Sennheiser Provided Wireless and Wired Systems for NBC’s Coverage of Beijing Olympics

provided wireless microphones and personal monitor systems to NBC during the network’s
coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, August 8-24.
From the
spectacular Beijing Opening Ceremony to the handover to the 2012 London
Olympics during the Closing Ceremony with
mayor Boris Johnson, NBC Olympics utilized Sennheiser Professional 3000, 5000
and evolution series wireless microphone and personal monitor systems to ensure
uninterrupted coverage from every venue. In addition, Uwe Sattler, Sennheiser’s
technical director, was on site to assist with frequency coordination and
reallocation for broadcasters using Sennheiser RF equipment.

“In the RF-environment of today’s special events engineering support is needed
for anything wireless,” comments Sattler. “Of these devices the most critical
are the wireless microphone and IFB systems. The other audio devices we support
range from reporters’ microphones to commentator headsets.”

To take advantage of the superior capabilities of Sennheiser’s Professional 3000
and 5000 series wireless equipment, NBC Olympics utilized the SK 250 body-pack transmitter
and EK 3241 camera mount receiver throughout the Games of the XXIX Olympiad.
“We don’t get re-dos at this event. There is only one chance to capture
something,” states Bob Dixon, Director of Sound Design, NBC Olympics.
“When I look for the right tools, the reliability, the sound quality and
the technology of the Sennheiser SK 250 is about the best choice I can

The Sennheiser SK 250 is the most powerful, compact body-pack transmitter on the
market today, offering 250 mW of RF output power and unrivaled frequency tuning
agility. The EK 3241 true diversity camera mount receiver offers options for
slot-in use or standalone battery powered operation. Superlative intermodulation
rejection and frequency tuning agility make the EK 3241 the perfect receiver
for the crowded RF environment of an event of this magnitude.

For the camera crews covering each of the venues, continues Dixon, “We had
thirty ENG RF systems where each of 15 feature packages got two RF mics. Our ENG
audio crews were also equipped with MS [mid-side] stereo fishpole assemblies
consisting of a Sennheiser MKH 60 shotgun and an MKH 30 bi-directional directly
underneath. The spread of the stereo could go from very wide to very narrow,
depending on what was being shot.”
Sennheiser provided thirty channels of wireless microphones and eight evolution
wireless personal monitor transmitters with sixteen receivers for NBC’s Olympic
coverage. “In the studios we had Sennheiser wireless foldback systems,
which we used for IFB [interruptible foldback],” explains Dixon.
also used Sennheiser lavalier microphones in the studios and on the RF transmitters.
And of course we own a large number of the announcer headsets, which were used
at every NBC venue, in our voice-over booths and edit systems.”
In addition, “we were using many other Sennheiser wireless mic systems provided
by Total RF [the Bensalem, Pennsylvania-based RF production equipment
specialist] at our venues. Those were used for miking family members in the
stands, and sometime coaches,” says Dixon.

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