Tech Focus: Intercoms, Part 2 — What’s Currently on the Market

IP networking, wireless operation, system integration are common features

By pro-audio standards, intercoms make up a small market sector but a critical one. Here’s a look at the latest offerings from the market leaders.

For Tech Focus: Intercoms, Part 1 — Wireless, IP Are the Next Evolution, CLICK HERE.

Clear-Com LQ Series LQ-R interface

Clear-Com’s newly updated LQ Series devices are versatile connectivity interfaces for linking, extending, and expanding communications over secure LAN, WAN, and IP networks. LQ can link different industry-standard intercom and four-wire audio systems, irrespective of brand and platform. LQ also extends the capabilities and intercom channels of a single system to one or more remote locations by positioning an LQ device at the destination location and interfacing with such Clear-Com devices as wired beltpacks or any smart devices with Agent-IC mobile app. Any core production user on the main intercom system can instantly connect with contributors on Agent-IC for monitoring the intercom, receiving IFB feeds, or working remotely. Each LQ Series IP interface can support up to eight individual Agent-IC clients, meaning that up to eight users can call into the intercom system through 3G/4G or Wi-Fi internet links: up to 48 channels of LQ Series IP interfaces can be connected to a particular Clear-Com partyline intercom system at any given time. LQ interfaces can also link any two-wire partyline and/or four-wire digital solutions over IP networks. All setups and configurations are easily managed within the browser-based Core Configuration Manager (CCM). The interfaces also work with SIP telephony systems, allowing Clear-Com’s portfolio of intercom systems to seamlessly connect with VoIP phones. A maximum of six LQ Series interfaces can be linked to form a unified system.

Pliant Technologies CrewCom technology

Pliant Technologies
CrewCom, a new concept in intercom systems, is based on the company’s CrewNet proprietary network technology. It offers high user density, unparalleled range with up to multiple RF access points that connect via copper (100 m) or fiber (10 km), and 1,024 always available user-defined conferences. CrewCom features 7 kHz audio bandwidth, the industry’s smallest fully featured, full-duplex wireless radio packs, and multiple simultaneous frequency bands. CrewCom gives users the ability to connect directly, without the added expense of a matrix or the restrictions of PL systems. CrewCom is designed to handle any application from simple out-of-the-box solutions to large-scale designs for broadcast, EFP/ENG, and other applications. CrewCom is fast to set up and simple to use, and its advanced RF technologies provide interference-free communication wherever intercom is needed. With CrewCom, production crews can easily deploy communications solutions to connect more people in more places.

The Tempest wireless intercom system has three modes of operation available within each Tempest BaseStation: Normal, Shared, and Split. Simple to deploy, this feature allows five to hundreds of users, depending on configuration. Tempest is available in 2.4 GHz and 900 MHz frequencies and in a two- or four-channel configuration. Like CrewCom, Tempest is fast to set up and simple to use, and its proven RF technologies provide interference-free communication.

Riedel Artist digital audio-matrix platform

Artist, a digital audio-matrix platform, can be used for intercom applications and the distribution of analog and digital audio. The system comprises a fiber-based backbone that provides a decentralized infrastructure for live audio and intercoms with matrix sizes up to 1,024×1,024 ports. Multiple frames can be interconnected by a dual optical fiber ring to form a single large, full-summing, non-blocking distributed matrix that looks like one system to the user. With Riedel’s AES67 and Dante client cards installed into the Artist mainframe and then configured through the Director software, the platform can accommodate AVB, AES67, and Dante audio networks. The AES67 interface supports connectivity between the Artist and SmartPanels, as well as other third-party devices.

Riedel’s Bolero is a full-roaming, DECT-based wireless intercom system in the license-free 1.9 GHz frequency range. Fully integrated into the Artist digital-matrix intercom, it offers robust features that can be applied three ways: a wireless beltpack, a wireless keypanel, and, in an industry first, a two-way radio. Several new technologies power Bolero’s capabilities: an advanced DECT receiver (ADR) for multipath-tolerance improvement and near-field communication (NFC) for easy, Touch&Go beltpack registration.

Riedel’s SmartPanel keypanel is a powerful multifunction user interface offering three high-resolution, sunlight-readable, multitouch color displays; stereo audio; a multilingual character set; and 18 keys in 1RU. The SmartPanel can be expanded through the use of intercom, control, and monitoring apps. Three intercom apps are available, offering different levels of functionality to suit various user scenarios.

Riedel’s Performer digital partyline intercom system provides two- and four-channel master stations, rack-mount, wall-mount, and desktop speaker stations; call-light indicators; and two-channel beltpacks. Performer can be directly interfaced to Artist.

Telos Alliance
The Telos Infinity IP intercom delivers scalability, ease of integration, efficiency, and total cost of ownership. The comprehensive AoIP communications solution converges voice communication and contribution audio on a single IT backbone deploying the latest standards-based VoIP and Livewire+ AES67 AoIP transport. Telos Infinity IP intercom replaces matrix technology with an advanced, distributed IP network solution providing superior functionality in a simplified, elegant form. Being matrix-free allows plug-and-play networked hardware and software to be added to the system as part of a planned ad hoc change without concern about exceeding the number of available ports on a matrix. The intercom easily integrates with any AES67 partner devices as well as existing analog, AES, SDI, and MADI systems using Telos Alliance xNode baseband-to-IP interfaces. This flexibility allows customers to retain their existing audio devices and infrastructure while cost-efficiently migrating to an AoIP platform.

Based on the license-free DECT (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications) standard, ROAMEO is a professional-grade, future-proof wireless intercom solution with a protected frequency band. It provides high-quality audio via a seamlessly integrated digital wireless beltpack and associated access points. