Italy’s RAI used Riedel MediorNet and RockNet networks to enable realtime distribution of audio, video, and communications signals throughout its coverage of the 2013 Giro d’Italia cycling race. During the 96th Giro d’Italia, which began in Naples and concluded 3,405 kilometers later in Brescia, the Riedel gear provided host broadcaster RAI with a flexible fibre network linking the announce booth, finish line, and remote production areas.
Each year, the Giro d’Italia is the first of Europe’s three Grand Tours, with the Tour de France and Vuelta a España following in July and August, respectively. Every day, the tour moves to a new city along the race route. RAI engineers started early in the morning, rigging and testing the fibre network, and then spent the day supporting production of the actual broadcast event. In the evening, they took down the network and moved their OB vans on to the next city to prepare for the next race stage.
During each race day, the RAI team produced coverage from multiple sites situated up to five kilometers from one another. A fully redundant set-up comprising 10 MediorNet Modular frames and five MediorNet Compact frames ensured reliable signal transport between the day’s broadcast booth, finish line, and a separate TV compound in which the RAI OB vans supported production. A Riedel RockNet realtime audio network enabled reliable audio signal transport throughout the TV compound.
The modular design of Riedel’s MediorNet allows frames to be configured and reconfigured quickly according to the demands of the production. Because the Riedel system supports both routing and transport, every signal is available at every node and can be made available via network management software. By using Riedel’s fiber network, RAI not only reduced the volume, weight, and complexity of cabling, but also gained the flexibility to locate its OB vans at remote locations — a common requirement during cycling tour coverage — without risking signal degradation or loss. As a result, the host broadcaster was able to stay confident in the quality of the feeds it produced.