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BT Sport roams with wireless installation

BT Sport launched three TV channels on 1 August from its new broadcast centre in the Queen Elizabeth II Olympic Park, featuring a full RF system including Wisycom transmitters and receivers with DPA microphones.

BT Sport launched three TV channels on 1 August from its new broadcast centre in the Queen Elizabeth II Olympic Park, featuring a full RF system including Wisycom transmitters and receivers, with DPA microphones, to give presenters the freedom to not only move between studios but round the rest of the building as well. The facilities at iCity in east London have been built into part of what was the international broadcast centre used during the London 2012 Games. These feature three main studios, the highlight of which is the 14,000 square feet area that makes up both Studio 1 and Studio 2 (pictured), which is claimed to be the biggest L-shaped studio in the world. BT Sport is broadcasting three services – BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2 and ESPN – and the studios were designed to reflect the different ‘brands’ but also bring them together if required. “We had the opportunity to create an environment that was about being live on air with more than one channel at a time,” comments Jamie Hindhaugh, chief operating officer of BT Sport. “We want our presenters to be able to move between the studios and channels.” This is made possible by 16 Cobham RF aerial arrays positioned in the studios and other areas of the broadcast complex. “We’ve wired the entire building to work with the radio mics and radio cameras,” explains Dan McDonnell, managing director of independent facilities company Timeline Television, which managed the design and build of the production facilities. “You can send a radio mic with a radio camera up to a dressing room or the main office and walk through the whole facility without the RF signals being disturbed, because of the automatic switching being used.” The radio mic system comprises 16 Wisycom MRK960 dual true diversity receivers, which give 32-channels of wireless, 24 MTP40 belt packs with DPA 460 microphones and eight MTH400 handhelds. In-ear monitoring is important for the presenters and Wisycom’s new MTK952 was selected for the purpose. BT Sport was the first UK broadcaster to buy the system, which was supplied by Raycom, although the BBC went on air first with the second installation of it. Four dual mono/stereo transmitters and 24 MPR30 receivers have been installed. www.raycom.co.uk

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