When the Oakland Raiders and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers squared off in Super Bowl XXXVII in San Diego, the action on the field was broadcast in 28 different languages to a worldwide audience of approximately 800 million viewers in 220 countries and territories.
NMT’s DX11 was linked with two other trucks covering the Super Bowl via a 384-port system created by linking Telex ADAM intercom systems.
The logistics required to pull off the broadcast production for the big event were equally far-reaching, and involved the use of a unique intercom system to interconnect remote broadcast units from National Mobile Television (NMT). The common link was the ADAM matrix intercom system from Telex.
The result was one of the largest interconnected remote intercom systems ever assembled, used for all broadcast aspects of the Super Bowl: pre-game, half-time, post-game and the game itself. More than 60 cameras were used in this year’s broadcast, and all the associated equipment that needed to interface necessitated the use of more than one truck.
NMT’s DX10 truck was used for the SD feed, while the DX11 handled the pre-game, half-time and post-game shows, with all audio delivered via a Solid State Logic MT Plus digital broadcast console. A third truck housed additional cameras and tape machines. Two more trucks, linked via single-bus expanders, supplied graphics and additional video distribution. The two main camera and tape trucks were equipped with Thomson Grass Valley DD35 switchers, and the host truck was equipped with a Kalypso switcher. All of the NMT production trucks at Super Bowl XXXVII were fully digital production environments. Normally, a single ADAM is 128 ports per frame. When three frames are tied together, the ADAM becomes one giant intercom system comprising 384 ports.
Three of the trucks were linked using the dual bus expanders, creating a 384-port system. Another truck was expanded by 64 ports to provide a total of 192 ports, and a system in the Bexel edit truck used the new Zeus Two trunking ability with eight trunks. The three systems were trunked together using a total of 38 ports.
The ADAM system played a role in a larger communications system used to connect five trucks at Super Bowl XXXVII – a system that included Intelligent Trunking technology and the TM-2000 Trunk Master.
The 128-port matrix between two of the trucks was expanded to 192 ports, and then connected with four-wire circuits, controlled by the Telex system, to the 384-port matrix in the other three trucks. The two matrices were interconnected using Telex Intelligent Trunking technology and the TM-2000 Trunk Master. Using trunking allowed each truck to retain individual control of configuration and assignments, and also provided full automatic communications between all five trucks.
In addition to the five NMT trucks, the communications system also provided intercom feeds to various support trucks, such as those from ESPN.
Charles Roberts is a system support engineer for Telex.