03.05.2010 02:15 PM
Nucomm Microwave Makes the Difference
Larry Barr

NEW YORK
As a veteran of nearly three decades of ENG field work, I've seen many advances in the RF technology used for remote live broadcasts. And during this time, Nucomm is a name I've come to know and trust. I'm part of a team that is responsible for providing day-to-day ENG operations for NBC Television, MSNBC, The Weather Channel and CNBC.

From "Today" to "Nightly News with Brian Williams" and occasionally "NBC Sunday Night Football," we're often doing three simultaneous live shots from different parts of the New York area, and sending these pickups to different receive sites around New York and New Jersey.

NBC Network News has four principal receive sites, each equipped with Nucomm receivers. We have four trucks equipped with Nucomm VT7 transmitters.

The equipment was selected by Mike Gallagher, our director of operations. He made the choice after an extensive evaluation process, which included a comparative "shoot-out." Nucomm easily won, with their gear maintaining a solid and reliable signal, while rejecting outside interference.

As you might imagine, New York City is an RF nightmare. It's difficult to maintain usable live signals due to the sheer number of users and amount of RF generated. We operate in both the 2 GHz and 7 GHz bands and also share our spectrum with WNBC-TV.

Our Nucomm equipment continues to prove itself each day. We have a solid signal, even when we're surrounded by other transmitters.

LONG HOPS ARE NO PROBLEM

The transmission range also impresses us. Recently, I was operating in Queens, near Kennedy Airport and our nearby Long Island City receive site was needed for another shot, so I tried our Union City, N.J. location, about 20 miles away. To hit the New Jersey site, my signal had to make its way between Manhattan's numerous high-rise buildings and towers. After just a few minutes of setup, I had a rock-solid digital signal that never wavered during the seven-hour transmission. It's not always that easy,but the Nucomm transmitters and receivers continue to amaze us with results we couldn't achieve in our analog days.

OPERATOR-FRIENDLY RADIOS

The radios also provide asolid level of operator comfort, with menus that are simple and intuitive. The pre-sets provided are enormous time savers too. Nucomm radios score big with their simplicity in changing functions; the basic ones are all on the front panel. Additional functions are very easy to access with a simple push button menu. The units switch modes quickly too; going from analog to digital takes only seconds. Another big plus is that Nucomm receivers switch seamlessly from SD to HD without the need to do a reset.

Nucomm is also continuously refining its customer service operations. If there is a problem, their service reps and techs take our phone calls quickly and locate the person who can best help us to resolve our problem. If it's something that can't be fixed over the phone, their service department has technicians available to provide quick turnaround.

Nucomm provides a solid product that takes the worry out of live television. While there are a lot of RF products out there, there'sno reason to shop anywhere but at Nucomm.

Larry Barr is an NBC News cameraman/truck operator who began his career in local radio in 1970. His work in television newscovers the gamut from the less stressful film days to the current 24/7 operation. He may be contacted at larry.barr@nbcuni.com.

For additional information, contact Nucomm at 800-968-2666 or visit www.nucomm.com.



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