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DTV Audio Group: Expanding Virtualized Audio Production Recap

May 28, 2020


Talking About The New Broadcast Frontier with SVG.

By Eric Eldredge, Dale Pro Audio
In a spirited virtual round table panel hosted by our valued partners at the Sports Video Group, some of the broadcast audio world's top talent convened for an online meeting discussing some of the challenges they've met in starting to get back to work in the early stages of a post-Covid-19 environment.

Host - Roger Charlesworth, DTV Audio Group
Panelists - Henry Rousseau - ESPN, Glenn Stilwell - Pac-12 Networks, Henry Goodman - Calrec, Lucas Zwicker - LAWO, and Karl Malone - NBC Sports
Moderator - Tom Sahara, Freelance Broadcast Audio Consultant, Tom Sahara LLC

Dale's team of Broadcast Sales Professionals were in attendance.

German Bundesliga Returns

A common theme was the incredibly short period of time that broadcasters had to complete a new remotely accessible on-air chain. Many people brought up the frustration of being at the mercy of the speed (or lack thereof) of talent and producers’ home internet speed.

Some of the highlights of the day:

  • Karl Malone described how NBC Sports is handling “control room and transmission virtual operations” during Covid-19. He shared screenshots of some of the setups in the various technicians' homes.
  • Henry Rousseau discussed how ESPN's Korean baseball experience acted as a testing ground for how to handle audio from games that are without fans in attendance. He also shared some of the “growing pains” of getting ESPN’s staff working remotely and how they were overcome.
  • Lucas Zwicker then reviewed how the German Bundesliga came back in similar circumstances.
  • Glenn Stillwell shared his thoughts on centralized vs. decentralized production. “At home, at home production” was his point. He even talked about even moving announcers to their homes as well.
  • Henry Goodman talked about control from Calrec consoles is already present, and now being used to great effect in decentralized operations.
  • Tom Sahara talked about the acceleration of the decentralization of equipment from a network operations center to the cloud.

A major point brought up was the unlikely event of hardware failure while “at home”. How do we approach redundancy when working remotely? This tied into other concerns being shared, such as ongoing airline and travel restrictions. Some of the ideas being floated even included a second set of play-by-play announcers "on-call" somewhere else as backups!

Korean Baseball

Top sports mix engineers/A1s Doug Deems, Dana Kirkpatrick, Fred Aldous and Jonathan Freed chimed in with their takes on some common questions regarding mixing games from home - is this possible? What are the challenges beyond just the bandwidth? Latency issues? Who is necessary to be on-site in the future?

Want to catch up? Our friends at SVG have the entire webinar archived above via their Youtube channel!

Dale's Joel Guilbert has already been closely following these sweeping changes in the industry: "It was really interesting to hear these top A1s insight, the sports broadcast world is going in an unknown direction and it’s great to listen to as many of the different perspectives."

Dale Pro Audio is a proud sponsor of SVG's DTV Audio Group and is a leading provider of solutions to the Broadcast and Field Audio markets since 1956.

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