Over the last several years, Harvard University Athletics has grown its sports broadcasts significantly, doubling online viewership and establishing partnerships with ESPN and other national and regional networks. To help deliver excellent audio during these productions, Harvard turns to products from Studio Technologies, manufacturer of high-quality audio, video, and fiber-optic solutions. Units like the Model 204 and Model 230 Announcer’s Consoles, Model 45A Audio Interface, and Model 45DC Intercom Interface have enabled student-led production teams to run about 300 pro-level broadcasts across 42 teams each year, including football, basketball, skiing, rowing, fencing, and more.
“Studio Technologies has always checked all the boxes that I needed, and their products are more affordable than the alternatives,” said Imry Halevi, Assistant Director of Athletics at Harvard. “I’ll be looking for a solution and then they come out with something new, or they come out with a product I don’t need and then suddenly an application comes up.”
Halevi specifically highlighted the Model 230 Announcer’s Console, which has been the “workhorse for all Harvard’s productions.” The tabletop unit serves as an audio control “hub” for announcers, commentators, and production personnel. Halevi said games typically have two commentators who use Model 230 units while live on air, and to communicate with production personnel behind the scenes.
Harvard has also leveraged the Model 45A Audio Interface for additional flexibility with offsite audio sources. Halevi cited broadcasts for skiing carnivals in New Hampshire and Vermont, when production personnel weren’t able to communicate with camera operators via a phone call or Zoom. Using the Model 45A, the control room established a connection with the operators in the field by tying their live stream setup into their offsite communication system. “It was as though they were sitting next to us, it was just that much easier,” added Halevi.
Halevi said the school recently started using the Dante® enabled Model 204 Announcer’s Console and Model 45DC Intercom Interface for “productions where running long analog XLR cables is not practical.” As an example, the Model 45DC is handling broadcast commentator audio from a soccer field that’s far from their control room but still in range of the campus IT network. “It’s allowing us to do many more flexible things using Dante,” said Halevi. “We’ve produced 10 games so far with our Model 204s and 45DCs, including three broadcasts on linear TV (NESN).”
With a staff of 65 students, Halevi also noted the value of Studio Technologies’ intuitive user interfaces and durable designs. “Students are not generally known as the most careful with equipment,” Halevi joked. “Thankfully, we’ve never had a console break. Everything has always worked and sounded great.”