SportsNet NY Maintains True 5.1 Quality for Sports Broadcasts with SSL System T

SportsNet New York (SNY), the TV home of the MLB New York Mets and NFL New York Jets, has relocated to new broadcast studios in lower Manhattan (New York City) and upgraded its existing audio complement with two new audio control rooms that include a System T live audio mixing console from Solid State Logic (SSL) running on a Dante-enabled Audio-over-IP Ethernet-based networking infrastructure.

In order to produce content in “true 5.1” surround sound, each of SNY’s new audio control rooms features a three-bay, 48-fader System T S500 control surface with dual touch screens and a pair of SSL Network I/O: SB 8.8 Dante stageboxes. Each of those controllers is connected to dual-redundant T80 Tempest audio engines, also supplied by SSL.

Six SSL Network I/O: SDI Bridges connect the studio's existing SDI production systems, along with additional Network I/O: AES Dante units, as well as a selection of Dante stageboxes, including the SB i16 and SB 8.8s for studio connections.

“We don't up-mix from anything or synthesise anything," said Alex Blanding, vice president of Engineering at SNY. “We mix in 5.1 from the get-go. And we maintain the 5.1 sound field profile as we go in and out of live games and in and out of studio programming.”

All Mets games are produced from a remote production truck and the signals are patched through to its post-game or pre-game shows, maintaining 5.1 quality throughout. 

Each of the studio’s controllers is connected to dual-redundant T80 Tempest audio engines, also supplied by SSL.

Each of the studio’s controllers is connected to dual-redundant T80 Tempest audio engines, also supplied by SSL.

“That prevents a big change in the quality or the character of the output,” he said. “It's important that the audience gets the best audio experience.”

The System T was chosen for features like full production automation support, and the multi-group Automix system that is integrated into the system architecture and available on every path.

“We use the Automix functionality on the console every day, on things like roundtable discussions and so on,” Blanding said.

Depending on the schedule, the audio control rooms operate with a mixture of hands-on and production-automated mixing. For efficiency, SNY uses a Ross Overdrive automated production system to control the robotic cameras and other production technology, which is fully supported by the SSL System T.

It was also important to SNY that its Dante AoIP network, which incorporates System T, the studio I/O, and a Dante-based RTS-Omneo networked intercoms system, had seamless interoperability with its existing SDI-based workflow. The regional broadcaster uses six SSL Network I/O: SDI Bridges to provide bidirectional bridging between embedded SDI audio and the Dante IP audio network. The SDI bridge features eight SDI circuits, each capable of embedding and de-embedding, as well as dual Dante and triple MADI connectivity. Internal channel-by-channel routing enables flexible routing between all three domains.

SNY, which is also the official television home of the University of Connecticut Huskies Men’s and Women’s basketball programs, televises more than 125 Mets games each season, along with pre- and post-game programs, plus additional Mets entertainment programming, airing throughout the calendar year. It also delivers more than 300 hours of exclusive content per year devoted to the Jets, around 350 hours of UConn programming, and comprehensive access to all of the Tri-State area's professional and collegiate sports teams through five nightly sports and entertainment programs.

SNY serves approximately eight million homes in the New York Metropolitan area and 7 to 8 million homes across the U.S. from its Manhattan studios.

A long time SSL customer, the sports channel formerly used SSL C Series broadcast consoles at its former location in midtown Manhattan.

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