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Shop! - The Receiver Channel

Shop! - The Receiver Channel

The Icom IC-R2 communications receiver is having a real commercial impact on a new television channel called Shop! –The Value Channel. Already popular with Amateur and avionics customers, the pocket receiver has been purchased by the channel's studio for Presenter Talkback. This will allow any presenter using the receiver to efficiently listen and receive instructions from the gallery if needed.

Shop! – The Value Shopping Channel is a major joint venture between two of Britain's most famous companies; Littlewoods and Granada. Launched in November 1998 the channel produces over 50 hours of original and mainly live programming every week from its dedicated studios at Liverpool’s Albert Dock. The large scheduled output means that any equipment sourced by the studio has to stand up to rigorous pounding and constant use, often up to 10 hours a day.

It was Eric Calvert, Deputy Studio Manager who originally sourced a solution to help the presenters to listen to instructions from the gallery. Previous radio systems had been cumbersome and the reliability of the present system was deteriorating. Eric undertook an extensive search on the Internet for a custom designed solution but it soon became clear that a bespoke solution would be far too expensive. Eric finally reached the decision to purchase a quantity of IC-R2's, which are now part of the presenter's communications belt pack. Connected to an earpiece, the IC-R2 allows controllers and producers of the channel to give clear direction, through UHF channels, to its presenters.

The IC-R2 has already proved a big hit with the presenters at the station. Eric said,' We originally had the IC-R2 on loan to see if it would meet our requirements. However when we gave it to one of our presenters, they thought it was so novel and unobtrusive that he wouldn’t give it back.'

Eric said, 'the IC-R2 was purchased for a number of reasons. Firstly, the size of the IC-R2 means that it fits neatly into the presenters belt pack. This was felt a vast improvement on previous receivers used as they were felt to be too bulky and difficult to handle. Secondly, the IC-R2 is built to a commercial construction. This was a major requirement in the procurement of the radios because it had to stand up to the wear and tear it would get during television presentations. Lastly the IC-R2 was chosen because it is very easy to use and features an uncomplicated display. A limited amount of controls and a useful channel lock function was an important criterion, which has stopped channels being changed accidentally.'

Eric Calvert further added 'the IC-R2 has an exceptionally useful power save function which prolongs the life of the battery, and a bleep alert that tells us when the battery power is running low. The bleep alert is very useful because this allows us to change the batteries during the break interval.’

Eric said that radio communications are widely used in the television industry. ' We do have other radio communication equipment available, used by our researchers. They use a set of transceivers attached to a headset, which allow them to contact the gallery.' He further added,' In the last 15 years I have seen radios get rough treatment with broken knobs, microphones and antennae. With the IC-R2 and its modified stubby antenna I am sure that we won’t get any of those problems.’ Shop! – The Value Shopping Channel broadcasts 24 hrs per day via the Manchester Transmission Centre to over 5 million cable, digital satellite and digital terrestrial customers throughout the country and is the only shopping channel that is available on all of these platforms. The broadcast service is supported by a fully transactional web site ( which provides information on the channel’s broad range of products together with a comprehensive programme guide, competitions etc.

Ian Lockyer, Marketing Executive at Icom (UK) Ltd said, ‘ the IC-R2 is one of our most versatile products in our wide product range and its size and dependability make it ideal for the television studio.’

Icom UK Marketing -


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