TV outside broadcast crews,analogue or digital radios?

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TV outside broadcast crews,analogue or digital radios?

Postby Nighthawk999 » Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:46 am

This Saturday lunchtime,I will be taking photos of the Leicester City fans memorial march.I've been given access to the rooftop terrace of a hotel that overlooks the start of the march,and have been informed by hotel management that BBC and Sky TV crews will also be on the terrace.

Does anyone know if their radios are likely to be analogue or digital please?I'm guessing they'll be getting instructions via a talkback system(?)If they are analogue,I can take my 125XLT to listen in,but I've no idea re the frequencies likely to be used.

Sorry for the short notice,I only found out about the crews being there a few hours ago.
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Re: TV outside broadcast crews,analogue or digital radios?

Postby thelad » Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:38 am

Never heard any using Digital.
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Re: TV outside broadcast crews,analogue or digital radios?

Postby Minus1 » Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:06 am

I've only come across FM transmissions.
Many frequencies re possible, some previous examples below.
Use 6.25 kHz offsets, but 12.5 kHz channels, so it will save searching time if you have dedicated systems that are set up with all those frequencies.
Major TV companies tend to re-use the same freqs.

Wider bandwidth FM OB links may use 25k or 50k bandwidth on 12.5 kHz multiples.

For Sky try:
455.00625 NFM Talkback. Sky.
455.01875 NFM Sky Sports
455.09375 NFM Sky Sports
455.21875 NFM Sky Sports
455.41875 NFM Sky TV
455.43125 NFM Sky TV
457.25625 NFM Sky TV
457.26875 NFM Sky TV.
457.30625 NFM Sky TV.
457.33125 NFM Sky TV
457.39375 NFM ~79.7 Sky TV
457.43125 NFM Sky TV
457.45625 NFM Sky, Villa Park
461.2375 NFM Sky Sports Talkback
462.90625 NFM Sky
467.98125 NFM Sky Link
468.04375 NFM Sky Sports
468.31875 NFM Sky TV
468.39375 NFM Sky Sports
468.49375 NFM Sky Sports

For BBC try:
446.43125 NFM BBC News:2
446.48125 NFM BBC News:3
446.50625 NFM BBC News:7
446.56875 NFM 446.575 BBC News:8
446.9375 FM BBCLR BBC Radio Leicester OB
447.33125 NFM BBC Radio 5
455.03125 NFM :1 BBC News:1
455.19375 NFM Talkback. BBC Alexander Stadium
455.23125 NFM BBC News
455.24375 NFM :4 BBC News:4
455.26875 NFM :5 BBC News:5 / Channel 5 GreatBrumRun 2011 data
455.40625 NFM :6 BBC News:6
468.01875 NFM Talkback. BBC Alexander Stadium
468.05625 NFM BBC
468.05625 NFM :1 BBC News:1
468.16875 NFM :4 BBC News:4 / BBC News Helicopter ~103.5
468.18125 NFM :5 BBC News:5
468.20625 NFM :6 BBC News:6
468.50625 NFM BBC?

There's much more stuff here, but you have to wade thru multiple pages to find it all: ... ences/pmse
I reserve the right to ignore people who have made no attempt to the read the manual, and expect others to do it for them.
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Re: TV outside broadcast crews,analogue or digital radios?

Postby G4RMT » Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:06 am

It's important to remember that OB talkback is not quite the same as using radios. When there are big systems - football and events using lots off cameras, commentators etc then their comms is compartmented and not always two way. Some will be constant carrier - always there. Others will be sporadic. They actually employe comms engineers who work out who needs to talk to whom, and who they need to hear. They'll have duplex comms too - so they will be hearing one important source non-stop, but they are able to talk back to other destinations. There are usually also links to the distribution points, so it often appears chaotic. The units I use quite often have ten ins and ten outs. I can listen to any of the inputs, but I can select my microphone to go to different sources.

A cameramen, for example, could have two comms channels that in his case come down the fibre optic cable (or via a radio link) He listens to the Director normally, but can also speak to engineering, who can speak to him independently from the audio he gets from the scanner (the old but often still used name for the OB vehicle). OB cameras on a multi-cam event have their exposure and other setting controlled by somebody in the OB vehicle - the racks people. So sometimes you might find yourself listening to things that seem to make little sense. On other Jobs, the director's output goes out by radio and anyone with a radio on their belt hears this, and they can then talk back by pressing the button - semi-duplex. That person, maybe the floor manager or the PAs, comments can go back out to everyone, or only be heard in the production area in the vehicle. The folk working the cranes and jibs might be cross wired to other destinations - maybe their long jib gets in the way of another shot, so when they start a move, they can warn somebody else they're moving. When the systems get very complex, the routing is stored and can be changed during the event. if it goes wrong, people don't get the right cues and everything falls apart. This is why there are so many frequencies that may well be totally empty. A friend of mine does the Winter Olympics where the cameras and the control can be miles and miles apart, and helicopters and mountain top repeaters get put into action. It's two weeks of chaos - he sits in a small area, surrounded by equipment, clocks and computers and his job is to make sure the comms for the next section are up and working before they're needed. He knows nothing about radios, his job is to assume wires, networks and wireless are all exactly the same. A few people have tried digital, but found interference to be quite easy to get. The nasty pulsing of the radios can get into the audio systems when the FM ones are largely much nicer.
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Re: TV outside broadcast crews,analogue or digital radios?

