Studio Technologies’ Dante-Enabled Beltpacks Tee Up Comms For Multi-Screen Experience at The Ryder Cup

CHASKA, MN, MARCH 9, 2017 – The Ryder Cup, held this year at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, MN, is a biennial men’s golf competition between teams from Europe and the United States. This year’s competition, which was dedicated to golf legend Arnold Palmer, who had passed away just days before the event, garnered more attention than normal in North America as this was the first time the U.S. had won the contest since 2008. The production notably featured more on-course LED video screens than had ever been placed at a PGA Tour event, thanks to GoVision. This year’s event also used a variety of equipment from Studio Technologies, a manufacturer of high-quality audio, video and fiber-optic solutions, including its Dante-enabled Model 370 Intercom Beltpacks and Model 380 On-Air Beltpacks.

The PGA of America hired Texas-based GoVision, a premier, full-service provider of large-scale LED video displays and related services, to provide and install 15 massive LED screens across the golf course, Media Center and International Pavilion. GoVision subcontracted Proshow Broadcast, a leading mobile television facilities provider, and tasked them with providing “Maestro,” its flagship HD mobile production truck, as well as a unique on-course communications solution. A user of Studio Technologies products since 2008 when it built its first truck, Proshow once again called upon the company’s range of Dante-enabled audio modules to smoothly accomplish this distinct production.

The event provided a one-of-a-kind comms challenge for Josh Echo-Hawk, Vice President of Creative Services, GoVision. “Instant communication and instant reply was critical, because when a golfer approached a tee, nearby screens needed to be turned off so the live cameras wouldn’t distract the competitor,” explains Echo-Hawk. “Without the capabilities of Studio Technologies products, which are designed to utilize Dante’s Audio-over-Ethernet network media technology, this would have been a much more difficult, more expensive production.”

Mark Fisher, chief engineer for Proshow Audiovisual, further explained that the large field of play required everything to be done on fiber, with six different comms locations available for immediate chat with the truck. “We couldn’t use walkie-talkies because of possible reliability issues, so we were mandated to use fiber and the Dante-enabled Model 370 and Model 380 beltpacks were the easiest solution,” comments Fisher. “We basically just used Ethernet-over-fiber switches, plugged in the beltpacks and away we went.”

Fisher says when his crew got onto the field and started hooking up the comms infrastructure, it just worked. “They programmed it back at the office then plugged it in on-site,” continues Fisher. “They did nothing else, no configuration. They just literally patched in the RJ45 connectors and they were done. Saving truck engineers time is always a good thing.”

While a simple set-up and strike is always appreciated, quality cannot be compromised, and Fisher says the digital talkback system implemented at the Ryder Cup was free of any noise or buzz. Moving forward, Proshow says Dante networking and the reduction in copper cabling it allows will be used in more and more of its trucks to reduce weight and increase carrying capacity for productions requiring additional cameras.

“Support from Studio Technologies is excellent via phone and e-mail – anytime you have a question you get an answer from someone who really knows the product, right away,” says Fisher. “The company also takes feedback from people in the field seriously. Studio Technologies identified some features that people in the field really wanted and they just nailed it.”

The Model 370 Intercom Beltpack and Model 380 On-Air Beltpack are designed to use Dante’s Audio-over-Ethernet network media technology. The beltpacks allow unique intercom and on-air audio solutions for fixed and mobile broadcast facilities. The Model 370 Intercom Beltpack starts with the features required of traditional broadcast 2-channel party-line (PL) intercom user devices and adds the advanced performance and capabilities that Dante Audio-over-Ethernet allows. The Model 380 On-Air Beltpack offers a unique combination of audio resources, including both on-air and talent cue (IFB) capabilities in a compact, portable package.

Since 2013, Studio Technologies has embraced the Audio-over-Ethernet movement, developing a range of Dante-enabled products that offer unique solutions for broadcast, production, commercial and government applications. Dante-compatible products include the Model 214, 215 and 216 Announcer’s Consoles, Model 45DR and Model 45DC Intercom Interfaces, the Model 5202 Dante to Phones and Line Output Interface, the Model 5204 Dual Line Input to Dante Interface and the Model 5205 Mic/Line to Dante Interface. The new Model 374, along with the Model 370 and 380, further enhance Studio Technologies’ line of Dante-enabled products, adding support for intercom and specialized on-air applications.

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