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Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Jan 3

Written by:
1/3/2008 2:35 PM  RssIcon

Chicago, IL, January 03, 2008 - Hundreds of thousands tuned into the 16th annual Magnificent Mile Lights Festival as ABC 7 Chicago WLS-TV provided live HD night-time coverage of the event, which involved an assortment of Nucomm microwave equipment.


As the only station in Chicago broadcasting the city‘s traditional night-time holiday lights festival, WLS-TV wanted to raise the bar by taking it from its traditional analog format to HD. To facilitate the transition to HD, WLS-TV set up four remote sites along the procession route, which ran three quarters of a mile between the north end of Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive. Among the Nucomm gear used included three portable ChannelMaster TX1 transmitters, two of which were based on roof tops and one that was located on a scissor lift and used for sending signals back to a central receive site. One ChannelMaster RX1 receiver located in the center of Michigan Avenue was also used, along with two Newscaster CR6D receivers and a Newscaster DR, all of which were stationed in the middle of the street atop a scissor lift platform. Additionally, a Nucomm Newscaster VT2 transmitter was mounted inside one of the station‘s mobile trucks and a CamPac2 COFDM transmitter was attached alongside a 1936 fire truck that functioned as a chase vehicle for capturing the front of the festival‘s signature Walt Disney float.


In covering the event in HD, WLS-TV used a significant amount of Nucomm equipment which proved most effective. According to WLS-TV Assistant Director of Engineering Craig Strom, “Typically when covering such demanding broadcast environments as the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival, you are generally faced with concern for signal stability, and that is just within instances where you are shooting in SD,” explains Strom. “In this case, WLS-TV was confronted with an even greater challenge because the complex location in question also required broadcast in HD. In the end, we were able to overcome signal stability obstacles and achieve an even balance in regard to the broadcast‘s payload, bandwidth and reliability, making our coverage an overall success.”


More than 180,000 households tuned in to watch the one million lights illuminate during the festival and its fireworks finale that ignited over the Chicago River. WLS-TV‘s seamless live broadcast of the event was syndicated throughout the country and televised in 24 separate markets that included New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.


About Nucomm

Nucomm, Inc. is a worldwide provider of premier digital and analog video microwave systems (including COFDM and VSB) for the broadcasting industry‘s portable and fixed link applications. Offering video microwave transmission equipment for the military, law enforcement, telecom and cable television circuits, Nucomm‘s products have helped revolutionize live broadcast coverage of major outdoor events including sports, auto racing, marathons and parades. Nucomm, along with RF Central and Microwave Service Company, forms the Vitec Group RF Systems business unit, part of Vitec Group Broadcast Systems Division. For more information about Nucomm, visit www.nucomm.com.


About The Vitec Group

The Vitec Group supplies a wide range of equipment and services to the broadcasting, entertainment and photographic industries. Its products are distributed in nearly 100 countries, either through dealerships or direct to the end user or corporate customer. Vitec is based on strong, well known, premium brands that professionals rely on. Vitec is organized in three divisions: Imaging & Staging, Broadcast Systems and Broadcast Services. For more information, visit www.vitecgroup.com.

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