Riedel Hits One Out of the Park With MLB Network

Major
League Baseball Network has ordered a large Artist digital matrix intercom
system from Riedel Communications. The system consists of four Artist 128 frames
linked via fiber at the MLB Network facility in Secaucus, NJ,
plus 32 additional Artist mainframes that will be installed at all 30 Major
League ballparks and a few other locations.

These
remote systems, each equipped with VoIP cards, will be intelligently trunked
back to the MLB Network over an IP network. The Secaucus system alone includes more
than 160 intercom-control panels plus interface equipment for VoIP, analog
telephone lines, and digital partylines.

“Our
ability to trunk the ballparks via IP has given us unparalleled connectivity to
all Major League Baseball teams,” says Mark Haden, VP of engineering and IT at
the MLB Network. “That allows us to operate more efficiently and effectively.
Riedel’s intelligent trunking allows operators to simply use the system without
having to ask someone else to open up a communication path for them.”

The systems
are being installed by The Systems Group (TSG). MLB Network began operations early this year and already reaches approximately 50 million cable and satellite households,
making it the largest cable-television launch in history. It offers continuous
baseball-related programming composed of past and present games as well as
original studio programming.

Intercom-panel types at MLB Network include both Riedel’s 1000 series LED display panels and 2000 series panels with LCD displays. All panels are connected to
the matrix digitally via either CAT-5 or coax cabling using AES audio. Some
locations will also be equipped with keypad-expansion panels to provide extra
programmable keys and enable direct dialing of phone lines from intercom
workstations.

“Riedel is
a truly digital audio system from end to end. In a fully digital HD plant like
ours, with such a variety of equipment, Riedel doesn’t need converters and lets
the audio crew sort out other issues,” Haden says.

In addition
to panels, the system includes Connect Solo dual telephone hybrids for the
interfacing of analog telephone lines, VoIP matrix client cards offering the
system a number of VoIP connections, C44 digital partyline interfaces, and C3
digital beltpacks. Nearly 80 x Air headsets complete the order.
For more information, visit www.riedel.net.