Tackling T-Day Parade RF Issues

Clair Broadcast chose the Wisycom MFL RF distribution system for fiber transport on the live broadcast of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade held annually in New York City.
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New York, NY (December 5, 2014)—Clair Broadcast chose the Wisycom MFL RF distribution system for fiber transport on the live broadcast of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade held annually in New York City.

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Clair Broadcast, which has been supplying the audio equipment for the parade’s live broadcast for several years, was tasked with keeping communications flowing among the parade’s organizers and during the broadcast portions of the parade, which includes host commentary and main stage performances. Since it is nearly impossible (and potentially dangerous) to run heavy cable wires over the streets and among the parade’s performers, marchers and character balloons, the team needed to find an RF solution that utilized fiber that would run underground instead.

Under the recommendation of Gary Vahling, owner of Audio Masterpiece, a rental and sales company that specializes in wireless and intercom system solutions for live production and broadcast applications, the MFL RF distribution system was used as a scalable, RF-over-fiber solution. Wisycom’s MFL RF distribution system provides a wideband optical link for up to four RF channels, combined in a single fiber via its optional CWDM (mux/demux) technology. Since the system is capable of ultra wideband, whole frequency range, operating in the 150 to 790 MHz band, it is compatible with a variety of manufacturers’ wireless audio products. For example, Clair Broadcast utilized a Telex wireless intercom system and Shure in ear monitors and mics with the system.

“The major broadcast coverage of the parade spans several city blocks and I needed complete RF coverage via fiber to support the wireless intercom, mics, in ear monitors and IFBs that we used for the televised portions,” says Josh Flower, wireless and communications engineer, Clair Broadcast. “The Wisycom MFL RF distribution system successfully provided the RF coverage needed and helped to keep our audio flowing flawlessly. It was a huge help to have such a powerful, streamlined solution.”

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