The Olympic Flame began its 70 day journey round and across the UK and other islands last Saturday (19 May), with its progress monitored by broadcast coverage relying on HD Voice technology for TV audio and radio reports, writes Kevin Hilton. The Torch relay will involve 8,000 bearers (Jordan Anderton pictured, courtesy London 2012) and pass through over 1000 cities, town and villages in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. Part of the party accompanying the Torchbearers is a media vehicle equipped with cameras and internet streaming systems to link pictures to the BBC and other broadcasters. BBC correspondents covering the procession are using HD Voice-capable mobile phones for both out-of-picture reports for TV, including two-ways on the BBC News Channel, and contributions to radio programmes and bulletins. Glensound has supplied two of its GS-MPI004HD portable HD broadcasters' phones for the relay, with connections made over 3G networks on location. The BBC is also using two GS-MPI004HDs for coverage of the Olympics themselves and a GS-MPI005 HD rack mounted unit with two phone modules. A BBC spokesman said the HD Voice mobiles were selected because they could broadcast in "reasonable quality" from the moving media vehicle. Marc Wilson, sales and marketing manager at Glensound, comments that the HD Voice standard gives something better than standard phone connections but which is different to ISDN. "It doesn't sound like either," he says, "it's something new." Barring wrong turns, as happened yesterday (23 May) outside Bristol, the Olympic Flame is due to arrive in London on 27 July for the opening of the 2012 Games. www.london2012.com/torch-relaywww.glensound.co.uk
Cross-border HD Voice broadcast opportunity
In a world first telecom group Orange has connected the mobile networks of two countries using HD Voice. The higher quality link between Romania and Moldova could signal greater flexibility for broadcasters now using HD Voice for audio reporting.