There are more and more sports events on television than ever before. That means the companies that support broadcast sports need more flexibility than ever. A perfect example of that took place at the recent USGA US Open Championship, when NY-based CP Communications was able to transfer four DiGiCo SD10B consoles from its remote-production trucks and configure them as on-site record-edit flypack suites for Fox Sports.
These are some of the same DiGiCo SD10B audio consoles that CP acquired in 2014 as part of an expansion that saw the company grow its fleet of HD RF mobile production vehicles, capable of handling the most demanding sports and entertainment events. At the time, the SD10B was chosen to become the default-standard console for CP’s new 53-foot “expando” fiber transmission HD11 (NBC) and HD21 (FOX Sports) trucks, as well as fully refurbished 53-foot RFHD5 and RFHD7 trucks, and an overhauled 40-foot trailer known as DSM1, which typically provides digital submixes for MLB and NBA all-star games.
For this year’s U.S. Open, four of those consoles were simply transferred and used as the central hubs for record-edit flypack suites for the event. The SD10B’s flexibility enabled this remarkable transformation, giving CP Communications the ability to respond to the network’s needs for this complex sports event, which took place June 13-19 at the Oakmont Country Club.
“The SD10’s ability to deliver as much processing power and sonic excellence as it does in such a small form factor is what lets us do this,” says CP Communications Senior Vice President Kurt Heitmann. “Then there’s the connectivity of the SD10, which through Hydra lets it communicate directly to the Calrec consoles also used in the broadcast. We’ve done this kind of flypack adaptation of the DiGiCo consoles over a dozen times now, as well as for use as routing desks and for submixing effects. They will also be used as submixers for studio sets, feeding to the main production mixer, and it brings us tremendous added flexibility.”
Heitmann says the SD10B consoles are connected to the rest of the broadcast infrastructure and each other through MADI, which is also FOX Sports’ choice of connectivity format for remote-production broadcast operation. The DiGiCo consoles have MADI as native, as are the consoles’ D-Rack I/O racks and 32×16 D-Rack stage interfaces. Heitmann also cited DiGiCo’s “family” connection to Calrec and the enhanced connectivity options that will soon be available between the two brands, as well as “anxiously awaiting” the arrival of DiGiCo’s forthcoming Orange Box that will create seamless audio paths between Hydra 2, Optocore, Aviom, AES, Dante, and other audio formats.
“The SD10 just gets easier and easier to use, in all sorts of situations,” he says, adding that CP will have two flypack suites at both the Women’s Open from July 7-10 in St. Martin, California and the Senior Open at the Scioto Country Club in Columbus, Ohio from August 11-14. “They travel well, perform well and sound great. You can’t ask for more.”