Tieline Technologies

Tieline 4G Saves the Day for Cumulus during the Super Bowl

Mar 23, 2011


  --- Gary Kline and Brett Blankenship 4G
Brett Blankenship (left) and Gary Kline
with the Commander G3 and 4G LTE modem
at the Super Bowl 2011

Gary Kline, Vice President of Engineering and IT for Cumulus Broadcasting has been remote broadcasting over 3G wireless networks for several years. Recently at Super Bowl 2011, Gary and Brett Blankenship, Chief Engineer for Cumulus in Dallas and the team at KTCKAM (The Ticket) used a codec with ISDN for the main broadcast link and a Tieline Commander G3 wireless codec was configured for wireless 3G IP remotes.

Acting on an educated hunch, Gary said he had a feeling that the 3G wireless network might ‘max out’ during the Super Bowl coverage with all the people at the game strangling available bandwidth and choking the data available for broadcasting. As a result, the Cumulus team performed a test broadcast using a Verizon 4G LTE modem in conjunction with a CradlePoint router connected to a Tieline Commander G3 IP audio codec to see if it was a viable wireless backup option.

The test worked flawlessly, so the team configured their Commander G3 codec with both a 3G wireless module and the 4G LTE modem in case either network was required on short notice.

Before the game an extremely important press conference with Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, was taking place deep within the Sheraton down town. The room in which it was held was a large meeting room without any windows. The wi re l e s s - enabl e d Commander G3 was set up to cover the press conference, but just as Gary predicted, the 3G network was so congested that it was impossible to get a reliable connection.

With good planning the Cumulus team had the 4G LTE modem connected to the codec so they simply connected over 4G and used this throughout the press conference with great success.

Another situation occurred later during the main broadcast when unexpectedly the ISDN codec used for the main program link lost its connection. The team was concurrently running a Tieline Commander codec over IP as a standby link and they simply switched across until the ISDN path was reestablished.

The Cumulus team read the play well in relation to 3G and had sound redundancy plans in place using 4G LTE and wired IP. Gary’s foresight and Tieline’s 4G IP literally saved the day for this critical sports broadcast.

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