Bexel’s Eagle Announcer System Soars into Monday Night Football Broadcast Booth
Bexel will be supplying its custom Eagle Announcer System for the upcoming season of Monday Night Football on ESPN. While other integrated sports-casting products contain the circuitry and configuration features directly in front of the announcer, the Eagle Announcer System maximizes performance in both physical format and audio performance by splitting the functionality into three parts: the rack-mount Central Interface, the Announcer Control Interface (ACI), and the Headset Interface Module (HIM), taking up less space in the broadcast booth.
Designed to help meet the needs of the end-user (U.S. sports broadcasters), the Eagle Announcer System was created after ESPN came to Bexel looking for a solution to reduce the space requirements of the audio equipment in the Monday Night Football announcer booth.
“While this request was brought to us by technical managers, it was actually in response to a desire by the on-air talent to have something much smaller and less complicated than what they previously supplied,” says Andrew McHaddad, chief audio engineer, Bexel. “This is one more example of Bexel providing a highly engineered solution in response to our customer’s needs.”
The Central Interface provides easy access to the maximum amount of features, including those for quality control and troubleshooting, both of which are currently unavailable in other products. All signals, IFB, “Talk-Back,” Broadcast Microphone Output, etc., are featured on an easy-to-understand XLR equipped rear-panel. The front panel includes signal level meters and easily accessed configuration switches.
The ultra-compact Announcer Control Interface (ACI) is the smallest designed for the U.S. market, featuring three illuminated switches for controlling the broadcast path and Talk-Back outputs plus volume controls for the announcers’ ears. Since the connection to the Central Interface is via an RJ-45 cable, wiring at the announcer’s location is minimized.
The compact Headset Interface Module (HIM) connects to the central interface by way of a supplied four-pair, multi-pin cable. Multiple headset types are supported including connections for both XLR and ¼” phone-type. The HIM features an ultra-linear microphone preamplifier designed for medium gain, low noise and very high headroom.
“The improvement in the announcer’s work space and the audio performance together has resulted in a highly effective solution that will grow and evolve as our customers’ needs change. Since the Eagle System does not replace an entire booth package, it is practical in a wide range of current and future connectivity methods,” continues McHaddad. “Bexel is a fast-response service organization so the technology developed for the Eagle System is modular to create other products that could further enhance the overall product offering and continue our great history of customer support.”