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10.23.2009
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Lectrosonics wireless technology captures sounds of the Packers

The NFL’s Green Bay Packers are the only non-profit, community-owned major league professional sports team in the United States. Since the start of the current football season, a new Lectrosonics wireless system has been used at the stadium to ensure pristine audio quality, excellent range and the freedom to adapt to evolving RF conditions.

The new Lectrosonics system is typically used for in-house activities on the field and throughout the main stadium seating. These activities include the national anthem vocal performance, promotional activities during the game and various half-time events. Audio from the Lectrosonics receivers typically gets routed through the main stadium sound reinforcement system, but also splits out for TV broadcast and other feeds as required.

Kimberly, WI-based Arrow Audio, a design/system integration firm, was contracted to handle the installation of the new wireless system. Gary Trenda, Arrow Audio’s lead systems designer, said that on game day, an NFL stadium could have more than 400 wireless channels in use. In a congested RF environment like this, finding a system that would work reliably was a major concern. The NFL has a Game Day frequency coordinator who assigns frequencies to the various wireless users so they don’t interfere with one another. For this installation, the GDC also recommended a preferred frequency range.

Trenda and audio technicians from Green Bay, WI-based Made Ya Look, the game-day audio and video services provider, conducted a field test of different wireless equipment. The technicians said they liked the sound of the super cardioid capsule on the UT transmitters and were impressed with the UT’s 100mW transmit power. They now use a four-channel wireless system consisting of four Lectrosonics UT Digital Hybrid Wireless handheld transmitters with VMS super cardioid capsules and a Venue VRMWB receiver system equipped with four VRT tracking receiver modules.

Lectrosonics’ Digital Hybrid Wireless technology encodes 24-bit digital audio information with no compression and low distortion into an analog format that can be transmitted in a robust manner over an analog FM wireless link. The result is much higher dynamic range free from sonic artifacts than wireless systems using a compandor. Digital Hybrid Wireless technology delivers long operating range, graceful signal decay and a small spectral footprint, facilitating more channels to be operated simultaneously.



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