Toronto, Ontario, Canada – January 2009… When the time came to go live at their new, multi-million dollar studio, the technical operations staff at Score Media Inc. were determined to have the best possible wireless systems in place to ensure flawless performance and superior sound for their various shows. The specialty sports television service, which is available in 6.4 million homes throughout Canada, looked at a lot of different systems, but ultimately, they selected Lectrosonics.
The Score airs a variety of sports programs, including Court Surfing, which features NBA highlights, and their flagship sports news program, The Score Tonight. Regardless of the program, Score TV uses an extensive collection of Lectrosonics equipment.
Purchased through Trew Audio of Toronto, The Score acquired two Venue Series modular receiver systems—each fully stocked with 6 VRMWB wideband receiver modules for a total of twelve channels. On the transmitter side of the equation, the station is now the proud owner of six LMa Digital Hybrid UHF beltpack transmitters and six SMDa Super Miniature Digital Hybrid Wireless UHF beltpack transmitters. To enhance signal reception, they also purchased six ALP600 LPDA “shark fin” antennas. To foster communication between the technical staff and the on-air talent, The Score also acquired four Lectrosonics IFBT4 Frequency-Agile Compact IFB transmitters as well as eight R1a Synthesized UHF beltpack IFB receivers. Installation of the equipment was handled by the Toronto office of Applied Electronics.
According to Matthew Payne, Director of Broadcast Operations at Score Media Inc., “For most of our shows, we have anywhere from two to eight people on the set at any given time, so some of these systems serve as backup units. We also have a number of back-to-back shows that require us to wire the talent in advance so that we can make a smooth transition from one program to another. As a result, we’re actually using every system on a regular basis. The SMDa transmitters are usually worn by the hosts while the larger LMa transmitters are typically worn by the guests.” The shows’ hosts are also outfitted with IFBT4 IFB transmitters to facilitate communication with the technical staff and to monitor sports reels as they play.
When asked about the challenges the studio was facing as it searched for a wireless solution, Payne offered the following comments. “Being in downtown Toronto, we’re in a very frequency rich environment. Because of this, we went with the wideband receivers to ensure the best possible performance. We wanted to make certain that we had the best gear for identifying and locking down open, available frequencies. On a related note, we were extremely impressed with Lectrosonics’ customer and technical support services. As our biggest challenge was frequency coordination, representatives from Lectrosonics actually came to our facility and performed a frequency sweep for us and set us up with the best frequencies for our location. This was a great way to start off our business relationship with the company.”
Build quality was yet another factor that influenced The Score’s purchase decision. “We looked at numerous systems from a variety of companies,” notes Payne, “and I really believe that Lectrosonics offers the best bang for the buck. The company’s build quality is excellent. The all-metal construction and solid feel of the equipment made quite an impression on us. This equipment gets a lot of use and it takes its fair share of bumps in the process. Our previous gear had plastic housings and was nowhere near as robust. Further, the equipment is easy to use and its small form factor is easily hidden on the talent.”
Before focusing his attention on other business matters, Payne offered this closing thought. “We’ve been using our Lectrosonics equipment since September and everything has been working extremely well for us. The sound quality is first rate, everything has a very solid feel to it, and the company’s support has been exceptional. In my mind, that represents real value.”
About Lectrosonics Digital Hybrid Wireless Technology
Lectrosonics’ Digital Hybrid Wireless technology uses a proprietary algorithm to encode 24-bit digital audio information with no compression and low distortion into an analog format that can be transmitted in a robust manner over an analog FM wireless link. The result is much higher dynamic range—free from sonic artifacts— than wireless systems using a compandor are able to offer. Digital Hybrid Wireless technology delivers long operating range, graceful signal decay, and a small spectral footprint, facilitating more channels to be operated simultaneously.
About Score Media, Inc.
Score Media is a media company committed to delivering interactive and authentic sports entertainment. Created in 1997 in response to the growing desire for increased participation in the consumption of sports, the Company has now established itself as the home for hardcore sports fans. Score Media’s primary asset, The Score Television Network ("The Score"), is a national specialty television service providing sports news, information, highlights and live event programming in more than 6.4 million homes across Canada. Score Media also operates Hardcore Sports Radio, a satellite radio network available across North America on SIRIUS Satellite Radio, and other interactive assets including theScore.com, ScoreMobile, and Score Poker. Growing from a team of 60 in 1997 to over 220 employees in 2008, Score Media is a revolutionizing interactive media company.
Well respected within the film, broadcast, and theater technical communities since 1971, Lectrosonics wireless microphone systems and audio processing products are used daily in mission-critical applications by audio engineers familiar with the company's dedication to quality, customer service, and innovation. Lectrosonics is a US manufacturer based in Rio Rancho, New Mexico.
Photo info: Image of Nicole Karkic, on-air talent at The Score.