Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Red Bull Air Race World Championship crews stay connected with Riedel technology
The Red Bull Air Race World Championship held its latest event in and around New York City on June 19-20, with the production crews using a variety of intercom and system communication equipment from Riedel Communications. The event, live from Liberty State Park in Jersey City, was broadcast on Fox, Fox Sports Network and Speed Channel.
A number of mini HD cameras and wireless video links provided stunning onboard pictures, while Riedel's MediorNet handled all of the communications systems for 650 people involved with the production. This included the high-bandwidth radio links connecting event site and race airport, the onsite SIvision HD mobile production trucks, the mobile race control towers and everything else involved with the production.
Riedel engineers integrated both HD video and audio signals as well as wireless and wired digital intercom systems for the shoot. The company also supplied the HD cameras and RF links for the race planes' onboard cameras. This enabled unique pictures from the pilots' perspectives.
Riedel's MediorNet is also being used by Belgium OB company Alfacam for the World Cup tournament. Alfacam is in charge of the world feed production at the venues in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban and Port Elizabeth; as well as the unilateral signal for ARD/ZDF, the German public broadcasting.
Alfacam has sent eight OB trucks, 80 cameras and about 35 top technicians to South Africa to provide about 45 per cent of the "host feeds" of the World Cup and will deploy in total 170 cameras and 155 technicians.
The MediorNet mainframes link Alfacam's trucks with the technical operation centers (TOC) in the stadiums, delivering 16 HD-SDI signals including the world feed to the trucks and four back from the OB van to the TOC.
The system uses integrated CWDM multiplexing over fiber connections that allowed the transports of all HD signals bidirectionally via one single-mode dual fiber link. It also offers an integrated embedding/de-embedding feature that de-embeds the audio and delivers the signals via MADI to the trucks' Lawo audio consoles. As the video and audio streams come from various asynchronous sources Alfacam also makes use of the system's Framestore feature, which synchronizes the video signals to the truck's internal clock, while the audio signals are synchronized via the system's sample-rate converter. After editing, the final HD video and audio stream is sent back to the TOC, where it is forwarded to the IBC for broadcast to the world.