Calrec’s IP solution selected for leading Sportsnet studios

Alex D’Addese

Hebden Bridge, December 15, 2021 – Two Calrec Artemis consoles with AoIP ImPulse cores and Gateway technology are at the heart of Sportsnet Studios’ audio installation, Toronto’s new immersive installation that is part of leading sports media brand Sportsnet, part of Rogers Sports and Media (RSM). Calrec technology is an integral part of the audio workflow to provide Sportsnet with the flexibility it needs and to facilitate easy expansion in the future. Calrec’s Canadian partner, SC Media, played a central role in the project.

As unveiled in October 2021, Calrec consoles are used for every NHL broadcast on Sportsnet, including Hockey Central pre-match broadcasts, as well as other Sportsnet live broadcasts. Jim Morrison, P.Eng, Strategic Advisor, Media / Snr. RSM’s media architect and technical lead for the project said, “We have known Calrec from our first Calrec console installed at Rogers Sports and Media a few years ago. We started the SMPTE 2210 IP path in 2017 and these innovative new sports studios were the next logical step. From a technical point of view, Calrec supports AoIP very well, which is part of our media strategy over IP. Using Calrec stage boxes also offers complete flexibility when working in a non-IP environment.

Housed in two separate spaces, Sportsnet Studios is made up of two unique spaces – Studio 31 and Studio 32 – which are SDI based with conversion to IP at the edge. They provide an enhanced sports experience for fans with virtual reality sets, augmented reality, 22 monitors, a 50ft curved LED wall, 13 cameras, two IP-based production control rooms and more.

To support Sportsnet Studios, the two Artemis consoles and ImPulse cores are spread across three separate buildings and over multiple floors. There are two audio control rooms and several Calrec stage boxes deployed between the two studios. Each audio room has its own distribution of AES, DANTE (used for intercom) and analog signals. Each room is also integrated with the Calrec console and existing studio boxes, used elsewhere in the establishment, via a Calrec H2-IP gateway.

Kypros Christodoulides, Technical Sales & Support at SC Media, said: “Sportsnet’s requirement for native AoIP consoles with significant processing power and a distributed SMPTE-2110 I / O network led directly to Calrec. Its Artemis consoles, with ImPulse IP cores, are designed for this modern workflow. The installation and commissioning of this system was quite difficult, not only because of the new technology, but also because of its scale and physical layout. And, of course, everyone adhering to the rules of Covid. Thanks to Jim’s leadership and everyone’s hard work, a remarkably successful result has been achieved.

Morrison added, “The advantage of IP is flexibility. IP allows all facilities to have a common core and a common delivery mechanism for gasoline streams, with all deployed based on industry best practices and standards. We know that the systems we have put in place have more capacity than we have yet taken advantage of. In addition, we have a great relationship with SC Media on previous projects and they have been extremely supportive of this project from day one.

Dave Letson, Vice President of Sales at Calrec, said: “To have Calrec technology at the heart of a space as sophisticated as Sportsnet Studios is a true honor and a testament to our Artemis consoles and our ImPulse hearts. The Calrec kit is designed to support the way broadcasters want to work, and this project illustrates that well as Sportsnet combines our new IP technology with older legacy products.

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