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AUDIO Game, Set, Match with Nico Lewis & Jon Ridel S ports events such as the Super Bowl, the Winter Games in Sochi and the Wimbledon Championships are among the most prestigious jobs for broadcast companies. The larger the event, the more viewers it reaches – and consequentially, the more complicated and important the communication system becomes. Without communications any sports coverage will grind to a halt. A reliable, non- blocking, high performance system is therefore essential when planning the broadcast of a sport event. To understand the communication challenges faced by broadcast companies during sport events, we had a look at three esteemed events and examined how intercom solution designers and manufacturer RTS rise to the occasion. Wimbledon When it comes to broadcast, communication is everything. Heads of production need to be able to speak with their crew, directors with their cameramen, OB trucks with their head offi ces. “In broadcasting, nothing can happen unless everyone can talk and communicate with each other”, explains Nico Lewis, Senior Sales Manager RTS Intercoms. A case in point is the annual broadcast of the Wimbledon Championships. For years, NEP Visions has provided the faculties for regular client ESPN. 2014 however will see a novelty with NEP Visions supplying the faculties for the host and domestic coverage of BBC. “Even though you can never 62 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 89 MAY 2014 be content with compromise on any production, Wimbledon is especially exacting. Everyone involved – not just the players, but the broadcasters, technicians and service personnel – are stretched to their utmost”, says Paul Fournier, Head of Sound at NEP Visions. For years, NEP Visions has therefore relied on equipment from RTS to secure communications. Broadcast companies such as NEP Visions place high expectations in the intercom systems they use. “The broadcast market needs state-of- the-art, robust and reliable digital technology that gives the right return on investment, a guarantee that it works non-blocking 24/7, is easy and intuitive to operate and industry standard”, says Nico Lewis, Senior Sales Manager RTS Intercoms. “Integration with other systems such as commentator systems, audio desks, telephone, IP, virtual and integrated wireless are also trends we are experiencing.” Key for Lewis’ colleague Jon Ridel, Sales Manager UK & Ireland, is the reliability of an intercom system: “It is our responsibility to provide reliable solutions that will give mission critical infrastructures for the users on a long-term basis that can be relied on.” RTS therefore delivers fully redundant matrix systems and offers the possibility to connect systems redundant over IP, copper or fi breglass cables. However third-party elements can still infl uence the system. “Our control is therefore managed from the digital matrix”, explains Lewis. “If the computer system stops, the RTS intercom continues none blocking. A multi-use of computers to eliminate this is also possible. The new ADAM technology for example offers full redundant master controller, redundant digital multi channel MADI, OMNEO via TCPIP with RSTP redundant protocol. Over Ethernet, RTS can trunk up to 255 systems fully redundantly.” A communication system’s fl exibility is just as indispensable when it comes to broadcasting sports events. Changes to the confi guration of the system or its possible extension need to be kept in mind. Through the modular set-up of its systems, RTS allows for alterations of its intercom solutions on the fl y: “Our systems allow for very easy expansion of further ports