BEIJING, CHINA – SEPTEMBER 2008: Sennheiser Electronic Corporation was selected to provide wireless microphones and personal monitor systems to NBC during the network’s coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, August 8-24. From the spectacular Beijing Opening Ceremony to the handover to the 2012 London Olympics during the Closing Ceremony with London mayor Boris Johnson, NBC Olympics utilized Sennheiser Professional 3000, 5000 and evolution series wireless microphone and personal monitor systems to ensure uninterrupted coverage from every venue. In addition, Uwe Sattler, Sennheiser’s technical director, was on site to assist with frequency coordination and reallocation for broadcasters using Sennheiser RF equipment.
“In the RF-environment of today’s special events engineering support is needed for anything wireless,” comments Sattler. “Of these devices the most critical are the wireless microphone and IFB systems. The other audio devices we support range from reporters’ microphones to commentator headsets.”
To take advantage of the superior capabilities of Sennheiser’s Professional 3000 and 5000 series wireless equipment, NBC Olympics utilized the SK 250 body-pack transmitter and EK 3241 camera mount receiver throughout the Games of the XXIX Olympiad. “We don’t get re-dos at this event. There is only one chance to capture something,” states Bob Dixon, Director of Sound Design, NBC Olympics. “When I look for the right tools, the reliability, the sound quality and the technology of the Sennheiser SK 250 is about the best choice I can make.”
The Sennheiser SK 250 is the most powerful, compact body-pack transmitter on the market today, offering 250 mW of RF output power and unrivaled frequency tuning agility. The EK 3241 true diversity camera mount receiver offers options for slot-in use or standalone battery powered operation. Superlative intermodulation rejection and frequency tuning agility make the EK 3241 the perfect receiver for the crowded RF environment of an event of this magnitude.
For the camera crews covering each of the venues, continues Dixon, “We had thirty ENG RF systems where each of 15 feature packages got two RF mics. Our ENG audio crews were also equipped with MS [mid-side] stereo fishpole assemblies consisting of a Sennheiser MKH 60 shotgun and an MKH 30 bi-directional directly underneath. The spread of the stereo could go from very wide to very narrow, depending on what was being shot.”
Sennheiser provided thirty channels of wireless microphones and eight evolution wireless personal monitor transmitters with sixteen receivers for NBC’s Olympic coverage. “In the studios we had Sennheiser wireless foldback systems, which we used for IFB [interruptible foldback],” explains Dixon. “We also used Sennheiser lavalier microphones in the studios and on the RF transmitters. And of course we own a large number of the announcer headsets, which were used at every NBC venue, in our voice-over booths and edit systems.”
In addition, “we were using many other Sennheiser wireless mic systems provided by Total RF [the Bensalem, Pennsylvania-based RF production equipment specialist] at our venues. Those were used for miking family members in the stands, and sometime coaches,” says Dixon.
ABOUT NBC OLYMPICS
NBC, “America’s Olympic Network,” owns the exclusive U.S. media rights to the Olympic Games, television’s most powerful property, through 2012, which includes Beijing in 2008, Vancouver in 2010 and London in 2012. From August 8-24, 2008 NBC Universal will present an unprecedented 3,600 hours of coverage, highlighted by NBC in primetime with live swimming, gymnastics and beach volleyball. In August 2004, 203 million viewers watched as the networks of NBC Universal – NBC, MSNBC, CNBC, USA, Bravo, Telemundo, and NBC’s HD affiliates – offered a then record 1,210 hours of Olympic coverage from Athens. For additional information, go to NBCOlympics.com. Merging news, results and schedules with extensive video coverage and an unmatched depth of unique story telling content, NBCOlympics.com will be the Olympic fan’s hub for every aspect of the 2008 Beijing Games experience-from the most comprehensive TV schedules to learning how to connect to mobile, gaming, VOD and other digital destinations. NBCOlympics.com will provide approximately 2,200 hours of live event competition where users can choose from up to 20 concurrent streams encompassing 25 Olympic sports. In addition, the site will offer more than 3,000 hours of on-demand access to full-event replays and extensive highlights, including daily recaps of key events, best-of montages, commentator analysis and athlete-specific clips.
SENNHEISER Sennheiser is a world-leading manufacturer of microphones, headphones and wireless transmission systems. Established in 1945 in Wedemark, Germany, Sennheiser is now a global brand represented in 60 countries around the world with U.S. headquarters in Old Lyme, Connecticut. Sennheiser’s pioneering excellence in technology has rewarded the company with numerous awards and accolades including an Emmy, a Grammy, and the Scientific and Engineering Award of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
For more information, please visit www.sennheiserusa.com
PHOTO CAPTION Uwe Sattler, Sennheiser’s technical director, was at the 2008 Beijing Olympics the to assist with frequency coordination and reallocation for broadcasters using Sennheiser RF equipment.