Swiss OB trucks use new DELEC commentary systems

To meet the needs of multilingual sports productions, TV Productioncenter Zürich AG (TPC), based in Switzerland, has installed an Oratis commentary system from DELEC, a German intercom and communication systems provider, on several of its most advanced OB production trucks. The DELEC product line is sold in the U.S. through Stagetec USA (Salzbrenner Stagetec Mediagroup) based in Atlanta.

The first applications of the new system include international broadcasting from the Spengler Cup hockey tournament in Davos and 10 skiing and football (soccer) productions, which occur nearly every weekend.

The commentary system is based on a matrix frame that acts like a central audio router. The commentators use a commentary terminal connected over a Gigabit Ethernet link to a commentary card in the matrix frame. This allows the production truck's audio network to be extended easily via fiber-optic cable up to the commentary booth, making it possible to monitor and mix any audio signal locally at the commentary position.

Up to 12 commentary terminals can be driven by one matrix frame. In addition, the system can be tightly integrated with the Nexus audio routers in the truck via MADI connections. Integrating an extra commentator into this setup is easy.

A total of five TPC OB trucks have been equipped with one matrix frame and six commentary terminals each. Up to three commentators can share a single unit, facilitating a dual-commentator environment supplemented by a roving reporter, for enhanced sports coverage.

High audio quality is delivered via 24-bit interfaces, 32-bit internal processing and 48kHz sample rate. This quality is maintained over long cable runs between the OB truck and the commentary position through the use of optical cabling. Integration with the intercom system prevalent in Switzerland was also a consideration; this has been achieved by having the intercom share the commentary terminal's microphone, headphones and cabling structure.

TV Productioncenter Zürich AG acts as the technical service provider for the German-speaking public broadcaster Swiss TV in Zurich and is experienced in producing multilingual audio programs for the entire country.