Infocomm Offers Solutions for Sports-Venue Audio, Video
Infocomm is known as an audio-video–systems show, but, in the digital age, the ability of those systems to play a key role in sports stadiums cannot be denied.
Daktronics took Infocomm, last week in Orlando, as an opportunity to report its HD installs and upgrades in several MLB venues this season, including the Milwaukee Brewers’ 1080p video display at Miller Park, at 5,940 sq. ft. the third-largest video display in Major League Baseball. Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros, features a 1080p video display, and, at Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park, a video display being installed below the iconic “Phillies” sign will measure 76 ft. high and 98 ft. wide and total 7,448 sq. ft. of digital space.
As if that isn’t enough, the Texas Rangers Ballpark’s Home Run Porch behind right field boasts a new Daktronics video display approximately 42 ft. high by 120 ft. wide, and a 25- x 28-ft. video display will replace the monochrome “Coke” display in centerfield. Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies, has added three outdoor LED sponsor displays totaling more than 135 ft. in length, the longest measuring more than 7 x 68 ft. The other two displays are nearly 10 ft. high by more than 33 ft. wide. And Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks, will feature two new video displays, each about 36 by 20 ft., positioned to the right and left of the existing Daktronics HD display.
Loudness is not just a broadcaster issue. The C8080 DSP card for the C8000 Level Magic loudness-metering/management device from Jünger (Chris Fichera, of the German company’s newly named distributor Group One Ltd., emphasized that it’s pronounced with the hard “j” rather than as the more authentically Germanic “younger”) now incorporates a Dolby Metadata Generator option. Designed for use with the modular-frame C8000 system, the DSP card provides audio processing for a wide variety of applications, including audio production, broadcasting, distribution, rebroadcasting, and audio for video. When used in combination with Jünger Audio’s C8601 Dolby D/E decoder, C8611 Dolby E encoder, C8612 Dolby D/D+ encoder, and C8404 HD/SD-SDI inserter, the new DSP card allows users to verify, modify or generate metadata, including dialnorm, according to Dolby specifications for both Dolby E and Dolby Digital. The card also incorporates Dolby metadata display and editing and eight metadata presets. With the C8086, the Level Magic system can transport metadata from the point of origin to the point of Dolby Digital encoding, ensuring that the entire workflow for 5.1 audio production remains HD/SD-SDI embedded throughout.
Audio-Technica’s BP893cW MicroEarset omnidirectional condenser head-worn microphone is now available packaged with A-T’s 2000 and 3000 Series wireless systems. The new bundles, otherwise known as ATW- 2193a 2000 Series and ATW-3193b 3000 Series wireless systems, come with BP893cW MicroEarset (choice of black or beige microphone), 2000 or 3000 Series receiver, and UniPak bodypack transmitter.
AKG’s new WMS 470 wireless system incorporates an automatic-frequency-setup function, which finds and displays all available channels and, AKG says, makes the system suitable for less experienced users to operate, such as for high school sports. Before a channel is opened, the pilot-tone function prevents unwanted startup noise; the receiver opens the audio only if the pilot tone is detected. WMS 470 operates up to 16 channels simultaneously within the same frequency band and up to 48 channels if multiple frequency bands are used.
Countryman’s new B2D directional lavaliere microphone offers a tight, hypercardioid polar pattern for secure isolation from ambient noise and feedback.
Shure previewed its Axient wireless microphone system, which can automatically change frequencies to prevent interference. Among features designed to provide flawless RF performance, ShowLink remote control enables the user to make real-time remote adjustments, from the receiver or a laptop, of transmitter settings, such as audio gain while the microphone is live, and the Axient Spectrum Manager constantly scans the RF environment and performs frequency-compatibility calculations to assign clear frequencies to each wireless transmitter.
Beyond the Mic
D.A.S. Audio introduced the Convert 15A multifunction arrayable loudspeaker system. In the powered system, horizontal- and vertical-dispersion characteristics can be adjusted to meet the specific requirements of almost any application. This is achieved by the proprietary Digitally Convertible Dispersion (DCD) preset, which modifies the horizontal dispersion of the Convert 15A from 20 degrees to 40 degrees. Vertical dispersion can also be altered via a combination of dispersion panels and digital presets to achieve 60 degrees, 75 degrees asymmetrical, or 90 degrees of coverage. When used in curved source arrays, the Convert 15A relies on the D.A.S. Array Coupling Device (ACD) for improved coupling between adjacent units.
EAW showed its QX Series loudspeakers, optimized for applications that require high directivity in a low-profile form factor. Geared particularly toward medium-size to large spaces, including sports arenas, the passive, wired–for–bi-amplification QX Series models have squared, symmetrical, dual-trapezoidal enclosures to provide extensive array flexibility. A centrally located coaxial MF/HF horn and two pairs of phase-aligned neodymium 12-in. low-frequency transducers team up to ensure that the entire frontal area contributes to horizontal and vertical pattern-control capability.
Consoles and Monitors
Lectrosonics debuted the Quadra digital wireless monitor (IEM) system at the show. Comprising the M4R beltpack diversity receiver and the M4T half-rack transmitter, the new Quadra system features digital RF modulation, two or four channels of 24-bit/48-kHz digital audio, analog or digital inputs, and a unique mixing interface for users. It operates in the license-free ISM (industrial, scientific, and medical) 902-928 MHz band and has a throughput latency of 1 ms for the analog inputs and <0.5 ms for the digital inputs. The M4R diversity beltpack receiver features a user-friendly interface with a high-resolution, backlit LCD and membrane switches. The M4R runs for six hours on three AA alkaline batteries.
And the Harman Soundcraft Si Compact console range has expanded with the release of the Si Compact 32, capable of delivering 40 inputs to mix, featuring 14 main buses (all with dynamics, delays, and BSS graphic EQs), four matrix buses, four dedicated FX buses, four full-time Lexicon effects engines, and a range of option cards to interface with other systems, such as Aviom, CobraNet, AES/EBU, and MADI. All Si Compact models can connect via MADI to the new Compact Stagebox, adding remote connectivity to the digital mixers.