Newseum relies on Lectrosonics wireless

The Newseum in Washington, D.C., a 250,000sq-ft museum of news that blends five centuries of news history with current technology and hands-on exhibits for a behind-the-scenes experience on how and why news is made, has deployed Lectrosonics wireless systems throughout the facility, which includes seven levels of galleries, theaters and other spaces.

Bexel ASG, a Virginia-based provider of broadcast audio and video products, designed and installed the wireless systems and distributed antennas throughout the Newseum, which were installed under the direction of senior project engineer Jim Dugan, Sr. In discussing wireless challenges for the Newseum, Dugan said, “The sheer magnitude of the Newseum, the amount of equipment they wanted to integrate and the number of locations throughout the complex required us to integrate a large-scale managed antenna system. We distributed nine Lectrosonics IFB transmitters and 12 RFPL base transmit frequencies simultaneously to eight different studios and exhibits throughout the facility using fiber and coax cable. There are also approximately 75 receive frequencies. The 13 Lectrosonics T4 transmitters are extremely robust when combined and redistributed. These are extremely clean IFB transmitters that are a great choice for large installations.”

In addition, the Newseum’s arsenal of Lectrosonics equipment also includes 25 R1a beltpack receivers, two SM transmitters and four UCR411a compact receivers with tracking front ends. The equipment is placed throughout the Forum Theater, the Document Theater, three conference rooms, four mobile equipment carts, the central equipment room and both Studios A and B.

Studio B, which overlooks the Capitol, is the flagship facility at the Newseum. Recently occupied by ABC News, Studio B now serves as the home to “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.” For his broadcasts, Stephanopoulos uses Lectrosonics SM transmitters and Venue receivers. The managed antenna system enables him to freely roam the Newseum’s atrium as well as the studio.

The Newseum project’s design phase was initiated in early 2007, with installation completed in April 2008. “The Newseum’s designers were building the latest and greatest facility of its kind in the industry,” Dugan said. “The production staff is still getting used to having so much wireless flexibility. When they realized they were able to roam around the entire city block in front of the building on Pennsylvania Ave., they were ecstatic. The Newseum is a showcase facility in every aspect.”

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