WLS-TV, the ABC-owned television station in Chicago, used wireless intercom systems from Clear-Com to broadcast the 2011 Magnificent Mile Lights Festival, the country’s largest evening holiday celebration.
The station used two Clear-Com Tempest 900 digital wireless intercoms and three HME DX200 2.4GHz digital wireless systems to coordinate its production and broadcast. The Tempest 900 intercoms, which operate on 900MHz, simplified communications and improved the working environment of the WLS-TV team.
The reach and reliability offered by the Tempest 900 systems allowed the event coordinators to roam and communicate along Michigan Avenue. The wireless intercoms effectively covered a three-city block span, between the Michigan Avenue Bridge to the south, and Illinois Street to the north, without the issues of audio fading or connection loss for the crucial event coordination.
WLS installed two Tempest 900 systems at a single location at the base of the festival route, and that was sufficient to enable clear conversations to occur throughout the course of the event.
The Tempest 900 also uses patented Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS) radio technology. This allows a narrow band signal that is continually changing frequencies to break through RF noise and interference. It significantly increases communications range, powerfully penetrates dense structures and offers high resistance to multipath interference.
Clear-Com’s HME DX200 digital wireless intercoms were used in conjunction with the Tempest 900 systems for stage managers, lighting and producer intercoms. The broadcast team employed the HME DX200 at the base of the parade route and the Tempest 900 antennas along the parade itself.