CANADA: The recent Games provided a global showcase for numerous pro-audio suppliers, writes David Davies. Digigram, Lawo and Fairlight were among the other companies whose technology was deployed at the 2010 Winter Olympics, which took place in Canada last month.
Clear-Com reports that its Hybrid Network (Hybrid Time-Division Multiplexing [TDM] Matrix/IP Server Intercom Network) was chosen as the intercom solution for the opening and closing ceremonies at Vancouver's BC Place, as well as other events at the IBC (International Broadcast Center) and the Whistler Celebration Plaza. Flexibility was one of the key factors to contribute to project integrator The P.A. People's selection of the Clear-Com solution.
Matt Danilowicz, managing director of Clear-Com Communication Systems, commented: "The P.A. People's choice of this system is a testament not only to the confidence it places in Clear-Com systems to support the communication demands of large size, live events, but also a visible demonstration of the necessity for a forward-thinking, highly flexible intercom product such as the Hybrid Network in the marketplace."
Community loudspeakers were also in evidence at a raft of Olympic sporting venues. The Speed Skating Oval in Richmond is the first Olympic venue to use Community's compact ENTASYS three-way, full-range, weather-resistant column line array loudspeaker system, while the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports facility features Community R.5 full-range all-weather systems. Elsewhere, The Trout Lake Ice Rink and Killarney Community Centres both incorporate deployments of iBOX IHP1596 loudspeakers; the Richmond O Zone features Community R1, R.5 and R2 loudspeakers; and the West Vancouver Spirit Square boasts a consignment of iBOX IHP1200 Series and Cloud12 units.
Post-Olympics, The Vancouver Olympic Centre/Vancouver Paralympic Centre is to become a community sports/education facility and will be equipped with Community R1, CLOUD6 and CLOUD12 loudspeakers.
Julia Lee, Community's director of marketing and sales, tells PSN-e: "It's always an honour to be associated with the Olympic Games. Olympic venues are naturally the most prestigious athletic showcase venues in the world, with the architecturally and technologically innovative stadiums of the Vancouver Games being no different. While Community R-Series has been an outdoor stadium standard for many years, we are pleased that our ENTASYS, iBOX and CLOUD loudspeakers were also chosen by Vancouver contractors to counter many of the special acoustical challenges presented by the winter sports arenas."
In the wake of a recently-reported deployment by the Power Radio group in Istanbul, Digigram's version 1.0 IQOYA V*MOTE audio-over-IP codec with SIP software was utilised by Republic of Croatia national public broadcaster HRT. The broadcaster used V*MOTE extensively for their journalists' live field contributions to studios back in Zagreb.
The space/weight-saving solution found favour with HRT head of development and maintenance Vedran Begovic, who commented: "My colleagues in the field reported zero operational issues and were pleasantly surprised by the overall sound quality we could get on a simple ADSL line. For reports in the field, V*MOTE is really a must-have solution as it completely eliminates the need for extra bulky equipment - all they need is their regular laptop, and with that they were mobile, live, and providing our audience with great reports."
In addition to providing broadcast sound editing capabilities for ARD and ZDF, Fairlight was a major part of the specification for Australian production company David Atkins Enterprises (DAE) at the opening and closing ceremonies. DAE relied on a total of four Fairlight Xynergi systems to deliver audio and provide master time code for all other systems, including video projection, film projection, pyrotechnics, lighting, automation, lasers and show call. The orchestral conductor and performers also received their click and cue tracks from the Xynergies.
Lawo reports that more than 50 of its systems (consoles and routers) were used during the Winter Games. German public broadcasters ARD and ZDF employed Lawo mc²56, mc²66 and mc²90 consoles, as well as crystal desks and Nova73 HD routers. Belgian TV service provider Alfacam made use of nine mc²66-equipped OB vans, while Canadian national broadcaster CTV employed 12 Lawo systems during the two-week sportsfest. Finland's YLE, Sweden's SVT and China's CCTV also used Lawo systems, while rental companies Gearhouse and Presteigne Charter supported their customers in Canada with multiple Lawo consoles. Lawo rental partner Audio Broadcast Services also provided a large number of consoles, routers and additional Lawo equipment.
Lawo's Wolfgang Huber tells PSN-e: "Many broadcasters and providers have used Lawo equipment on their OB trucks and at their production facilities on site and in their home studios. We are very happy about the number of responsible persons and users who put their trust in Lawo mixing consoles and routing systems for producing the feeds of important international mega-events being broadcast to an audience all over the world. The high presence of Lawo products, the efficient workflow, the reliability and quality of sound, and also our service philosophy have confirmed the good reputation of the Lawo brand."
More Olympian audio in the March issue of Pro Sound News Europe.