Telecast Fiber technology helps WPRI produce major golf event with limited budget

Rain may have disrupted play at the recent CVS Caremark Charity Golf Classic in Barrington, RI, but it never disrupted the video signals traveling on advanced fiber-optic transport equipment from Telecast Fiber Systems. To broadcast the three-day tournament from the Rhode Island Country Club, WPRI-TV, the CBS affiliate in Providence, used a Telecast Ethernet Viper, a CopperHead interfaced to a new Sony PMW-EX3 camera and a Telecast Rattler.

To broadcast two reporters, two guests and a jib camera for beauty shots, WPRI set up an announce position next to the course, accomplishing the interconnect with a single 500ft run of TAC-4 cable between the announce position and the WPRI-TV production trailer. A second cable was installed for backup. The Telecast-based systems operated seamlessly all three days, much of that time in the rain. Because of the fiber's immunity to water, no plastic sheeting was necessary, and there was no risk of electrical shock.

At the heart of the system was a Telecast Ethernet Viper that moved HD program videos, return video, six program audio channels, two IFB channels and two Clear-Com channels. One of the three Sony PMW-EX3 camcorders was fed through a Telecast Viper Mussel Shell with the second set camera connected through the two spare Mussel Shell fibers to a special Telecast CopperHead that had been equipped to interface with it. The CopperHead provided camera signal interface, remote-control functions, operator intercom and tally. The third Sony PMW-EX3 jib camcorder was fed back to the production trailer using a Telecast Rattler connector.

Denise Viesta, assistant chief engineer at WPRI-TV, said that bad weather and long distances can pose challenges when broadcasting an outdoor event such as a golf tournament. Telecast products because they perform no matter what the weather is like and no matter how far they have to carry a signal.