New England Sports Network (NESN), the largest and most watched sports network in the region and home to the Boston Red Sox and Boston Bruins, has added a Solid State Logic C100 Digital Broadcast Console-equipped, high-definition remote truck to enhance its high-definition acquisition, production and broadcast.
The C164-equipped truck, built by National Mobile Television to NESN’s specifications, complements NESN’s Watertown, MA, facility, which features two C100 consoles. The new truck and facility augment NESN’s aggressive upgrade to HD, providing a digital infrastructure that allows the network to produce and broadcast all in-house programming in high-definition with multichannel audio.
“The new truck is part of the master plan for our migration to all HD, all the time,” says Michael Narracci, NESN’s senior coordinating director. “We started doing HD for Red Sox games in 2003, and in 2006 we became the first and only regional sports network to broadcast every game in HD.
“The three components of HD are aspect ratio, resolution and 5.1 audio,” adds Narracci, who won an Emmy for his work on Red Sox broadcasts in 2004. “The latter was the missing link in our production—we were still doing stereo. One of the biggest advances we’ve made by moving into this truck is that we’re now 5.1-capable. The C100 certainly is a great board for us, because of its 5.1 capability, its flexibility, and most important, the sound quality. It’s been a major benefit.”
A NESN broadcast in Toronto, for which one of two Canadian Broadcast Corporation’s SSL C100-equipped remote trucks was employed, was a catalyst for NESN’s decision to acquire its own C100-equipped truck. “The audio mixer, Howard Baggley, was raving about it,” Narracci recalls. “He said it was absolutely the best board for mixing 5.1.”
“SSL has a sweet spot, if you will, in terms of simplicity and also a lot of functionality,” observes NMT Chief Executive Officer Mark Howorth. “The C100 is very easy to set up for 5.1, or any kind of audio mixing that you need to do. It’s very, very fast, in terms of ease of use. That’s why we like the C100: it has tons of functionality, yet it’s very easy to use, and at a price that makes a lot of sense.”
“Our in-house audio technicians are thrilled with the C100,” Narracci adds, “and our primary freelance engineer for Red Sox and Bruins games, Pete Grenier, is very impressed with it as well. We’re very happy.”
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