Arena preps for Rugby Premiership with Optocore converters

Optical fibre replaces analogue multicore for OB applications
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Arena Television has invested in further Optocore converters for use during the transmission of sports broadcasting.

Arena’s head of sound, Tim Rowden, and Sound Guarantee, Mark Reed, chose the Optocore system to replace the analogue multicores previously used for this application. HD Pro Audio’s Optocore specialist Andy Huffer provided the firm with two X6R-FX 16-channel A/D converters (configured 8 Mic In/8 Line Out) and a pair of X6R-TP (16 Mic In) — along with a DD4MR-FX dual MADI, video and data network enabled device. The system will serve to reduce rack space in their OB7 scanner and provide MADI streams and 128x128 digital talkback to the network. It will also offer access to Optocore’s SANE (Synchronous Audio Networking plus Ethernet) platform.

The solution has also enabled Arena to configure a 40-In / 8-Out remote stage box in the gantry, with 8-In / 8-Out plus MADI feeds to the Calrec production console in the 8-camera HD truck.

The equipment was purchased in time for the start of the new Aviva Rugby Premiership season, which Arena televises for ESPN.

The company has been using Optocore optical fibre solutions since 2008, running previous generation DD4ME MADI interface, DD32E configurable network devices and X6P converters. “We have been impressed with the existing Opcotore systems but when Tim and I looked at the possibilities for the new season, including copper, we realised we could make cost savings and create a more elegant solution than having stage boxes at each end linked by six 8-pair multicores of 200 metres each.

“At its extreme we could have up to 3km of multis to fault find and to bring the talkback circuits and MADI streaming down just 200m of fibre makes a huge difference in terms of cable rigging.”

“With an X6R-FX analogue interface and DD4ME in the truck Arena can reduce rack space from 3U to 2U — without the necessity of the DD32E on top. This solution also provides direct analogue interface to the MADI streams via the patchbay, since the X6R is wired across the jack field and the DD4MR across the mixing desk. “It was the ability to plug analogue from the jack field to the fibre system via the X6R that makes this viable,” says Mark.

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