ALAMEDA, CALIFORNIA/STAMFORD, CONNECTICUT, DECEMBER 7, 2009 ─ Clear-Com® Communication Systems, a Vitec Group brand, and its superstar Tempest®2400 four-channel digital wireless intercom system are ready to rumble for World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). For its popular TV programs, including Raw, SmackDown and ECW (Extreme Championship Wrestling), WWE relies on Clear-Com’s Tempest2400 four-channel digital wireless intercom system to coordinate lighting changes and other video elements during each live entertainment production.
Prompted by the FCC’s recent spectrum changes, WWE was eager to purchase equipment that would give it access to additional RF space during its shows. As the largest professional wrestling promotion in the world, WWE needed a system that would work seamlessly in the U.S. and abroad, without the need for licensing and frequency coordination. Working with Scharff Weisberg, a provider of state-of-the-art audio, video and lighting equipment, WWE found a natural fit in Clear-Com’s Tempest2400, the only four-audio channel, digital wireless system that operates license-free in the 2.4 GHZ band. With its purchase of two Tempest2400 base stations and 10 beltstations, WWE can easily register each beltstation to a base station with no further configuration.
“During this period of spectrum regulation, we wanted to be proactive and ensure that we gave ourselves as many options as possible,” says Martin Pingree, Senior Director, Technical Engineering and Event Technical Operation for WWE. “In this new environment, the Tempest 2400’s ability to operate in the 2.4 GHz band worldwide was very attractive, but an added bonus was how easy it was to configure the beltstations. Our crew really appreciated that they can customize their beltstations, label their options and then use those same configurations around the world. As we have a European tour coming up, we will continue to use the Tempest2400 system in arenas overseas to ensure our productions run smoothly and to manage all of our communications needs.”
WWE’s lighting crew uses the system most heavily, employing it for tight coordination between set changes. As WWE’s stage shows are large, media-intensive events, the lighting crew is responsible for changing looks during each part of the show and working multiple media servers to support the video elements crucial to the show design and live broadcast. The system also helps ensure that the crew can communicate clearly with other beltstation users and the TV trucks, using an Algebraic Code – Excited Linear Prediction (A-CELP) voice compression algorithm to maintain the highest possible voice audio quality in the midst of extremely loud WWE fans. Further, the system’s iSelect On Command Roaming allows the crew to move easily from one coverage zone to another.
“The WWE has staged shows in some of America’s biggest stadiums, including Madison Square Garden in New York, Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh, Allstate Arena in Chicago and other major locations around the world,” says Chris Barry, Product Manager at Clear-Com. “Regardless of venue, due to the Tempest2400’s unique, patented RF architecture and ability to operate in the unlicensed 2.4 GHz band, the WWE always has peace of mind that their digital wireless intercom system will provide excellent, interference-free communication. Ideal for touring applications, the Tempest2400’s ease of use and compatibility with other existing systems makes it a perfect aid in delivering the thrills of the WWE to fans during each show.”