BSI Helms RF Services for ESPN’s Summer X Games 16

Broadcast Sports Inc. (BSI) will serve as the primary RF provider at ESPN’s Summer X Games for the sixth consecutive year and will supply key transmission technologies to this year’s Los Angeles events, which run July 29 through August 1.

LA poses some particularly challenging spectrum availability issues. BSI brings exclusive on-board and wireless microphone solutions, operating in non-broadcast spectrum, to ensure interference-free operation for ESPN during X Games 16.

“Being able to operate many RF elements simultaneously for an event like the X Games is BSI’s life-blood,” says Mark Polla, sales and marketing manager at BSI.

The inclusion of wireless 3D handheld and onboard cameras at the LA Coliseum events present a particularly difficult challenge as each 3D element requires twice as much spectrum for transmission. Due to BSI’s custom equipment and ability to utilize a wider range of spectrum, 3D solutions could not have otherwise been delivered without impacting the elements required for the HD production.

Size and power consumption for 3D is also a challenge when trying to maintain portability. To remedy this issue, BSI has developed a miniature HD transmitter that is not otherwise available commercially with a smaller foot print, lighter weight, and lower power consumption while still offering broadcast quality.

ESPN has brought together PACE and BSI to develop 3D mobile systems for its 3D Network’s first self-produced 3D show. While the 2010 FIFA World Cup aired on ESPN 3D, the network relied on Host Broadcast Systems’ world feed rather than producing the action itself.

Every Rally Car at the LA Coliseum event will carry an HD onboard camera, and two reporters equipped with wireless microphones and IFB’s will ride along in the side-by-side racing and provide color commentary from the inside of the cars during the race.

“ESPN’s idea to add a reporter in the car, coupled with full HD pictures will provide a very compelling experience for the viewer,” says Clay Underwood, business development manager at BSI.

BSI equipment and staff will be at all the events in downtown LA, at the LA Coliseum, the Nokia Theater, and the Staples Center.  Two full RF mobile units will provide HD RF cameras, 3D transmission and control, wireless communications, and the company’s wireless MIC1500 microphone systems to ensure uninterrupted feeds in the congested RF spectrum throughout the LA metro area.

Exclusive to Broadcast Sports, MIC1500’s operate in the coordinated, clean spectrum between 1435 and 1525 MHz taking the guesswork out of finding and maintaining channels to deliver high power, broadcast quality audio. All MIC1500 equipment operates at 250 mWs and offers integrated talkback functionality with no transmission latency so audio from these microphones can be fed back into the talent IFB. Paired with Broadcast Sports’ high power UHF IFB systems and RF over Fiber receive infrastructure, on-air talent has the freedom to move around the action with no limitations.

The heart of BSI’s services are the exclusive Intelligent Diversity Receivers and RF over Fiber systems integrated at all venues. With this technology, wide area coverage is easily achievable with a small footprint on the venues. Reception and control is centralized in the mobile units and allows for rapid response in the event of an issue or equipment failure. It also reduces set-up and strike time, limiting the labor overtime costs.