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The Quality Control of the "Grandi Eventi" by Rai Way

The complexity of the radio frequency in the Giro d'Italia 2016

Rai Way, is the independent subsidiary of Italian public broadcaster Rai concerned with the request of the coordination of frequencies during events of particular importance, especially where a large number of wireless systems is involved: wireless systems, communications systems, radio cameras, in ear monitors, connecting links, etc.


Even during the last Giro d'Italia which ended on May 29 in Turin, Rai Way had to coordinate about 250 frequencies (!) used by Rai and all other Italian and foreign broadcasters attending the event. Involved were over 50 microphones, 14 radio cameras, 9 connecting radio links 55 communication systems, frequencies for the diffusion which were partly used for the moving images shot by 5 motorcycles, 4 for the audio comments, 2 shooting helicopters, 2 radio links helicopters and in case of bad weather also an airplane. Plus a shooting studio was setup at each arrival, also attended by the various reporters of local radio and tv stations for the interviews at the end of each stage.
Dino Larry Tedesco is Quality Control Manager "Grandi Eventi" Rai Way and describes the intervention.
"The coordination activity that involves the collaboration of colleagues of "Controllo Qualità" of Rai Way (the branch has affiliate offices in every Italian region) begins a few months earlier with the preparation of the frequency plan to be used during each stages of the Giro.
Closely with RCS (the company that organizes the Giro d'Italia) and the Ministry of Economic Development, Rai Way will collect all requests for use of radio frequencies, including Rai's and the compatibility between requests and availability of free frequencies are planned.
In some special cases we perform inspections equipped with on purpose vehicles, spectrum analyzers and receivers at each finishing line to perform the analysis on the frequency bands in situ.
This year, the Giro d'Italia had some stages also outside the country boundaries so it was necessary to double the temporary licenses requests also to the concerned foreign ministries.
The frequency plan takes shape by considering all subjects participating in the event with their frequencies, avoiding the use of non-free frequencies or those that potentially can create intermodulation phenomena.
A few days before the start of the first stage, Rai "host broadcaster" in charge of producing of the shoots for the international tv circuit and for national customization, begins the installation of wireless systems at the first arrival.
Here the working in the field of Rai Way starts providing advice on the positioning of the transmitting and receiving antennas; RF filters and combiners are distributed to optimize the arrival systems, measuring the emission powers, checking that shared frequencies are those actually pre-decided, delivering RCS the identifiers stickers to be distributed to all accredited journalists with radio microphones, and providing alternative frequency in case of severe interferences.
Another crucial aspect performed by Rai Way is to facilitate the relationship with the MISE (Ministry of Economic Development) by all foreign broadcasters for the demands of radio frequencies.
On the day of each stage, the Quality Control Rai Way staff - with an equipped vehicle and a telescopic extendable pole up to 10 meters - checks for the frequencies allocated to and analyzes the presence of interferences. In the event of faults the staff of Rai Way Quality Control intervenes by providing the alternative frequencies to restore the service quickly and immediately after identifying the cause and the source of interference.
Some wireless systems manufacturing companies are also involved to identify more preforming new solutions for audio on the move acquisition or for an assessment of how to use their systems in particular conditions in the case of use of critical RF systems outside the television studios and, in the case they proceeded to the reprogramming of the microphones via special interfaces in order to operate in the DVB-T free channels or in interchannel television MUXes.
The continuous updating of the frequency plan allows the use of all frequencies by broadcasters, without causing mutual interference or noise frequencies used for other telecommunications services.
Rai Way offers this service also to other subjects that have the need of coordination of frequencies, as happened recently during the Grand Prix of Moto GP at Mugello, to the Spanish company Dorna, which holds the television rights."

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