Yale Athletics partners with ESPN+ to broadcast 21 of the university’s varsity sports, producing up to 200 live events annually. The university recently started adding video boards into its productions, with nine varsity teams utilizing them across three venues, including a 2019 installation at the Yale Bowl—the school’s 107-year-old football stadium. Yale’s production personnel sought contemporary audio capabilities to support the new video boards and workflow and turned to Studio Technologies (opens in new tab), manufacturer of high-quality audio, video, and fiber-optic solutions.
According to Evan Ellis, video producer for Yale Athletics, the stadium had no infrastructure besides a landline telephone. The video production crew began by adding single-mode fiber cable to deliver camera feeds between the Yale Bowl and the control room, located across the street in the school’s soccer and lacrosse stadium. However, the production still lacked an effective intercom connection between production and on-field personnel. Ellis connected with Studio Technologies and based on the company’s recommendations, began building out a Dante audio workflow using Ethernet transported over its new fiber infrastructure.
“We have more functionality with just four strands of fiber than if we had implemented an analog setup,” said Ellis. “By using a Dante-based workflow and Studio Technologies products, we avoided the need for hundreds of feet of wire, and really streamlined our audio and comms workflow.”
This started with the Model 5422A Dante Intercom Audio Engine, a flexible solution for establishing intercom circuits with Dante-compatible products. Ellis highlighted the unit’s 64 input and output channels, which allows him to manage more complex productions than a more-standard 4-channel analog setup. “I can access our camera, production, and marketing channels, and send them wherever they need to keep everyone in communication,” Ellis added. “In terms of audio quality and ease of setup, it’s second to none.”
Ellis also uses the Model 348 Intercom Station in the control room, which allows him to monitor all live channels as well as direct channels with specific production personnel. He leverages a suite of resources for on-field talent, including the Model 205 Announcer’s Console for effective talent cueing and dual talkback, and the Model 371A, Model 373A, and Model 374A Intercom Beltpacks to provide direct access to live program audio.
“We're giving our staff something they’ve never had before: clear, instantaneous communication,” Ellis explained. “We have direct control of everything on the field and behind the scenes, and it’s made our lives so much easier.”