Postby Nighthawk999 » Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:46 pm

Thanks chaps,absolutely brilliant!I'll put all of those into the scanner tonight with BBC in one memory bank and Sky in another.

Apologies in advance if I can't log exactly which freqs are used at the event,the scanner will be discreetly in an inside pocket,given that I'll be very close to the tv crews.
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Re: TV outside broadcast crews,analogue or digital radios?

Postby Nighthawk999 » Sat Nov 10, 2018 5:03 pm

Regretfully I wasn't able to use the 125 at the event today,although I had it with me.

I was in a very cramped space with a large group of mouthy football supporters on the hotel balcony,so rather than being distracted by any radio tx in my ear,and having my camera gear(two bodies and lenses) with me,my concern was for that,and taking pictures.

However,I had the scanner on whilst walking to the event,and the freqs for BBC channels 5 and 6 from the given list were active.Best I could do given the circumstances I'm afraid.All of the freqs will stay programmed in though.
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Re: TV outside broadcast crews,analogue or digital radios?

Postby G4RMT » Tue Nov 13, 2018 9:52 am

I'm sure you've heard this before - but it's a really well known recording of TV talkback - if you haven't experienced this one, it's well worth a listen.

For what it's worth, nobody who ever worked with Stuart ever got worried about this because he was always willing to stand the drinks afterwards.
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Re: TV outside broadcast crews,analogue or digital radios?

Postby m0lsx » Tue Nov 13, 2018 2:16 pm

I have a couple of copies of some old Independent Local Radio blooper tapes. These were privately circulated. That is, they were not for the ears of the public. They include out takes from things like jingles, pre recorded items & live shows etc.
There are some real gems on them.
And I would love a recording of the audio output of the commentary fed to the audience of the Snooker on Sunday. For those who do not know, spectators at the Snooker can buy earpieces that receive the TV commentary. Plus it seems a little bit more. As apparently what the TV audience did not hear, was a short burst of the British Touring Car commentary from several weeks ago. :biggrin: :biggrin:
Buy a database from Kimmy JS19 via
Or do Google search of this forum via
73 De Alan (M0LSX.)"
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Re: TV outside broadcast crews,analogue or digital radios?

Postby essexRXer » Sat Nov 17, 2018 1:39 pm

When $ky and the bbc were down in Jaywick covering the flood evacuation, I monitored O/B on the frequencies already mentioned in the previous posts, so can confirm they are right. I could only hear the team at the centre and not the reporter though.

One $ky reporter was asked by talkback to bring back a bingo prize for a raffle and made some less than complimentary comment about the place (i won't say on here but you can guess). The reporter and his crew were quite surprised as when I drove past spoke to the reporter reminded him about the raffle prize before he went on air, he went white as he knew I must of know what else was said.
The one sided traffic after that included a warning that people can listen in to the frequency.

That day I reluctantly broke the code of monitoring, I was genuinely upset at what I heard.
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Re: TV outside broadcast crews,analogue or digital radios?

Postby G4RMT » Sun Nov 18, 2018 10:06 am

If you wig in, then you cannot react to what you hear. In my world, we have a person who as part of their job needs to listen in to radio microphones. The people with the microphones have no facility to turn them off, the switches are disabled - they trust the professionalism of the people they work with. This means that this one person is privy to things they'd rather not be, and on occasions, I have done the job myself, and heard people talking about me. Quite nasty, or hurtful - but you have to act as if you don't know - because next time they see you, they smile and chat as normal. This is how it works. That job needs people who can ignore it. Like you discovered, telling people, or making them aware spoils it on a number of counts. The other thing of course is that they are strangers to the area, and are saying what they think. If they think the area is run down, full of chavs, inhabited by dodgy people etc etc then they could well be right? Their viewpoint is based on what they see. Often the locals don't see their area like strangers do. Why were you upset? Were they making it up, or commenting accurately? I had a director say into my earpiece once on a TV show "Paul, get rid of the F***ing ugly old woman on the front row". She was indeed a rather unattractive lady, and for TV, not really the sort of thing you want in every shot. Very sad, but very accurate. It's frowned on and denied nowadays, but pretty people of both sexes are much better at the front. You don't see spotty people in expensive beauty product adverts, and many apply at the auditions.
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