WLS-TV Covers Chicago Outdoor Light Festival in HD

WLS-TV covered this year’s Magnificent Mile Lights Festival in high definition for the first time in the event’s 16-year history. In doing so, the station relied on a variety of microwave equipment from Nucomm, part of the Vitec Group Broadcast Systems Division.

The outdoor event’s route stretched for three-quarters of a mile between Chicago’s Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive. Three Nucomm ChannelMaster TX1 transmitters were installed on both rooftops and a scissor lift. Additional mobile Newscaster transmitters were mounted inside WLS-TV mobile units and on one of the parade vehicles, a 1936 fire truck.

Even though the metropolitan procession route provided signal challenges, solid coverage of the event was reported.

“Typically when covering such demanding broadcast environments as the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival, you are generally faced with concern for signal stability, and that is just within instances where you are shooting in SD,” said Craig Strom, assistant director of engineering for WLS-TV. “In the end, we were able to overcome signal stability obstacles and achieve an even balance in regard to the broadcast’s payload, bandwidth and reliability, making our coverage an overall success.”