BSI Deploys Exclusive Wireless Audio Technology at Masters Tournament

Broadcast Sports Inc., now in its 14th year providing wireless microphones and communications systems at the Masters golf tournament for CBS Sports, deployed its exclusive MIC 1500 wireless audio systems at the Augusta National Golf Course last week. BSI developed the system to eliminate interference issues inherent in the current UHF band, due to limited spectrum availability, as a result of the transition to digital television and the loss of reallocated UHF spectrum to public safety.

On the golf course, BSI provided 19 MIC 1500 transmission paths. Deploying nine fiber-optic connected receive sites strategically throughout the grounds provided seamless coverage for 14 EFX microphones’ paths as well as starter and interview microphones. BSI’s MIC 1500 stick microphone, an integrated handheld version of the technology, was used for all post-round interviews at the 18th green.

Three MIC 1500 Talent Packs, custom-built to integrate IFB and broadcast-quality talkback capabilities, were deployed to provide complete nine-hole coverage on the Par 3 course. These wireless Talent Packs keep the roving commentators and producers in full communication, allowing them the freedom to go where the most compelling stories are developing.

Ed Soltis, the lead audio supervisor for the production, felt a need to expand the Masters coverage to incorporate all the elements that CBS provides to various U.S. and International broadcasters. The dependability and interference-free operation of BSI’s MIC 1500 system enabled CBS to provide reliable audio to its clients. BSI’s audio feeds were used throughout the TV, radio, and Internet coverage of the event.

The MIC 1500 wireless audio system operates in tightly controlled, clean spectrum coordinated by the Aerospace and Flight Test Radio Coordinating Council (AFTRCC) and licensed under Special Temporary Authority by the FCC. The advantage of using these systems is especially compelling at high-profile events plagued by overuse of the standard UHF spectrum. By moving its spectrum usage out of the UHF band, BSI is able to provide up to 450 channels of broadcast-quality wireless microphones without fear of interference from local broadcasters and other event operations.

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