BMW & VW Benefit From Flawless Wireless Communications At The IAA
The IAA, or International Motor Show, in Frankfurt is one of the most important annual events in the international car industry’s calendar.
This year, on the elaborate, split-level VW and BMW stands, Shure’s flagship Axient system facilitated secure wireless communications to a world-class, interference-free standard — continuing the proven tradition of reliable performance provided by Shure at previous motor shows.
As the IAA is one of the most important events in the car industry’s calendar internationally, error-free operation is of paramount importance.
In contrast to previous years, the leading car manufacturers held the important press conferences announcing their new products on their own exhibition stands, rather than making use of conference rooms elsewhere.
On the elaborate, multi-floor VW and BMW stands, secure, interference-free wireless communication was crucial.
Installation technology consultants IT AUDIO, as a subcontractor of NIYU media projects, was responsible for implementing the audio connectivity plan for all three of the BMW Group’s exhibition stands in Hall 11.0 (BMW, Mini, and Rolls Royce). The practical realisation of the audio infrastructure on these stands was carried out by various contractors, with Lleyendecker handling the main part which was BMW. IT AUDIO chose an Axient wireless system offering over 30 channels for audio communications across the mainly split-level stands.
Eight RF channels were in use for the different presentation areas on the manufacturers’ stands and for various interview applications. For the evening events, which involved discussion chairpersons, prominent guests and bands, 14-channel Axient systems and six channels of Shure’s PSM 1000 in-ear monitoring were used, and for the all-important press conference, these were expanded by a further eight channels of Axient.
IT AUDIO specified two AXT600 spectrum management units to monitor the RF status in Hall 11.0, and both proved their worth at the press conference, which featured countless ENG teams from all around the world. "Administering the total of around 220 frequencies which were assigned to the BMW stand, from about 500 to 720MHz, was down to us alone," explains Miguel Augusto, service provider for Lleyendecker. "The Spectrum Manager allowed me to switch the entire setup to secure frequencies at a moment’s notice via ShowLink Remote Control: an enormous advantage which no other system can offer. Axient also allows us to raise or lower the output power at will. Normally, we work at the 10mW setting, but at evening events, when speakers move around on stage, we can adjust the power output as we wish with the system still running."
"We equip the key management representatives with dual wireless transmitters for the press conferences and the evening events," explains Til Schwartz. "That way, we always have a backup via the system’s Frequency Diversity mode in case of technical failures or other unforeseen occurances."
Shure’s Axient system was also chosen by those responsible for audio at Volkswagen’s stand in Hall 3.0, namely audio consultants Hansjörg Wenzel from FILMTEC Media and Hagen Weigel, Head of Technical Projects at Winkler Multi Media Events. A total of ten channels of Axient were used on the VW stand. At the main press conference, the three key speakers were also equipped with wireless transmitters operating in frequency diversity mode.
In the run-up to the show, external service provider Thomas Meyer calculated for Riedel that about 350 wireless frequencies would be required for all of Volkswagen’s events at the IAA, including the Audi Hall, which was specially erected in the exhibition’s Inner Atrium. "In some areas, the available frequencies were used pretty much to capacity due to the extensive use of wireless telex, translation, telemetry and Steadycam systems," explains Hagen Weigel. "And of course, there were always reporting teams using unregistered equipment, which you can never plan for. But with Axient, I can always fall back on switching frequencies automatically without anyone even realising what I’m doing!" he concludes.
"Compared to the previous IAA, two years ago, the number of wireless channels required by BMW Group has almost doubled — particularly as the main press conference in 2013 did not take place on the BMW stand itself, as it did this year," comments Til Schwartz, Managing Director of IT AUDIO. "What’s more, this year we had to include wireless tour guide and translation systems, which also use up RF spectrum. There wasn’t much in the way of spare frequencies on-site — it was a challenging environment. But Axient proved a match for the situation without any problems."
"The International Motor Show always presents great challenges in terms of wireless frequency management, particularly during the press conferences when things can really start to sizzle," comments Jens Stellmacher, Project Manager at Shure Distribution. "Apart from the manufacturer’s requirements, many additional frequencies are needed for the newsgathering teams and video crews. In conjunction with frequency diversity mode, Axient’s interference detection & avoidance function guarantees flawless operation, even in this kind of demanding RF environment."
Besides BMW and Volkswagen many other car manufacturers employ Axient at the IAA; in total, there were around 100 channels of the flagship analogue system in use at the show.
|Axient||Wireless management network offers a spectrum management suite to integrate spectrum analysis, channel allocation, and device management.|
|PSM 1000||An unprecedented combination of audio and RF performance for the most demanding professional monitoring applications.|