitters would work to a single receive point from anywhere on the 5.3km public road circuit around the city's Albert Park.
Racing circuits tend to be very congested places when it comes to radio signals with all the broadcasters, security and organisers using radio equipment. It's very likely that some fairly high level signals could unexpectedly pop up right next to you. The tracking filters on the Wisycom receivers help a great deal here as does the intermod-free design of the transmitter that allows full use of all channels without bothering with clumsy intermod charts saving time as well as hassle. The Wisycom receiver's design has excellent high level signal handling properties and this, coupled with their good range makes them the broadcaster's weapon of choice for wireless audio in difficult conditions.

Tags: iss065 | mrk960 | gearhouse | formula 1 | sky tv | raycom | microphone | wisycom | N/A
Contributing Author N/A

Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Related Interviews
  • Gearhouse Broadcast at IBC 2015

    Gearhouse Broadcast at IBC 2015

  • Gearhouse Broadcast at BVE 2015

    Gearhouse Broadcast at BVE 2015

  • Gearhouse Broadcast OBLite at IBC 2014

    Gearhouse Broadcast OBLite at IBC 2014

  • Gearhouse Broadcast HD OB trailer at IBC 2013

    Gearhouse Broadcast HD OB trailer at IBC 2013

  • Gearhouse Broadcast on Tour May 2013

    Gearhouse Broadcast on Tour May 2013

  • Gearhouse at IBC2011

    Gearhouse at IBC2011

  • Sennheiser iPhone Microphones at IBC 2107

    Sennheiser iPhone Microphones at IBC 2107

  • DPA Microphones at NAB 2015

    DPA Microphones at NAB 2015

  • DPA Microphones at NAB 2014

    DPA Microphones at NAB 2014

  • Sony Wireless Microphones at BVE 2014

    Sony Wireless Microphones at BVE 2014

  • DPA Microphones and Bubblebee Industries at BVE 2014

    DPA Microphones and Bubblebee Industries at BVE 2014

  • DPA Microphones at IBC 2013

    DPA Microphones at IBC 2013

  • DPA Microphones at NAB 2013

    DPA Microphones at NAB 2013

  • DPA Microphones at NAB 2012

    DPA Microphones at NAB 2012

  • Sennheiser VR at IBC 2016

    Sennheiser VR at IBC 2016

  • Thear Technology at BVE 2013

    Thear Technology at BVE 2013

  • Editors Keys at BVE North 2012

    Editors Keys at BVE North 2012

  • Soundfield at BVE 2012

    Soundfield at BVE 2012

  • Shure at ProVideo2011

    Shure at ProVideo2011

  • Editors Keys at ProVideo2011

    Editors Keys at ProVideo2011

  • The Mic Store at BVE North 2011

    The Mic Store at BVE North 2011

  • Shure at BVE North 2011

    Shure at BVE North 2011

  • Sennheiser at BVE North 2011

    Sennheiser at BVE North 2011

  • Source Distribution and Rode at BVE North 2011

    Source Distribution and Rode at BVE North 2011


Related Shows
  • Gearhouse at BVE 2015

    Gearhouse at BVE 2015


Articles
Sony HDC-4800 Review
Andy McKenzie First announced at NAB 2016, the Sony HDC-4800 is a studio camera system capable of shooting 4K/UHD at up to 8x or full HD at up to 16x. With a price point upwards of £250,000 it is a very high-end product with a wide feature set. In Sony's own words, "This is the future of live production, designed to satisfy the storytelling aspect of modern sports production.” Deliveries began in mid 2017 and, after careful preliminary evaluation, we invested in several systems for our hire fleet ahead of the FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Tags: iss134 | review | hdc-4800 | sony | finepoint | Andy McKenzie
Contributing Author Andy McKenzie Click to read or download PDF
What content providers need to know about OTT
Hiren Hindocha As OTT (Over-The-Top) technology has gotten more mature and established robust standards over the years, the concept of OTT monitoring is gaining popularity. With customer expectations soaring, it’s vital for OTT providers to deliver superior quality content. To deliver Quality of Experience (QoE) on par with linear TV broadcast, the entire system, starting from ingest to multi-bitrate encoding to delivery to CDN must be monitored continuously.
Tags: iss134 | ott monitoring | qos | logging | compliance | dash | atsc | cloud | Hiren Hindocha
Contributing Author Hiren Hindocha Click to read or download PDF
Protecting the continuity of transmission
Lorna Garrett Your viewers love you. You consistently bring them their preferred channels 24/7. They’ve come to rely on you for their viewing pleasure. They never miss cheering on their beloved sports teams. They’re the envy of their friends as they watch live concerts of their favourite bands. They gather the family around and catch up on their must-see shows. They don’t have a bad word to say about you.
Tags: iss134 | garland | gpl | streaming | artel | disaster recovery | Lorna Garrett
Contributing Author Lorna Garrett Click to read or download PDF
Shedding Light on the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4k BMCPP4K
Garth de Bruno Austin “What is it about light that has us craving it?” Is the question asked in the opening seconds of Garth de Bruno Austin’s latest short, The Colour of Light. Exploring this natural, human need as well as our innate desire to control it, Garth’s film showcases everyday people going about their lives in differing degrees of luminance, whether that be an artificial streetlight or a natural morning sunrise.
Tags: iss134 | blackmagic | cinema camera | 4k | cpp4k | Garth de Bruno Austin
Contributing Author Garth de Bruno Austin Click to read or download PDF
The brave new world of software based production
Boromy Ung In today’s rapidly evolving broadcast industry, the only constant media organizations can truly count on is change — and the need to adapt as rapidly and cost-effectively as possible. One of the biggest agents of change is the IP revolution, driving broadcasters to migrate their operations to all-software solutions running on commodity, IT-based technologies.
Tags: iss134 | chyronhego | graphics | sports | ott | Boromy Ung
Contributing Author Boromy Ung Click to read or download PDF