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New Toronto broadcast center boasts extensive wireless intercom system

With its new waterfront headquarters in downtown Toronto, Corus Entertainment has consolidated operations from 11 locations, including three radio stations and 24 TV services.

Bringing together 1100 Toronto-area employees, the new Corus Quay building stands as one of the most advanced broadcast facilities in North America. Featuring a fully integrated digital infrastructure for broadcast and digital content creation, the facility includes an extensive wireless intercom system.

With six Telex BTR-80N wireless base stations, each with 24 TR-82N dual-channel belt packs in operation for the new facility working in conjunction with 20 wireless microphones and 16 wireless IFB systems throughout the space, Bexel’s distributed antenna system allows maximum coverage facilitywide.

At Corus Quay, the RTS ADAM digital matrix is at the heart of its intercom system, which interfaces directly via four wires with the Telex BTR-80N wireless intercom base stations.

The Telex BTR-80N two-channel UHF synthesized wireless base stations make use of a new narrowband design that simplifies frequency coordination and planning because of its more efficient use of spectrum.

The intercom at Corus has to operate in an environment that is shared with 20 wireless microphones and 16 IFB systems for wireless foldback to talent. “The BTR-80N base stations transmit on two frequencies,” said Jim Dugan, Bexel senior project engineer, “and if you have four belt packs, then you have another four frequencies being transmitted back to the base. So, for each station we use six frequencies, and with six stations, that makes 36 frequencies — just for intercom. It’s because the Telex narrowband systems are so efficient that we’re able to use that many channels without interfering with the mics or the IFB.” The Systems Group of Hoboken, NJ, which integrated the new facility, contracted with Bexel to provide its wireless engineering expertise.

The TR-82N wireless belt packs also have a stage-announce feature that makes it easy for production staff to hit a button on the pack and talk directly to a PA system for audience coordination.

The Telex BTR-80N base stations, wireless mics and IFB systems are all connected to a custom Bexel distributed antenna system. The distributed antenna system services eight separate zones in the building, including four studios, various green rooms and hallways.

According to Dugan, the distributed antenna system extends the range into eight times as many places as a single base station would cover.

Phil Kurz is a contributing editor to TV Tech. He has written about TV and video technology for more than 30 years and served as editor of three leading industry magazines. He earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.