CP Communications supported more than 40 hours of live 4K and HD broadcast content
CP Communications managed the entire RF transmission infrastructure for the 118th U.S. Open Championship, which took place June 12-17 at the Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, NY.
A significant contributor to the production team the past three years, this year marked the first time that CP Communications was entrusted with all RF transmission responsibilities. This included the management of 34 RF cameras, including five RF 4K HDR transmitters for live broadcasts by FOX Sports. CP Communications also managed three RF X-Mo cameras for slow-motion, on-air playback; one RF Stedi-cam; and four (of 21 total) HD cameras reserved for Sky, TV Asahi and other international broadcasters.
“The sheer scale and enormity of the U.S. Open inspired Fox Sports, the domestic rights holder and primary broadcaster for the event, to split RF responsibilities among two vendors in previous years,” said Kurt Heitmann, CEO, CP Communications. “This year, all acquisition responsibilities previously assigned to another vendor were transitioned to CP Communications, based on our proven track record and recent enhancements of our 4K production capabilities.”
CP Communications managed the largest-ever mesh deployment for golf
As the sole RF vendor, CP Communications also managed 38 miles of fiber, a MIMO mesh control system for entire course coverage — the largest-ever mesh deployment for golf — and an extensive Dante audio network from Audinate with 56 RF intercom channels (using an RTS ADAM system) and 40 RF microphones across 18 holes. Additionally, the team handled all signal distribution, routing and troubleshooting between three CP Communications mobile trucks, two broadcast compounds, and a remote RF Communications Center.
CP Communications brought its flagship HD-11 and HD-21 RF production trucks and its RF8 Fiber B-Unit truck, which accommodated Fox’s fiber-optic and communications systems, to this year’s event. The two RF production trucks were positioned adjacent to each other in the main broadcast center, where Fox Sports produced more than 40 hours of live, unique content across four channels each day to broadcasters in more than 140 countries.
A split compound strategy was utilized this year, divided by a distance of over 3000 feet, to provide more space for FOX Sports oncourse technologies and staff. The remote RF Communications Center was set up near Hole 13 for managing and routing intercom channels and other audio – including 600 portable radios across more than 40 channels all tied back to the two broadcast compounds.
Brad Cheney, VP of Field Operations and Engineering for Fox Sports, notes that CP Communications’ continued investment in technology and personnel were paramount to the success of a live sports production of this scale. “CP Communications has worked with us since the start of the USGA on FOX to advance the way we see, hear and interconnect systems to provide the most compelling multiplatform content for our viewers. CP’s continued investment in 1080p HDR and now 4K HDR transmission systems enabled another large step forward in image quality for viewers,” said Cheney.