Riedel Bolero - Pitt Athletics

Diverse Riedel equipment, such as Artist, Bolero and SmartPanels, help Pitt Athletics (University of Pittsburgh) produce various matches for ESPN in a decentralized manner.

Pitt Athletics coordinates the production of sporting events for broadcast and streaming using multiple Artist digital intercom arrays, SmartPanel 1200 and 2300 series user interfaces, and 24 Bolero wireless beltpacks spread across campus. The Riedel Director software unifies the configuration and management of all matrices, coordinating coverage, performance and functionality to orchestrate multiple simultaneous productions in different venues and control rooms. The system not only facilitates communication between team members at each location, but also links to ESPN’s intercom system that supports remote talent, including filmmakers and producers.

The production company worked hand-in-hand with NEP Integrated solutions to deploy the Riedel Artist system in a redundant fiber configuration throughout the campus. This allows communications to be enabled at both the Petersen Events Center (basketball), where the university’s centralized broadcast production facilities are located, and at Charles L. Cost Field (baseball), Vartabedian Field (softball), Ambrose Urbanic Field (football) and Fitzgerald Field House (wrestling, gymnastics and volleyball). The Bolero wireless intercom system deployed by Pitt features 18 antennas distributed throughout the four venues and the Trees Pool (swimming and diving), providing extensive coverage and allowing the use of Bolero beltpacks at any venue.

Liam Sporrer, director of broadcast engineering for Pitt’s Athletics department, is very positive about the use of Bolero, Artist and SmartPanel: “Riedel offers the depth of functionality required to meet every user’s communication needs and preferences, as well as the ease of use essential to effective communication and collaboration during production. I can be confident that when I program a button on a panel or beltpack, it’s going to do what I want it to do the first time around — and that people working with those systems will understand how to use them. I might be juggling three or four different productions in one day, and all the little efficiencies I gain with the Riedel intercom system not only save me time, but also help prevent small issues from becoming larger problems.”

Riedel Bolero - Pitt Athletics - Sala controlBolero, key to Pitt Athletics

The functionality of the Bolero beltpacks have opened up new opportunities for Sporrer and his team to streamline their operations. For example, Sporrer has programmed the Bolero beltpacks for use during broadcasts: “It used to be a heavy lift to set up a separate wireless transmitter and wireless receiver, each on their own frequencies, and manage that along with wireless IFB and talkback. Now we just hand off the beltpack, and it gives reporters the functionality and control they need, plus the reliability and range of the Bolero network.”

The scalable and expandable Riedel system will allow Pitt Athletics to expand its operations should the need arise. Similarly, as the university completes its upcoming construction projects, it will be able to connect new sites and integrate them into its day-to-day operations.

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By • 25 Oct, 2021
• Section: Audio, Study