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Army TV Upgrades Facility With RTS

WASHINGTON
Army Television is a division of the Headquarters department of the Army that produces studio and live events from within the Pentagon and throughout the national capitol region. We produce an average of two events every day, and manage the entire process in-house. Our on-site auditorium and production studio have corresponding control rooms which are also tied to our graphic editing stations.

We must stay very flexible to accommodate everything from town hall meetings to the Army Birthday Ball, and activities that feature everyone from junior Pentagon employees to the most senior DoD leadership.

The RTS BTR-800 wireless intercom systemHIGH-PROFILE PROGRAMMING

Our RTS intercom system is key to managing that flexibility. The intercom system is used to establish communication throughout our facility, and is one of the things we rely on most heavily for a smooth production. For example, when we produced the "Secretary of Defense Environmental Awards Ceremony" recently with guest speaker Vice President Joe Biden, the intercom system allowed us to communicate from the control room to our camera crew in the auditorium, our director, and to all of our nonlinear editing stations in the graphics area.

During high-profile productions such as this, we have two stage managers communicating with the director and auditorium with a Telex BTR-800 wireless system. In addition, we have a roaming tech who's on wireless at all times.

We've been using an RTS two-wire intercom system in the facility for about 20 years. In addition, we have a production truck that has been equipped with RTS two-wire gear for nine years.

Recently, we decided to upgrade the in-house facility to a digital matrix system that included an ADAM frame, several Classic Series keypanels, and a BTR-800 wireless system.

The two-wire system has operated rock-solid for more than three decades, so we wanted to stick with the same time-proven brand.

In addition to reliability, the RTS Digital Matrix system is also highly scalable. The DSI 2008 system interface allows it to work very well with our existing two-wire installation, so we can extend the useful life of that investment. The digital matrix is something we can implement now, and know that when we upgrade in five or 10 years, we won't have to replace our existing installation.

Without this versatile intercom system there's no way we could complete the jobs we do, as everything is so segregated and far apart in our facility. The auditorium and production studio are tied to separate control rooms, which are all in completely different locations. Our existing RTS intercom system has allowed us to maintain control over our productions, and the digital matrix makes this even easier. The system's programmability will allow us to "set and forget," providing peace of mind that the lines of communication will always be open.

With the AZedit software, once the initial system programming is completed, everyone has the ability to talk to individuals or the entire group. This reduces chatter on the line which enables clearer, more efficient communication.

We're planning to integrate our communication system with other military production and broadcast facilities such as The Pentagon Channel. The communication systems will play a central role, and our RTS Digital Matrix will allow us to stay flexible.

Alvino Martinez is a civilian television systems engineer with the Army Multimedia and Visual Information Directorate in Washington. He served as a soldier in the U.S. Army for eight years. He may be contacted atalvino.martinez@us.army.mil.

For additional information, contact RTS at 877-863-4169 or visitwww.rtsintercoms.com.