Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
South Korean broadcaster deploys double-decker duplex communications
South Korean television broadcaster SBS used Tieline's Report-IT Enterprise application as a wireless IP audio communications system for “London Wide,” a sports news program produced during the 2012 London Games.
Prior to arriving on location, SBS developed a plan to create a unique mobile live news program for covering the London Games. At previous events, SBS originated its live sports news programs from the International Broadcast Center (IBC).
However, for the London Games, SBS wanted to elevate its coverage and immerse the audience in the atmosphere of a global event, which led the broadcaster to build a broadcast booth on top of one of London's famous double-decker buses.
SBS turned the upper deck of the bus into a mobile broadcast studio capable of broadcasting live audio and video each day from different locations from the heart of London to South Korea.
An SNG kit was used to transmit video and audio between the SBS bus and the IBC. This was then fed from the IBC to South Korea. The live program ran for 3:30:00 every day during the games and required a high-quality, low-delay, full-duplex communications system between the bus and the SBS studio in South Korea for the show's presenters.
Traditional wired connections over ISDN or POTS weren’t options because the bus was moving. SBS engineers Jung Euljun and Kwon Taeyoung had several years of experience with Tieline i-Mix codecs over satellite and considered using them connected via satellite IP or ISDN to provide communications circuits.
Hyung-uk Sheen from Coil and Wire in South Korea recommended SBS investigate using the Report-IT Enterprise application on an iPhone with a Tieline Mic Adapter as the primary method of transporting full-duplex communications between London and South Korea. The engineers realized significant cost savings could be achieved using IP compared with the satellite option, and they agreed it was worth investigating. During testing, they learned the setup was compatible with their existing Tieline codec infrastructure back in South Korea.
SBS ran cables between the XLR mic input and one of the headphone outputs on the Mic Adapter into an i-Mix G3 on the bus, which was used as a mixer and router for 15kHz audio quality communications audio between London and Korea. Local producer and director feeds were also attached to the i-Mix, and the mixed output was fed into an HME wireless IFB system. The presenters wore wireless receivers to distribute an IFB mix of local and international communications to each presenter.
Each day, the matrix assignment of Cue/Comms buttons on the i-Mix was configured for different local audio sources. A cellphone also was attached to XLR in/outs on the i-Mix using a custom-built adapter cable to provide a backup 3.5kHz audio connection to a telephone hybrid if required.