Shure's UHF-R wireless brings high-quality audio to AT&T Park
Oct 4, 2006 2:23 PM
Opened in April of 2000, AT&T Park is a classic urban ballpark providing the San Francisco Giants with a home as intimate and neighborly as Chicago's Wrigley Field, and as impressive as Camden Yards or Jacobs Field. With widely recognizable features like a nine-foot statue of Willie Mays that greets visitors at the entrance, public transit access that rivals any sporting complex in the world, and the Portuguese water dogs that retrieve home runs splashing into McCovey Cove, the park, while clearly maintaining an old-time ambience, still offers all the modern amenities both the fans and Giants demand.
"Its design may pay homage to other famous facilities around the country, but there is no question that AT&T Park has a character that is pure San Francisco," says James Dukleth of Oakland Audio Video Service, Inc., the company that reconfigured the park's wireless blueprint just in time for the beginning of the current season. "The audio system here was installed in 2000 when the park opened, but by last year, it was due for a wireless upgrade. We're a big Shure house, so we pulled some units from our rental stock and let the Giants use them for the balance of the season. This year, we received a go-ahead to install a permanent system, so we went with Shure's new UHF-R."
Wireless needs at AT&T park extend beyond the normal reach of pregame activities, announcements made from the field, and the national anthem. There is a rousing chorus of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" frequently led from the field during the seventh inning stretch, and for the younger fans, a "Junior Announcer" program. A popular in-game segment, the latter begins with the selection of a pint-sized Giants fan from the crowd who is then given the opportunity to introduce the first three batters of a designated inning. Insuring that the power indicators stay lit all year on AT&T Park's wireless receivers when the Giants take a break in the off-season, the units switch gears and manage input for other events including monster truck and supercross challenges.
A total of eight UHF-R channels are used within the park along with a pair of active UA870WB paddle-style antennas. Transmitters across the board are handheld UR2 units sporting venerable SM58 capsules.
"The goal here is to stay ahead of the competition," Michael Uchacz, Oakland Audio Video's on-site system operator explains. "There are a lot of wireless frequencies in the area, as well as maritime frequencies out in the bay, and they are a constantly changing group that is ready to pick a fight every day. On my end with the UHF-R systems, it's an easy one-button proposition to scan before each game for the best frequencies available, and then lock them in for the game. Once the frequencies are selected, it's clear sailing—you just set a level and go."
Quickly gaining a reputation for providing superior RF performance and rock-solid reliability, as well as unparalleled control even in large, networked systems, Shure's new UHF-R wireless is engineered to save time and effort, and is outfitted with an advanced feature set including automatic frequency selection with group scan, infrared automatic transmitter sync, and smart menu-driven system operation facilitating quick setup times and intuitive use.
With 2,400 selectable frequencies spread across a 60 MHz bandwidth, UHF-R provides room for up to 40 preset compatible systems to be operated per band, while up to 108 systems can be put to work using multiple bands. Complementing this expanded window of operation is Shure's Advanced Track Tuning Filtering Technology, which shifts onboard RF filtering along with selected frequencies to keep audio degradation and interference at bay.
"The sound quality here at the park is better than ever, it seems everyone has noticed the newfound clarity," Uchacz adds. "The whole wireless scheme is more robust. We had the systems installed and tuned within a regular work day, and have yet to experience any RF problems."
For more information, visit www.shure.com.