Riedel Provides Signal Distribution, Gear to FIS Alpine Ski World Cup

By Paul Gallo
SVG Executive Editor

Riedel Communications supplied several wireless camera solutions and audio/video signal distribution services for the 2013 FIS Alpine Ski World Cup, Feb. 4-17 in Schladming, Austria. Working with Munich-based sono Studiotechnik GmbH, which oversaw set up of the International Broadcast Center for host broadcaster ORF, Riedel installed a comprehensive fiber network comprising 42 MediorNet mainframes and 60 RockNet digital audio interfaces. In addition to the signal distribution responsibilities, Riedel also introduced their new lightweight and compact wireless RiCam POV camera system that was integrated into the racers’ goggle straps to capture spectacular live images from their perspective.

Riedel“Our goal is always to provide our customers with a competitive edge,” says Thomas Riedel, founder and CEO of Riedel Communications. “Spectacular pictures are the key to achieving prime time exposure, and we’re pleased that both our innovative wireless camera and our robust fiber network are helping broadcasters to make alpine skiing an even more compelling viewing experience.”

During the FIS alpine event in Schladming, the Riedel fiber backbone accommodated 92 cameras ,160 HD video signals, 200 audio signals, and Ethernet and intercom in a single flexible infrastructure that reduced both the time and cost of installation. For venue communications, Riedel deployed three Artist digital matrix mainframes and a TETRA digitally trunked radio network, which were used for the TV production, the opening ceremony proceedings, and by the Audi shuttle service. (German mobile production company TVN and the Dutch event specialist Faber Audiovisuals also relied on Riedel RockNet systems during the opening ceremony.) Riedel also provided the video downlink for the helicopter camera and the wireless camera links for the two CAMCAT® aerial cable systems used at the event. The company provided full support, with 20 Riedel engineers working on site during one of the largest alpine TV broadcasts of all time.

Developed in collaboration with FIS, ORF, the Austrian Ski Federation, race directors, and various goggle and helmet manufacturers, the RiCam wireless camera supplied by Riedel made the TV coverage even more remarkable. Meeting critical size, weight, and safety specifications and featuring an aerodynamic design integrated into the goggles’ strap, the patented camera worn by racers allowed broadcasters to incorporate dramatic point-of-view shots into their productions.

Riedel Opens Dedicated Sales and Support Operations in Dubai
Riedel also announced that it has opened dedicated sales and support operations in Dubai in response to the region’s growing demand for Riedel solutions. The new operations are being led by Ahmed Magd El Din, who has more than 15 years of experience in the broadcast and IT industry.

Working out of Dubai, Magd El Din will represent Riedel at key trade shows and industry events. Among these is CABSAT, where Riedel will present the new Grass Valley® camera interface for the company’s MediorNet real-time network for video, audio, data, and communications in hall 7, stand C7-30. The new MediorNet MN-GV-2 card allows the user to route bidirectional camera signals, including all embedded audio and telemetry control data, for Grass Valley 3G camera systems and base stations across the MediorNet fiber infrastructure. Recent deployments of Riedel products in the Middle East include installations at Sky News Arabia and for the Formula One Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi.

“The Middle East region is one of the most exciting and rapidly expanding markets in the world at the moment,” said Magd El Din. “I look forward to providing Riedel customers in the broadcast, event, and installation markets the integrated solutions that will help them run their businesses and applications in the most cost-effective and future-proof manner. With our dedicated office in Dubai, we’re positioned to provide even more direct customer support and faster service.”

Magd El Din joins Riedel having most recently served as Clear-Com Communication Systems’ sales manager for the Middle East region. He earlier held the positions of regional sales manager for Almasa IT Distribution and Silicon21-Dubai, as well as product manager for Cisco Systems. Through these roles, he has established relationships with systems integrators and distributors across the Middle East.