NEW YORK—Clair Broadcast chose the MFL RF Distribution system from Italian manufacturer Wyscom for its fiber transport capabilities for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The parade marked the first large-scale, live use of the MFL RF Distribution system in the United States.
Clair Broadcast, which has been supplying the audio equipment for the parade’s live broadcast for several years, was tasked with keeping communications flowing among the parade’s organizers and during the broadcast portions of the parade, which included host commentary and main stage performances. Since it is nearly impossible (and potentially dangerous) to run cable over the streets and among the parade’s performers, the team needed an RF platform that utilized fiber underground. Gary Vahling, owner of Audio Masterpiece, recommended a rental and sales company that specializes in wireless and intercom system solutions for live production and broadcast applications, the MFL RF Distribution system provided a scalable, reliable RF-over-fiber technology.
The system provides wideband optical link for up to four RF channels, combined in a single fiber with optional CWDM (MUX/DEMUX) technology. Since the system is capable of ultra wideband, whole frequency range, operating in the 150 to 790 MHz band, it is compatible with a variety of wireless audio products. Clair Broadcast utilized a Telex wireless intercom system and Shure in ear monitors and mics, for which Wyscom’s MLF RF Distribution System is compatible.
For the system set-up, Wyscom provided one RF box for each end of the broadcasted portion of the parade route—a MFL-TTRR and a MFL-RRTT, each holding two receives and two transmits in each box. Each box has Bandpass Filter that was digitally tunable to 1MHz, which enabled frequencies to be passed within a certain range and rejects frequencies outside that range. The system also has a CWDM optional fiber module that combines both transmit and receive RF signals onto one fiber strand.
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