French Broadcaster Invests In SoundField Hardware For Surround-Sound Sport

Wakefield, UK, April 2008: SoundField is delighted to announce that French state television channel France 3 has begun using SoundField systems, comprising SPS422B microphones and SP451 processors, to provide surround-sound audio for high-definition sports broadcasting. At present, all of France's state broadcast transmissions are in standard definition, but the SoundField systems are now installed in several of France 3's OB vehicles, ready for the HD sports coverage that France 3 will be offering in the near future.

The decision to move to HD sports coverage at France 3 has been in the pipeline for some time; technical trials were carried out with various multi-microphone surround systems in early 2006, at a Rugby European Cup match. Multi-channel audio recordings were made to France 3's Pyramix digital recording workstations using the competing microphone systems, including Soundfield's, and these audio tests were then taken to France 3's post-production centre in Rennes, together with the various audio streams that made up the original standard-definition broadcast (ambient sound, commentator's comments, and so on). After extensive testing to see how easy it was to mix the broadcast using the audio from the different surround microphone systems, SoundField's microphones won the day.

The first SPS422B/SP451 systems were installed in the OB vehicles owned by France 3's regional headquarters in Marseille and Lille, in April 2007, just in time to provide 5.1 audio for HD transmissions of Roland Garros French Open Tennis, which were supplied to international broadcasters such as Orange and the Russian state broadcaster. A third SoundField SPS422/SP451 system has since been installed in the high-definition OB truck owned by France 3's regional headquarters in Rennes.