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One of the Dante-enabled SSL System T consoles at NFL Media headquarters in Inglewood, CA.

NFL Media Headquarters Connects With Expansive Dante Audio Network

Network backbone with nearly 18,000 connection points deployed in sprawling facility in Inglewood, CA that houses five main stages, production control rooms and workstations, and more.

The recently opened National Football League (NFL) Media headquarters in Inglewood, CA, an IP-based, 4K and HDR-capable production facility with more than 1,000 employees that houses five main stages supported by production control rooms and workstations, is equipped with an Audinate Dante audio network backbone with nearly 18,000 connection points.

According to Bruce Goldfeder, vice president, Broadcast Engineering at NFL Media, the facility has 31 direct fiber audio locations from the building to nearby SoFi Stadium, home of the NFL Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers, plus six direct fiber audio locations throughout the complex. The headquarters is also connected to all 30 NFL stadiums via 10-Gbps interface and all 32 NFL practice facilities. The post production operation consists of 18 high-end edit rooms, two audio-sweetening suites, and 90 VDI thin-client desktop editors that can be accessed from anywhere in the building, and remotely.

NFL Media is currently producing 1080p60 broadcasts with Dolby 5.1 audio, but the infrastructure is capable of 4K60 with Dolby Atmos 7.2.4 audio and can scale to any format in the future, including HDR or 8K. The expansive Dante network helps bring all of this together, along with 16,000 MADI connections and more than 2,000 Riedel intercom channels.

Dante, an Audio-over-IP platform designed to allow audio and control data to be transported over standard 1GB ethernet networks, is supported in more than 3,500 Dante-enabled products from more than 500 manufacturers. It can be employed to replace point-to-point analog and digital connections with software-based routing in sending audio channels anywhere on the network.

For audio production, the various studios are equipped with a mix of 11 System T Dante-enabled broadcast production audio consoles from Solid State Logic (SSL). “This is one of the largest, if not the largest, Dante installations in the world, and the NFL team picked SSL in part because we offer the most Dante-integrated broadcast production consoles available,” says Phil Wagner, senior vice president at SSL. “The Dante ecosystem is huge and it continues to grow because Dante is incredibly solid, flexible, and secure.”

The facility is also utilizing Dante Domain Manager to secure audio networks and allow for expansion of Dante systems over any network infrastructure. DDM is network management software designed to enable user authentication, role-based security and audit capabilities for Dante networks.

“The Dante network and tools like Dante Domain Manager make it easy for us to quickly and easily reconfigure our audio workflows to bring together the equipment and people needed for any production,” said Goldfeder. “We needed a solid infrastructure for the productions we’re creating today, and we need to know that the system we have in place can grow with us and accommodate our future needs. Dante offers that level of scalability and flexibility.”


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