Breaking Down Language Barriers

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Media Vision Provides Smooth, Multi-Lingual Communication for Sportaccord 2009

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The annual Sportaccord Convention was hosted by Denver, CO with various panel discussions, conferences, and interviews held in seven different meeting rooms at the Hyatt Regency.

Sportaccord, formerly the General Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF), is an international organization acting as an umbrella organization that intends to provide one arena for sport federations to meet and discuss topics pertaining to the world of sport. Each year Sportaccord hosts a five-day convention for the more than 100 Sport Federations across the globe, allowing the many leaders of the sporting world, including the executive board of the International Olympic Committee, to meet and interact in one location. On average, 1500 to 2000 attendees will travel from over 60 countries to take part in the event, hoping to gain new information on the topics concerning their sport.

In 2009, the annual Sportaccord Convention was hosted by Denver, CO with various panel discussions, conferences, and interviews held in seven different meeting rooms at the Hyatt Regency. Guest speakers included sport legends such as Andre Agassi and media giant Ted Turner, while exhibitor presentations by the four candidate cities of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games were given as well. This year was first convention held by Sportaccord within the United States, and while the official language of the organization is English, many of the sessions were to be carried out in a multi-lingual setting, requiring language interpretation systems in addition to traditional event AV. For this reason, Eric Newkirk the production coordinator at Ceavco AV, chose the Taiden 5100 Language Interpretation solution to cover each and every meeting requiring multiple languages.

“We knew that there was a lot riding on the interpretation side of this event,” says Newkirk. “Sportaccord — and specifically the International Olympic Committee — were looking for a solution that would be easy to use for their members.”

Newkirk spoke with the North American Taiden distributor Media Vision USA to discuss the details of each room and the meetings that would take place. The high demand for quick set up and quality audio made the Taiden 3600 series an easy choice for the delegate microphones because of its robust audio signal and its fast and flexible set up. Language interpretation was carried out by teams of interpreters using the Taiden HCS- 4385K, and the Taiden 5100 series provided infrared wireless distribution for the various languages being spoken.

By far the largest of the seven rooms was the general assembly room where there were 138 Taiden HCS-3632 pushto- talk delegate stations, 350 HCS- 5100R/08 infrared language receivers, and five HCS-5100T/25 infrared transmitters, which were mounted to trusses approximately 30 feet above the floor. The International Olympic Committee had fewer delegates, but was also connected to a videoconferencing system and hosted meetings with the IOC counterpart in Switzerland. The Taiden solution provided language interpretation for the participants and observers within the IOC room.

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Ceavco AV chose the Taiden 5100 Language Interpretation solution to cover each and every meeting at the convention requiring multiple languages.

Lastly, the Press Room provided for a panel of eight at the front of the room with an additional 70 delegate stations for journalists and reporters to ask questions. Interpretation was provided to the participants as well as audio distribution amps for recording and broadcasting.

“The advantage of the Taiden solution,” explains Newkirk, “is that the system can be self contained as a fully functional stand alone solution, or can be integrated as needed into the house PA system, third-party recording systems, and videoconferencing systems.”

The Interpreter Unit provided many advantages for this event, including adjustable microphone gain for individual units, a true plug-and-play design that allowed engineers to make quick changes between sessions, and light weight headsets that let the interpreters hear the incoming audio clearly and comfortably.

Another benefit of the Taiden solution was that, even though the larger rooms had a PA system brought in to provide sound reinforcement of the floor language, the medium-sized rooms were able to use the built-in speaker on each of the Taiden delegate stations to provide ample sound reinforcement of not just the microphone signals, but any program audio added to the Taiden solution as well.

Security was another large factor for this event. With sensitive information being discussed and then broadcast wirelessly throughout each conference room, it was necessary to have a distribution system that would keep the signal safe from eavesdropping. Fortunately, the Taiden 5100 Infrared Language Distribution System has inherent characteristics that will keep the audio signal from leaving the room. Infrared is a line of sight technology and, as such, will not pass thru walls or opaque surfaces. This means that any conversation that might be taking place within a room will stay in that room and cannot be detected from outside the walls of that room.

In the end, through a collaborative effort of volunteers, event coordinators, AV providers and their on-site teams, this year’s annual Sportaccord international convention was a huge success.

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