The primary benefit of the new Axient wireless system from Shure is its unique ability to detect and avoid interference, making the system a natural fit for live broadcast.
Recently, Televisa, the largest television producer in Mexico, selected Axient for use in its key Chapultepec production facility.
According to Juan Carlos Salazar, Technical Director for Studios at Televisa Chapultepec, Axient was chosen as the best system to address the interference problems inherent in an urban location like Mexico City. His engineering team is responsible for technical operations throughout the Chapultepec studio complex, including testing, maintenance, and selection of all audio and video equipment.
“We were having constant interference problems in our News Center, which is the studio dedicated to producing our most important live news shows,” he states. “It was very difficult to find enough reliable frequencies. Since adding six channels of Axient along with 20 channels of Shure UHF-R, our problems with interference have disappeared.”
Televisa dedicates its Axient systems to the most critical audio channels, typically the on-camera news anchors, with the UHF-R Series handling the other RF needs.
“We use Axient in its automatic mode and the frequency diversity feature has worked perfectly,” says Salazar. “When interference is detected, the system switches to a clear channel before it can be heard. The change is basically undetectable to the ear, which means that our Axient channels are fully protected from any RF problems. It’s a very impressive system.”
Televisa opted for the full Axient combo system, with three AXT400 dual-channel receivers. Six AX1 bodypacks and six AX2 handheld transmitters provide the flexibility to handle news, sports, or music presentations with ease.
In general, the news talent uses the bodypack transmitters with WL50 lavalier microphones, while Shure’s premium KSM9 or Beta 87 capsules are used for handheld applications. These systems are augmented by the AXT600 Spectrum Manager, AXT 610 ShowLink, AXT620 Ethernet switch, and AXT630 antenna distribution system. The system also comes with Shure’s Wireless Workbench 6 software.
Televisa also opted for Shure’s rechargeable battery system, which reduces the cost of ownership without any sacrifice in performance.
“When we put Axient into service last December, we were not sure the rechargeable system would be robust enough for our operations,” recalls Salazar. “But our experience has been very positive. The battery life is excellent, always enough to last through any show.
“What I like most about it is that we can put the transmitters into the charger regardless of their level of charge without shortening the life of the battery.”
With the success that Televisa has had with the combination of Axient and UHF-R Series systems, Juan Carlos Salazar is confident that the studio’s wireless problems are a thing of the past.
“The frequency spectrum in Mexico City is very crowded,” he notes. “When we started working with Axient, we scanned all frequencies every day to choose the best channels. But since we are in the same location every day, the system is very stable for us.”
The elimination of RF interference in the difficult conditions at Televisa Chapultepec has given Salazar great confidence in Shure wireless. “We have used our new systems in the News Center every day, with Axient wireless for the main anchors and UHF-R Series for the visitors, with excellent results,” he notes. “We plan to use it for all of our most important events, like Mexico’s presidential elections, which happens this July.”
Televisa Chapultepec has ten studios dedicated to news and sports, plus the Operations Center of ForoTV, transmitting 24 hours of news daily. Juan Carlos Salazar reports that, “We are planning to change all our wireless systems to a mix of Shure Axient and UHF-R Series as we replace our old systems over the next two to three years. They have been very successful for us.”