Advanced Television

Gearhouse Broadcast has The X Factor for seventh year running

November 19, 2010

When you are organising the nation’s favourite musical talent show then only the very best audio broadcast equipment and studio solutions will do.

That’s why for the seventh year running Talkback Thames have awarded the radio microphone and audio equipment contract for their ratings topping flagship show to broadcast solution specialists Gearhouse Broadcast.

In conjunction with clients Talkback Thames and Video Sound Services, Gearhouse spent some two months before the show returned to our screens in September delivering and installing the complex audio broadcast system that meets all the requirements and challenges presented by the show’s format and ensure the contestants, presenters, panellists and the live studio audience all enjoy perfect sound quality.

All the professional radio equipment has been configured to specifications laid down by of BAFTA award winning Sound Director Robert Edwards of VSS Limited, who has also worked with Gearhouse Broadcast on a number of similar projects including ITV’s other hot talent show ‘Britain’s Got Talent’.

The audio broadcast solutions supplied by Gearhouse had to meet the demands of both the main ITV1 Saturday and Sunday evening shows and ITV2’s follow up Xtra Factor, requiring a seamless audio broadcast system covering all the areas populated by the contestants, not only the studio and stage but also the backstage areas, green rooms, dressing rooms and connecting corridors.

Gearhouse Broadcast’s Managing Director Eamonn Dowdall said: “Drawing on our vast experience of live television production we understand the time constraints involved and the need to provide reliable, quality systems.

As we have proved we could do on previous series, we created and delivered a multi-purpose radio microphone solution to meet the large scale requirements of this high profile show.”

In total seven x8-way receiver racks will be rigged at the Studios for use on both the ITV1 & ITV2 shows. The seven racks are used in conjunction with a Sennheiser custom-built ‘Titan X’ aerial combiner that allows full diversity coverage throughout the studios during the shows.

The Titan combiner is a bespoke solution built by Gearhouse Broadcast in conjunction with professional audio equipment manufacturers Sennheiser, specifically to meet the audio RF demands of The X Factor and provide a multi-zone radio microphone system.

Additional top end audio equipment supplied by Gearhouse Broadcast includes; 43 x Sennheiser SK 5012 lapel microphones and 5212 transmitters, five Sennheiser SKM 5200-U transmitters,  two Sennheiser SKP 30 plug on transmitters and a set of two Sennheiser wireless in ear monitors.

Due to the 54 Radio Frequency channels throughout the building, a custom calculated frequency plan has been developed in conjunction with Sennheiser and radio spectrum managers JFMG to avoid interference between the equipment.

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