Belize City, Belize (March 18, 2009)–NBC’s Today Show utilized a sizeable Lectrosonics wireless setup to connect host Matt Lauer in Belize with the New York studio for its climate change report, Ends of the Earth.
Kevin Parrish, senior RF engineer for NBC network news field operations, described the assignment: “All of our resources were deployed on a small flotilla of boats at the Blue Hole (an underwater sinkhole, or cave) about 60 miles off the coast of Belize. My job with wireless communications was to get audio, video, and operational communications from the Blue Hole to an island-based satellite fly-away uplink station that was over 10 miles away from where the actual remote broadcast took place.”
In addition to Lauer, guests included Fabian Cousteau, grandson of the famous French explorer Jacques Cousteau, plus marine biologists, tourism officials, and others. With full redundancy for all of their wireless equipment an absolute necessity, Parrish deployed approximately 14 channels of wireless microphones, utilizing a combination of Lectrosonics UM400 frequency agile UHF beltpack transmitters and SMQa super-miniature digital hybrid wireless UHF beltpack transmitters. Two Lectrosonics Venue receiver systems–each fully stocked with VRT modules–along with UCR411 UHF receivers supported the wireless mics on the back end.
For communication among the crew and with the on-air talent, Parrish used five channels of Lectrosonics IFB equipment. This equipment included R1a synthesized UHF beltpack IFB receivers and IFBT4 frequency-agile compact IFB transmitters.
Parrish reports that Lectrosonics serves as the primary wireless offering for the NBC Network News Field Operations group. “Everyone on our staff knows how to operate the products,” says Parrish. “Our Lectrosonics gear is very solidly built, sound quality is excellent, and it’s as trouble free as you’re going to encounter. Lectrosonics and NBC enjoyed tremendous success together as we both traveled to the Ends of the Earth.”