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WISYCOM Powers NYC Thanksgiving Parade

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Clair Broadcast chose the MFL RF Distribution system from WISYCOM as part of its contract to supply wireless audio needs for the live broadcast of the Thanksgiving Day parade held this year in New York City.

WISYCOM is an Italian manufacturer of RF solutions and fiber transport capabilities. This year's parade marked the first large-scale, live use of the MFL RF Distribution system in the United States.

Clair Broadcast has been supplying the audio equipment for the parade's live broadcast for several years. The firm was tasked with holding communications among the parade's organisers and during the broadcast portions of the parade, which includes host commentary and main stage performances. Under the recommendation of Gary Vahling, owner of Audio Masterpiece, a rental and sales company that specialises in wireless and intercom system solutions for live production and broadcast applications, the MFL RF Distribution system provided a scalable, reliable RF over fiber solution.

"The major broadcast coverage of the parade spans several city blocks and I needed complete RF coverage via fiber to support the wireless intercom, mics, in ear monitors and IFBs that we used for the televised portions," says Josh Flower, Wireless and Communications Engineer, Clair Broadcast. "The WISYCOM MFL RF Distribution system successfully provided the RF coverage needed and helped to keep our audio flowing flawlessly. It was a huge help to have such a powerful, streamlined solution."

WISYCOM's MFL RF Distribution System provides wideband optical link for up to four RF channels, combined in a single fiber due to its optional CWDM (MUX/DEMUX) technology. Since the system is capable of ultra wideband, whole frequency range, operating in the 150 to 790 MHz band, it is compatible with a variety of manufacturers' wireless audio products. Clair Broadcast utilised a Telex wireless intercom system and Shure in ear monitors and mics, for which WISYCOM's MLF RF Distribution System is compatible.

"We are very happy to have Clair Broadcast introducing the MFL RF Distribution System during such a high-profile event as the annual Thanksgiving Day parade," says Massimo Polo, Sales and Marketing Director, WISYCOM. "No other company offers a device such as this one. One of the biggest benefits to using our technology is that prior to its launch earlier this year, audio engineers needed to have an RF system of this scale, custom made. With WISYCOM, there is now a manufacturer that is providing a more affordable alternative – a ready-made box that is compatible with your system."

WISYCOM provided one RF box for each end of the broadcasted portion of the parade route – a MFL-TTRR and a MFL-RRTT, each holding two receives and two transmits in each box. Each box has Bandpass Filter (BPF) that is digitally tunable to 1MHz, which enables frequencies to be passed within a certain range and rejects frequencies outside that range. Another feature is the CWDM optional fiber module which combines both transmit and receive RF signals onto one fiberstrand.

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