Production staff experiences flawless communications during live events
ALAMEDA, CA, SEPTEMBER 29, 2009 ─ Clear-Com Communication Systems, a Vitec Group brand and a premier manufacturer of professional intercom systems, recently helped Audio Incorporated provide a CellCom® digital wireless intercom system to the United States Tennis Association (USTA) for the three live on-air ceremonies that are part of the 2009 U.S. Open Tennis Tournament. Impressed by the seamless communication and unprecedented level of clarity and connectivity provided by CellCom, the USTA also plans to use the system for the 2010 U.S. Open.
Audio Incorporated, a Roselle Park, New Jersey-based sound system provider and sound designer for the U.S. Open Ceremonies, chose the CellCom system for this year’s event after being plagued by leaky RF issues and interference while using another brand of wireless intercom for previous competitions. Production staff saw an immediate difference when they used the CellCom for this year’s events, which included the U.S. Open’s Arthur Ashe Kids Day and opening and closing ceremonies, broadcast live by CBS and ESPN. Twenty team members used the CellCom system to carefully coordinate set-up, production and tear-down. As CellCom operates license-free in the 1.8-1.9 GHz frequency band, the system immediately solved all interference issues. Further, CAT5 cables easily connected a series of strategically placed transceiver antennas in difficult-to-reach spots that conventional coax cable could not cover due to run distances of over 250 feet.
The biggest production event of the three ceremonies, Arthur Ashe Kids Day, relied heavily on the CellCom system in order to deliver a flawless live broadcast. As the event involves several musical performances and appearances by celebrities and tennis stars, staff members were stationed at locations throughout the stadium, communicating wirelessly with the stage manager to coordinate talent entrance and exit times, as well as any last-minute changes. In previous years, assistant stage managers would frequently lose communication with the stage manager, especially when entering the stadium’s many concrete tunnels that serve as court entrances. This year, using CellCom’s market-leading wireless roaming technology, staff were able to walk from an OB van, through the stadium, to an underground green room and out onto the court without fading or losing connection to the system.
“With the help of CellCom, this is the first time we’ve been able to provide such high-quality communications and integrate so many different parties without any wireless interference or communication drops,” says Mike Sinclair, co-owner of Audio Incorporated and sound designer for the U.S. Open. “The clarity of the intercom audio was truly unbelievable. Even with the musical performances and loud, young audiences, staff using CellCom experienced no noise infiltration. Even the directors working on the production couldn’t believe how clear the communication was between the team in the OB van and the staff in the stadium. It was a complete success.”
CellCom was also used for the opening and closing ceremonies of the tournament, playing a crucial role in easing workflows. As the ceremonies take place prior to tennis play, stage managers relied on CellCom to coordinate an extremely quick take down of on-court equipment during a two-minute commercial break. The flexibility of CellCom and its compatibility with other systems also allowed easy integration with other types of equipment, aiding stage managers in communicating quickly with the OB van team broadcasting the ceremonies.
“This year’s U.S. Open ceremonies went off without a hitch, and we are thrilled that USTA and Audio, Inc. had such a positive experience using the CellCom digital wireless system for their communications needs,” says Bob Boster, Director of Sales, Americas and Asia Pacific at Clear-Com. “Clear-Com consistently provides effective, easy-to-use solutions for users looking for wireless devices that perform apart from other crowded frequency bands during this time of regulation. We’re pleased that our CellCom system continues to enjoy success as a robust communications solution for some of the most recognized, premiere live events worldwide.”
In addition to the CellCom digitial wireless intercom base, the U.S. Open system also included additional Clear-Com products such as CellCom beltpacks, transceiver antenna splitter boxes, transceiver antennas and a Clear-Com Encore™ switchboard main station as well as associated Encore beltpacks and headsets.