BARCELONA, MAY XX, 2016 — Since taking over Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia, Sky Sports has experienced a significant increase in its broadcasting requirements. Perhaps the most prominent of these is the broadcaster’s Formula 1 race coverage coordinated by Gearhouse Broadcast. To satisfy the additional needs of this year’s telecast, Gearhouse called upon Raycom to expand the Wisycom wireless solutions that handle the broadcasts’ audio. With Wisycom, Gearhouse is now coordinating three times the number of broadcasts with only one-and-a-half times the audio kit. It has also become the first company to implement Wisycom’s new CSI16T IM/IB Combiner.
“Now that Gearhouse has to account for Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia, there are three broadcasts pulling from one system,” explains Pyers Easton, Managing Director of Raycom. “The team at Gearhouse had to incorporate two completely new broadcasts into their Formula 1 setup, which meant adding more gear. Gearhouse is continuing to use the same Wisycom MFLC Fiberboxes for receive purposes, which is a good example of how easily you can add to the Wisycom system once it is implemented. Wisycom products offer unrivaled scalability and opportunity for future expansion, safeguarding their customer’s investment.”
As there is no practical limit to the number of channels the Wisycom Fiberboxes can receive, Gearhouse needed to primarily adjust the number of MTH400 Wideband Handheld Microphones to cover all of the reporters that were present. “In the end, we added six handhelds, four MCR42 Dual Channel Receivers, two MTK952 Dual Channel Transmitters for four more channels of IEM and two MRK960 Modular Wireless Microphone Receivers,” continues Easton. “They also purchased some more IMSB receivers, two new four-channel MFLC Fiberboxes and four more LNN1 Wideband Antennas. This may seem like a lot, but it was not a significant amount more considering that they had to allow for three total broadcasts.”
Prior to the start of the 2016 Formula 1 season, Easton worked with Gearhouse in Oxford, England, and subsequently in Melbourne, Australia, to run tests for the Sky Sports system. “This is the same kit that travels with them all over,” he explains. “There are 21 Grand Prix races around the world this year. The Wisycom products are the perfect choice for a broadcast that travels as much as this one. The company’s wideband of frequency gives the user more options for clear channels, ensuring a flawless broadcast every time. It is quite astonishing, really. The kits get pushed to the limits. They are moved around, installed and de-rigged multiple times over, which is a true test of the system’s durability and ease of installation. They are also very lightweight, which is very important due to the cost of shipping the equipment around the world.”
The MFLC Fiberbox solution brings the power and functionality of Wisycom’s MFL Wideband Optical Link into a heavy-duty casing to withstand the rigors of on-location production. Wisycom’s MTH400 handheld microphones are used by reporters in the field, along with wireless belt packs receivers and lavalier mics for the interviewees. For the broadcast, the mics’ audio is then picked up by an audio mixer employing MCR42 UHF Dual Channel Miniature Camera Receivers. Those are mixed down from six channels to two channels of audio and then linked to the MRK960 receivers, where they are sent out to air.