The new SoundField Digital DSF-2 broadcast microphone system was specified by Host Broadcast Company as the official World Cup surround sound microphone for live global 5.1 surround HDTV broadcasting. The system also provided simultaneous stereo audio delivery for SD (standard definition) broadcast.
A single DSF-2 system was installed in each of the 12 stadium venues across Germany during the four-week event and provided HDTV/SDTV audio to an estimated viewing audience of more than 30 billion people during a total of 64 matches.
Housed in a Rycote Windshield, the DSF-2 microphone was located centrally at each stadium high above the crowd (pictured), and as close to the main wide-shot camera position as each stadium would allow. The DSF-2 microphone was situated up to 273 yards from its DSF-2 control unit, which directly outputs the surround and stereo information digitally on AES-75 ohm outputs. These signals were then sent down up to one kilometer of coaxial cable enabling the OB trucks to be situated 1.25 kilometers (0.776 miles) away from the microphone, if necessary.
The DSF-2 stereo output was sent to the on-site OB truck for SD broadcast, while the digital SoundField B-Format signals were sent to the IBC (International Broadcast Centre) in Munich. There, a SoundField SP451 surround processor was used to decode the B-Format to 5.1 surround for HDTV broadcast.
Audio consultant to the World Cup, Robert Edwards of VSS Ltd., comments, “We specified the DSF-2 for the World Cup because it’s the only system that fulfills our requirements for HD broadcasting; the World Cup was our most technically challenging project to date. The DSF-2 microphone performed flawlessly under diverse weather conditions ranging from high temperatures, [to] heavy rain and humidity. Another aspect of its appeal is [that] it’s so easy to rig.”