Bolero brings F1 home for BBC Radio listeners

Riedel Communications’ Bolero wireless intercom is paired with a MAX headset, allowing presenters to cover the entire pit and backstage area of a race

USP Content, a multi-platform production based in London, has been producing all of the BBC’s Formula 1 coverage with a team travelling the world to deliver live commentary of every race.

For races in Europe, USP Content sends its presenters for BBC Radio to the track, where a Riedel Communications Artist 64 digital matrix intercom frame connects via managed multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) circuits to Frankfurt, and then via VPN onto another Artist frame in London. The presenters use Bolero for remote interviews on pit row and elsewhere around the circuit.

As for races beyond Europe, the presenters stay in London, with only some making the longer journeys with the Bolero equipment.

Chessie Bent, field producer, USP Content, commented: “We were looking for a more efficient and cost-effective way to cover the entire race circuit, but remote broadcasting was too challenging using equipment from several vendors and sources.

“Now, Riedel’s Bolero has completely changed the way we work — no more worries about complex cabling, buying licences, carrying antennas, or painful frequency coordination. Plus, the amazing sound quality of the Bolero system ensures clear, broadcast-quality audio at all times.”

Prior to the implementation of Bolero, Bent and her presenter, Jennie Gow, relied on a multi-vendor, high-powered RF wireless system with an antenna that had to be physically carried around along with the other gear. As one Bolero antennas is able to provide coverage to the entire pit and backstage area of a race, Bent and Gow can roam around and grab interviews with drivers.

Equipped with a Bolero beltpack and MAX headset, Gow can press the ON button to begin an interview. The beltpack is fitted with a Y-cord that enables the use of an interview mic; at the same time, Gow is able to use the MAX headset to take directions from Bent.

Jakob Stellbrinck, motorsports solutions specialists at Riedel, concluded: “Bolero’s ease-of-use, simplicity of set-up, and light weight have made it a game-changer for USP Content’s remote reporting for BBC Radio. Bolero has more than met USP Content’s expectation by delivering outstanding sound quality, and ensuring smooth and agile productions in the demanding racing environment.”


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