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Clear-Com Connects Rogers Sportsnet for Hockey Night in Canada

ALAMEDA, CALIF.— Clear-Com supplied its Eclipse HX digital matrix system and CellCom wireless intercom platform to Rogers Sportsnet for three, live, simultaneous hockey broadcasts.

Rogers Sportsnet employs the Eclipse HX at CBC Toronto’s downtown studio to produce Hockey Night in Canada and other NHL games, for distribution over a number of Canadian TV channels. Sportsnet has built an 11,000-square-foot open concept TV set in Studio 41, which it is leasing from CBC. RP Dynamics Inc. was hired as broadcast audio consultants for the “NHL Studios Project.” RP Broadcast and Wireless Specialist John Christie designed, installed and integrated the Eclipse HX system into the project intercom with support from Clear-Com’s Canadian distributor, GerrAudio.

The Eclipse HX-Delta digital matrix frame allows Rogers Sportsnet to interconnect with the CBC’s legacy intercom. The integrated Eclipse HX E-Que wireless cellular card allows it to connect 17 Clear-Com CellCom wireless beltpacks to one configurable system, “providing the flexibility of having a Matrix Intercom station on your belt,” said Geoff Maurice, GerrAudio’s product manager.

The Sportsnet installation also includes a Clear-Com HX-MADI and HVX-A16 card as a trunk to their existing intercom, six CellCom Active Antennas, two CellCom antenna splitters, and a 1RU V-Series lever-key control keypanel. Sportnet’s NHL intercom system is connected to three control rooms—one for each broadcast. In addition, there are various dressing rooms/backstage areas that serve the broadcasts.

“Clear-Com’s CellCom wireless beltpacks work in the license-free 1.92-1.93GHz frequency band,” Christie said. “The 2.4GHz band is jammed in downtown Toronto, while CBC-TV already uses 900 MHz intercoms in its many other studios here. Without access to the 1.92-1.93 GHz band, we could not connect the many behind-the-scenes personnel wirelessly.”

The Eclipse HX Delta is a 3RU matrix intercom system frame that comes with two CPU cards and two external power supplies. It has slots for four I/O interface cards and three interface modules. The HX E-Que card provides connectivity between the Eclipse HX-Delta system and the 17 CellCom beltpacks. The HX-MADI card connects the Eclipse HX Delta to wired intercom positions, such as those in Sportsnet’s three control rooms. The A16 analog card provides a switchable analog backup system in case of MADI network failure.