Hebden Bridge, UK (October 20, 2009)--The MLB Network, which debuted in January 2009, is upgrading its operation with the addition of a 72-fader Calrec Alpha audio console.
The cable network devoted to Major League Baseball has relied on two Calrec Omega consoles linked by the company's Hydra audio networking system. Less than a year after launching, the upgrade to the Alpha console will support all of its studio programming, including the technically demanding signature show, MLB Tonight.
"You don't go back to a manufacturer for a new product unless you're happy with what they sold you the first time," said Brad Cheney, MLB Network engineering manager. "Our experience with Calrec and its US representative, Studio Consultants, is that the consoles install quickly and correctly and then work without problems, proving themselves day in and day out."
MLB Tonight covers every major league baseball team in the country, and during an average broadcast includes live reports and live look-ins for up to 15 games at 15 ballparks, with as many as 16 audio channels in play per ballpark. With one eye on future 5.1 surround broadcasting, the 72-fader Calrec Alpha console is capable of up to 480 fully featured channel processing paths, thus eliminating any need for the audio operator to rely on hanging sources.
Likewise, the Alpha console--which will be added to the Calrec Hydra audio networking system to enable shared I/O resources--saves audio operators the trouble of individually importing multiple sources coming from a single ballpark. Instead, those multiple sources can be remapped across the network onto multiple faders.
MLB Network anticipates delivery of the new Alpha console in January, which will allow plenty of time for installation before the opening of the 2010 baseball season in the spring.