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A sound plan for Glasgow 2014 – part 3: Similar radio/TV feeds

Philip Stevens reports on the operation to bring specialist audio coverage to the Commonwealth Games.

Continued from part two. Philip Stevens writes…

For SVGTV, all radio and television rights-holders are essentially the same. The radio RHBs can book a stereo split from the HB production truck in the broadcast compound, then monitor and mix this in to their broadcast if required. This not only assists the radio RHB in making the live broadcast more immediate, but also creates a stereo space for their broadcast without the radio RHB having to set up and position a stereo microphone (or a pair). Back at the International Broadcast Centre (IBC), the HB will be supplying the radio RHBs with a feed of the host’s clean English commentary, as well as the stereo international radio sound, for each venue.

From the IBC, SVGTV is offering a Commonwealth Games channel feed, which will cover events and highlight packages for the day. There will be a multi-channel service consisting of six broadcast channels for the RHBs to feed to their networks.

Christopher Farmer, SVGTV’s host broadcast audio, commentary and CSC manager, explains: “We have appointed sound supervisors at each venue – audio technicians are the responsibility of the OB providers. This ensures we have a good mix of people knowing the sport they are covering [and who are] familiar with the facilities.”
Each feed will have an international commentary track. All commentary will come live from site, and will either be one, two or three voices.

SVGTV is using Glensound GDC 6432 commentary units with Audio-Technica BPHS1 Headsets. These will feed in to a Riedel Artist matrix, where the signals will be routed and sent off to the telco over WorldCast Systems IP codecs. At the IBC, the codecs will feed into NTP Technology’s Penta 725 routers and then the main digital NTP 625 router, where SVGTV will have total control and can route these signals via the purpose-built NTP graphical user interface for monitoring and testing – and also to their final destination, the RHB.

DirectOut ANDIAMO and M1K2 digital MADI routers will be used for sending signals to and from the broadcast compound which, in most instances, will be hundreds of metres away from the commentary control room.
“We will have bookable EVS Clean Edit suites available at the IBC, should any RHB require editing,” Farmer adds. “The majority of RHBs like to supply their own facilities, which will be what they are familiar with, and – equally as importantly – what works within their media workflow.”

According to Dennis, the biggest challenge is delivering a state-of the art, reliable system that will meet the host broadcaster’s obligations and RHBs’ expectations – all on a fraction of the budget used for, say, the Olympics or World Cup. He concludes: “SVGTV aims to provide something new and innovative that will make these Commonwealth Games the best to date and push some boundaries so as to drive the broadcast forward.”