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WNBC broadcasts NYC Marathon live in HD

Production company IMG Media used RF transmitters and portable digital receivers from RF Central — mounted on handheld cameras, a variety of vehicles and stationary sites — to help WNBC broadcast the recent NYC Marathon live in HDTV to more than 315 million viewers worldwide.

IMG Media was called in to televise the 26mi race with RF Central gear. To capture the 35,000 runners as they ran through the five boroughs of New York City, IMG Media used 18 RFX-RMR-X6 six-way diversity receivers, four RFX-CMT-II 5.8GHz camera-mount transmitters, two RFX-PHT portable high-power transmitters and two RFX-PDT portable digital transmitters.

Deployed in a network design similar to a cellular phone system, the strategic combination of the RFX-RMR-X6, RFX-CMT-II, RFX-PHT and RFX-PDT created omnidirectional antenna functionality. Each of the RFX RMR X6’s six antennas received individual signals from the RF Extreme Transmitters that united to form one strong signal, ensuring no picture break up.

Jim Malone, RF Central’s CTO, said they previously used tracking antennas for each vehicle because they didn’t have multiple input receivers. This meant being limited to a single transmit source site. This year, they used multiple input receivers and six antennas that simultaneously captured audio and video.

RF Central’s RFX-CMT-II camera-mounted transmitter features a variable 6/7/8MHz modulator, 100mw power output and full MPEG menu control. Its RFX-RMR-X6 COFDM diversity receiver includes an LCD touch-screen interface with a built-in bar graph and graphic spectrum display that offers up to six antenna inputs. It uses maximum ratio combining capturing signals from each antenna to form a single robust signal.

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