Gearhouse integrates Axient Digital wireless into innovative SportsCom referee microphone system
Gearhouse Event Communications is a division of Gearhouse Broadcast, a global leader in live event broadcast production, providing custom communications systems for major sporting events
To provide clear, intelligible audio of officiating announcements to Australian League Football broadcasters and attendees, live and in real time
Upgrading the Gearhouse SportsCom referee communication system with Axient Digital wireless microphone bodypack systems
Reliable, intelligible audio with flawless wireless performance across all Australia
In its ceaseless efforts to provide state-of-the-art intercoms for broadcast events, Gearhouse Broadcast’s Event Communications in Australia collaborated with Shure and its distributor, Jands, to incorporate Axient Digital wireless into its SportsCom referee communications system. SportsCom integrates a wireless microphone with an intercom system to enable seamless communication and live transmission from game officials to both broadcast and live audiences.
Working directly with Shure and Jands through an exclusive R&D partnership agreement, Gearhouse became the first Axient Digital user globally. They unveiled the upgraded SportsCom system to the Australian Football League (AFL), which agreed to use the system at all remaining games in the current season. The miking system consists of six Axient Digital bodypacks for the officiating crew. Three umpire channels are always open, while the fourth umpire and two goal judges activate their mics using Shure push-to-talk (PTT) switches.
The appeal of Axient Digital to Gearhouse is its overall performance, with better coverage over a larger area, and efficient spectrum use to ensure robust operation in crowded RF environments. The system’s wide frequency tuning range (184 MHz for both receivers and transmitters) allows the same SportsCom system hardware can be used throughout Australia without changing kit, its unique Quadversity antenna feature means more reliable coverage over larger areas with fewer dropouts. In addition, the system’s robust smart battery system essentially eliminates in-match battery changes while reducing cost of ownership.
Having already received strong interest in SportsCom from other sporting bodies, Gearhouse Broadcast anticipates expanding its commitment to Axient Digital, especially once the premium ADX transmitters become available in early 2018. ADX series transmitters add Shure’s unique ShowLink backchannel communication system, enabling remote control of all transmitter functions, including frequency and output power.
Jason Owen, Gearhouse Manager, Event Communications Division, reports that SportsCom with Axient Digital has been a huge success, with the AFL committed to using it in all matches. The system is also generating demand from other customers.
“The reason the AFL wanted our Axient Digital solution is that it is a smarter RF management solution,” says Owen. “We are truly offering class-leading technology here. It is, without question, the best performing and most advanced system on the market today.”
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