University of North Carolina equips with RTS intercoms its new ACC Network production facilities

Control room at University of North Carolina

With ESPN’s launch of the ACC Network, which covers all Atlantic Coast Conference college sports, the participant schools were required to step up their production game. The University of North Carolina (UNC) and its production company GoHeels Productions consequently decided to improve its operations with RTS equipment.

The UNC’s new Athletics Media & Communications Center (MCC) is a two-story building housing three control rooms, a podcast radio room for live shows, and a remote-controlled Bureau Cam Room for live coach interviews on ESPN. The previous facility relied on hiring remote trucks for national broadcasts, but the new MCC is fully self-contained. Their four-channel analog partyline intercom system has been replaced by a full RTS ADAM matrix frame, which is outfitted with 48 analog channels and 128 channels of Dante OMNEO digital.

The MCC features a total of 53 keypanel stations for communication, three of which are DKP-3016 portable desktop models that video board operators at the sports venues use to communicate with the control room. Mobile phones are also ported into the system via eight TIF-2000A interfaces, also by RTS.

Another key component in connecting the various sports venues is RTS ROAMEO, a wireless intercom system that “puts a full keypanel on the user’s hip”, connecting into the ADAM system via wireless access points that are strategically located across the college campus. A total of 15 AP-1800 access points provide coverage for men’s football and basketball – as well as the stadiums for field hockey, baseball, softball, soccer/lacrosse and women’s basketball – along with the Media Communications Center.

With ROAMEO networked into the ADAM matrix, crew members can move between stadiums without changing wireless channels, enabling them to dial into the intercom matrix as if they were in the control room. Between the ACC Network and its online platform, UNC’s GoHeels Productions broadcasts about 75% of all athletic events on campus, including about 200 live telecasts across the school year. Depending on the event, the facilities draw from a diverse mix of full-time staff, freelancers and students from the university’s media and journalism programs, including all-student crews for some productions.

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