Pictured at the SSL C100 console are (front to back) Mike Giacalone, digital audio consulting engineer; Dick Miller, director of engineering; and Dave Finocchiaro,assistant director of engineering.
Comcast SportsNet, owners of cable rights and production entity for all of the local telecasts for the Philadelphia 76ers (NBA), Philadelphia Flyers (NHL) and Philadelphia Phillies (Major League Baseball), recently installed a Solid State Logic C100 Digital Broadcast Console to handle the groundbreaking 5.1 surround mixes of major sports events. The C100 is the audio hub for the two stadium locations: the Wachovia Center basketball/hockey arena and Citizens Bank Park, the city’s all-new major league baseball stadium. The console generates Dolby E surround, stereo and mono mixes for production and distribution.
“A few years ago, Comcast decided to make SportsNet an HD channel that would market product as full HD 5.1 Dolby Digital audio,” says Mike Giacalone, digital audio consulting engineer for Comcast SportsNet. “Since we started using the C100, we can easily create the multiple 5.1 mixes we need for each event. We also have the added benefit of SSL’s superior stereo/mono fold down algorithm that yields a great stereo and mono version of a mix automatically. We believe that the C100 is the only console capable of real time, live 5.1 production for broadcast.”
The entire audio installation is trend-setting. The setup employs a fibre-optic cable run of 6,000 feet, connecting SSL’s remote stagebox technology in the Citizens Bank Park, and the C100, which resides within the Wachovia Center.
“Having SSL’s stage box located across the street at the ballpark is a new technological venture for us,” says Bob Ayars, vice president of technical operations for Comcast SportsNet. “It really has worked out great that the
operation is seamless to the audio engineer. The baseball stadium connection operates just like it was installed next door, even though its 6,000 feet away. The performance is great and rock solid.”
“We are mixing everything in 5.1,” states Giacalone. “Even with the NBA where certain games have to go out over broadcast and not over cable, we still approach the show as a 5.1 mix. We typically do a pre-fade and post-fade effects mix in 5.1, a program 5.1 mix and an additional mix to outside sources such as a split for both NBA (NBA TV) and MLB (INHD) where they need a mix minus of certain elements. Our experience with the C100 has been satisfying as it allows us to handle this very complex signal routing and mixing situation with ease. More importantly, our clients are very happy with the audio production and the very positive feedback they receive from the television audience. From the integration of the remote stage box to the extraordinary mixing capabilities, the C100 is a big winner.”
For more information, please go to the SSL Website at www.solid-state-logic.com..