Vislink, provider of broadcast communications equipment, in conjunction with Broadcast RF, is providing transmission and receive infrastructure for the second year in a row to deliver course-wide coverage of the 144th Open Golf Championship, 16-19 July from the Old Course at St. Andrews.
Broadcast RF has designed a compact and lightweight one-man camera transmitter for use at the Open Championship, which includes Vislink’s L1700 wireless microwave transmitter and Omni antenna. Limited spectrum availability required Broadcast RF to devise a frequency plan that allows for maximum coverage, while retaining a portion of the available RF band to share with news broadcasters and commentators. Vislink’s technology was chosen for its video compression and efficiency benefits, making it possible to transmit HD video from the field.
“We’re excited to be back at the Open Championship for the second year. The course is a challenging one for both the players and our team, and we are fortunate to have the best equipment on hand to avoid any issues,” said Chris Brandrick, sales director at Broadcast RF. “With a worldwide audience, there really is no room for error. Our engineers and survey team do an unbelievable amount of prep ahead of the event to ensure there are no gaps in coverage, and we rely on Vislink equipment to deliver high-quality, live video of the event.”
Using a combination of compact wireless camera back transmitters and a carefully planned receive antenna network connected by fibre optic cables, Broadcast RF will ensure uninterrupted wireless camera coverage of the event along all 6,721 yards of the course.
The receive sites, which were chosen to ensure maximum signal integrity, will include Vislink¹s L3025 Down Converter. These lightweight units will be used to feed the received signals back to the TV compound, using Broadcast RF’s bespoke RF-over-fibre extension systems. Careful planning has allowed Broadcast RF to minimise the number of fibre cores required, ensuring uninterrupted coverage. Engineers will map the GPS positions of cameras in real time, enabling them to switch the appropriate receive antennas into the receiver/decoder for each camera, based on which camera will provide the best coverage at any given time.
Ali Zarkesh, Vislink’s VP of Product Management, added: “Vislink’s complete end-to-end solution gives Broadcast RF a platform to deliver seamless video from the Open Championship. Our systems offer the flexibility to build a completely customised transmission and receive infrastructure to ensure uninterrupted coverage along the entire course, from opening drive to final putt.”