Mobile TV Group Chooses Ferrofish Dante-Networking Technology For Live Sports Broadcasts

Mobile TV Group, a broadcast production company, is using AD/DA converters from Germany-based manufacturer Ferrofish in three of its trucks to create fiber-based announce booth kits for its clients.

Ferrofish’s model A32 and A32 converters Dante are used Mobile TV Group’s mobile units 39 Flex, 42 Flex and 42 VMU. Mobile unit 39 Flex includes the company’s fiber booth kit, which employs two A32s that receive audio from the announce booth in the venue and send it back out to the truck on one fiber cable.

Mobile TV Group’s Director of Engineering, Peter Wehner, needed a compact solution for the process, which is frequently used for college football broadcasts.

“Our clients want these fiber booth kits, but we need them to be very compact and small because of the limited space,” Wehner said. “I set out to make the whole booth kit a six rack unit or less. We used the Ferrofish A32 Dante to take all of our 32 channels of analog audio to and from the booth. It goes into the Ferrofish Dante, converts to Dante and then converts to fiber to get the audio back to and from the trucks.”

Mobile TV Group also employed Ferrofish’s A32 converter in mobile unit 42 VMU, which the company dubs its “Shared Resource” unit that handles dual-feed production. This process is used when the company has two clients or teams each doing individual broadcasts and sharing resources.

The Ferrofish A32 ADAT/ MADI and Dante converter is used to distribute 32 channels of analog audio to and from the announce booth.

The Ferrofish A32 ADAT/ MADI and Dante converter is used to distribute 32 channels of analog audio to and from the announce booth.

“We have one production switcher, and we split it in half,” Wehner said. “One show has half of the switcher and the other has the other half, and then they share the cameras. There’s a lot of sharing going on which is basically a cost reduction for them, but it requires two distinct shows going on at once.”

Mobile TV Group utilizes two trailers for this process—the main truck, or the A unit, and the second truck, VMU (Visitor Mobile Unit). The Ferrofish A32 is used to move audio via MADI between the two trucks.

“The main truck has all the resources, and we extend everything over to the VMU,” Wehner said. “The A32 is helpful in this instance because it can take a lot of different types of audio in. The thing that stands out about the A32 and A32 Dante is that they’re extremely flexible. They can take a lot of different types of audio in—Dante, MADI and ADAT—and combine it all into one, and we can route internally in the box. Anything in can be anything out.”

Additionally, Wehner appreciates the interfaces’ redundancy capabilities — a must he said for this type of live broadcasting. “What we really found interesting with the Dante unit is that we can run Dante and MADI at the same time, and if one fails it will automatically change to the other one,” he said. “Redundancy is a big thing with us in broadcasting with these trucks, so that was a huge plus. Plus, there are dual-power supplies in them. Everything can be run from the front panel and that was a huge plus for us without having to get a computer out and change settings.”

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