Sky has specified SoundField microphone systems to capture crowd ambience in 5.1 surround for Sky Sports HD Premiership Football coverage which is due to begin transmissions.
After a lengthy evaluation period involving tests at many football grounds around the UK, Sky decided to standardise on SoundField in view of the level of clarity and realism demanded by the HD format. Another main consideration was SoundField's ability to collapse any 5.1 surround mix to stereo or mono without introducing any phase problems, making it ideal for live broadcast applications where events will be transmitted in HD and SD simultaneously.
SoundField systems will be permanently installed at Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal where more regular HD coverage will be broadcast.
Pieter Schillebeeckx, SoundField technical sales said, "We worked very closely with Sky during the evaluation period to ensure that SoundField technology was integrated reliably into the surround sound transmission process. The SPS422B microphone is suspended from the TV gantry above the crowd with the control unit at ground level for full polar pattern and directional control. The B-Format feed from the SPS422B is then sent to the OB truck for 5.1 conversion using our SP451 processor which outputs the six discrete channels."