Comms-gear provider supplied all 15 sites at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games
By Karen Hogan Ketchum, Senior Editor, SVG News
Friday, May 4, 2018 – 9:56 am
The P.A. People, an Australian provider of large-scale–event communications systems and equipment, has been providing intercom packages for the Olympic Games since the 2000 Sydney Games were played in its own backyard. At the 2018 Winter Olympics in February, The P.A. People were on the ground in PyeongChang, teaming up with OneUp Solutions to deliver a full suite of intercom gear — including Studio Technologies Model 211 announcer stations — to each of the Games’ 15 venues.
Working with Korea-based Clear-Com distributor OneUp, The P.A. People deployed a range of Clear-Com intercom systems to keep the personnel at the venues connected throughout the Games. The systems were enhanced with Studio Technologies’ Model 211 announcer’s console and Shure’s PSM900 personal-monitor system.
“We have been a long-time fan of the Studio Technologies products,” says Chris Dodds, managing director, The P.A. People. “We already had the Model 112 analog announcer’s consoles and the Model 216 Dante version in our inventory, so, when we won the Korean project, it was an easy decision to order more units to match the requirement.”
The tabletop Model 211 is designed to serve as the audio-control center for announcers, commentators, and production personnel, integrating all on-air, talkback, and cue audio-signal routing into a single system. According to Dodds, its flexibility was particularly appealing.
“One of the great features of the Model 211, and the series in general, is the ability to add custom connector options easily,” he explains. “Our intercom systems use an RJ45 connector to access its analog four-wire ports, and, with the Model 211, it is as simple as ordering an EtherCON connector board, opening the unit, inserting the board, and plugging in the ribbon cables, and we have a device that is customized to suit our existing systems.”
The P.A. People had a three-person team onsite in PyeongChang, providing hardware and engineering services to support venue intercom operations and the in-venue user experience. OneUp sent a team of six engineers and technicians, along with an additional 40 local operators. Although Studio Technologies did not have any personnel onsite, the company was available for any issues that might arise.
“Once we shipped the gear to The P.A. People, they were able to seamlessly integrate the Model 211 into their workflow without needing any additional support from our end,” says Studio Technologies President Gordon Kapes. “We strive to make products that are easy to implement and use. Once we hand off our products to our customers, we are confident that they are ready to go. If you do the planning with all parties involved, the event will go smoothly. It’s nice to be part of a strong team, because you do your part and you know the other people are going to do their part. That’s what happened here.”
Maintaining communications at a large-scale event like the Olympics is no easy feat. Studio Technologies designs its products with the customer’s need in mind, focusing on how its products will be used in the field, the reliability of its products, and the audio quality customers can expect.
That focus that resonated with The P.A. People.
“You need to be able to trust the kit you are using,” says Dodds. “There is enough to worry about in ensuring that the right bit of gear is at the right location at the right time, without having to think about whether it is going to work or not. We are very selective of the kit we choose to use, and Studio Technologies, along with Clear-Com and Shure, are products that have stood the test of time for us.”