STAMFORD, CT, OCTOBER 3, 2016 — RAW is the most-watched, regularly scheduled, live year-round program on cable, and for World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (WWE) this weekly remote broadcast is often joined by multiple productions of sister shows, such as SmackDown, where WWE Superstars and Divas play out a high-energy mix of drama and athleticism. For Marty Pingree, VP, Event Technical Operations, Engineering, WWE, the task of producing multiple remotes each week, 52 weeks each year, demands the latest reliable technology. That is why he turned to Studio Technologies, a manufacturer of high-quality audio, video and fiber-optic solutions, and its Model 370, 374 and 380 Dante-native beltpacks.
This year, the NEP-provided trucks leased to WWE made the leap to Dante™ audio-over-Ethernet technology. The array of new Dante-compatible equipment included a host of Studio Technologies equipment. The decision to use Studio Technologies products on the new NEP trucks, which rolled out in April, was made after a series of demos over the course of the last year. It was shown that the overall audio performance would be improved, significant new features provided, and the inherent limitations of the analog equipment eliminated.
“We now use the Studio Technologies beltpacks in all the locations where you would typically use a standard 2-wire beltpack,” says Pingree. “We deploy them around the remote and we use them to talk to everybody, from stage managers, as hardwire backup, to the sat truck, the lighting guys and stage managers in various positions. We have them in every back stage location that is actively part of the show.”
Pingree and his crew deploy several Studio Technologies products, including 35 Model 370s and 35 Model 374 beltpacks to allow operators and technicians to communicate. More than 20 Model 380 beltpacks and more than 20 Model 214 Announcer's Consoles are used for communication between announce teams and talent, and for on-air audio.
Pingree also uses more than 20 combined audio/video/data racks at every venue that connect back to the core in the NEP-provided mobile units. All of the WWE’s network gear is from Cisco and all of the racks connect back to the core on either dual 10 GB or dual 40 GB fiber-optic links. All Dante traffic travels on this network via dedicated VLANs.
Studio Technologies Model 45DC and Model 45DR Intercom Interface units are used to link the WWE’s mobile facility with house intercom systems, whether they are from Clear-Com or RTS. Other Dante-compliant equipment, including the Atlas Sound 1616DT and Studio Technologies Models 44D, 5202, 5204 and 5205, allow interfacing with effects mics and wireless intercom setups throughout the venues. More than 128 Dante channels are available on a Calrec Audio Console Network and another 128 channels are available on a Yamaha Audio Console Network. An RTS ADAM matrix intercom system provides 448 channels of Dante using the Bosch OMNEO Dante-compatible technology. Upwards of 70 RTS KP-5032 OMNEO key panels are used for crew intercommunications.
“The Dante intercom boxes, announce boxes and IFB boxes allow all of our operators to connect to the closest rack that day for communication,” says Pingree. “This allows for speedy deployment and strike, which is key for us, since we do a set shoot and strike for every show.”
Pingree is particularly impressed with Studio Technologies’ latest Dante product, the Model 374 Intercom Beltpack, a portable, 4-channel user device that supports a wide range of applications. “The 4-channels on the Model 374 gives us so many different ways to use the boxes that it was almost a no brainer to go that route,” says Pingree. “With this we can put specialty channels on the system and we can be a little more flexible for different types of shows that we occasionally need to produce. And it’s the flexibility built into the Dante network itself as well. But the biggest benefit of the Model 374 is the reliability. That’s basically why we chose the product: reliability and flexibility.”
Pingree praises the cooperation he and his team received in the product evaluation process: “Studio Technologies was able to set up multiple demos where we were able to use the equipment for extended periods of time. We had a lot of support, a lot of feedback and a lot of good interaction.”
Studio Technologies introduced the new Model 374 Intercom Beltpack in June. It is a portable, 4-channel intercom user device that incorporates Dante audio-over-Ethernet network media technology to support a wide range of applications from sports and entertainment TV to radio events, streaming broadcasts, corporate and government AV installations, and post-production facilities. With four independent talk and listen channels, the Model 374 can bridge the gap between typical single- and dual-channel partyline devices, and permanently installed multi-channel intercom panels.
Key features include four independent talk and listen channels, configurable button operating modes, flexible audio-to-phones routing and power-over-Ethernet (PoE) powering. The Model 374 Intercom Beltpack starts with the features found in traditional partyline (PL) intercom user devices and adds a range of new user benefits, including the advanced performance and capabilities that Dante Audio-over-Ethernet provides. Multiple Model 374 units can be used in PL intercom applications over a standard IP network in conjunction with an external Dante-enabled audio matrix. Units can also be used “point-to-point” or directly interfaced with ports on compatible matrix intercom systems.
The Model 374 introduction complements Studio Technologies’ Model 370 and 380 beltpacks that were recently introduced at NAB 2016. Like the Model 374, these products leverage the power of Dante and standard LAN networking to offer exciting new ways to meet the needs of sports and broadcast applications.
About Studio Technologies, Inc.
Studio Technologies, Inc. provides tailored, high-performance video, audio and fiber optic products for the professional audio and broadcast markets. Founded in 1978, the company is committed to designing and manufacturing dependable, cost-effective, and creative solutions for broadcast studio, stadium and corporate environments. Known for “designing for the way professionals work,” the company is recognized as an industry leader. Product categories include fiber-optic transport, intercom and IFB interfaces, announcer consoles, and loudspeaker monitor control systems. A growing line of Dante-enabled audio-over-Ethernet products is receiving wide recognition. For more information, please visit the Studio Technologies website at www.studio-tech.com or call 847.676.9177.