Wohler Monitor Simplifies Ops at Comcast

PHILADELPHIA—The Comcast Sports Group is part of the NBC Sports Group and consists of 14 local networks delivering some 2,400 sporting events to more than 50 million homes annually.

We use two 53-foot expanding mobile production units to support our own events, as well as many regional sports networks live events, and rent these trucks out when they're not busy with our own productions. We also support the production of various studio shows.


In addition to these production trucks, we also have several satellite uplink trucks. Our primary unit is our 24-foot straight-body high-definition satellite vehicle that plays a big role in our coverage of live regional sports events and other field productions. We normally run HD-SDI video with accompanying embedded audio from production vehicles to this uplink truck as this provides a more secure and simplified delivery system. However, embedded audio does create an additional requirement in monitoring. This led us to select and install Wohler's AMP2-E16V-M audio/video processing monitor package to allow us to monitor and manage these SDI-embedded audio sources in a single unit. And it also handles the discrete AES and analog audio feeds that we still encounter from time to time. The Wohler monitor unit is perfect for this application, as it allows our sat truck operator to manage audio signal levels and all other key aspects.

The Wohler's AMP2-16V-M provides us with 16-channel monitoring and includes two 4.3-inch OLED displays that support video monitoring, metadata monitoring, loudness metering and control, audio routing and mixing controls, and Dolby zoom functions. These capabilities, along with the system's input/output SDI, AES, optical, and analog options, make it a complete audio management system for any audio signals being provided to us. And as an added bonus, it allows us to save some precious space in crowded mobile vehicle environments by filling three different needs in a single unit.


Our production work takes us to many different venues, with signal monitoring and processing requirements differing at each site. The AMP2-E16V-M can be quickly tailored to the varied needs of each individual broadcast. It provides us with 32 presets for flexible control over input source selection and other features. Its functionality allows us to set up hotkeys which make changing the input source easy and fast. Its presets also give us control over meter clustering, data display, and other features according to the type of signal being input. If we need to convert Dolby 5.1 to stereo and/or stereo to mono audio, we can use the system's downmix hotkey. Other built-in processing capabilities allow us to monitor and meter each audio input in any order, as well as rearrange or mix, pan, trim, and route signals freely.

We've installed just one AMP2-E16V-M so far, but given the unit's outstanding performance, I'm in the process of purchasing additional units. I plan to install Wohler units in all of our production trucks, studios and master control facilities.

Rich Frantz serves as the director of engineering at the Comcast Network. He can be reached at rich.frantz@nbcuni.com.

For additional information, contact Wohler Technologies at 888-596-4537 or visit wohler.com.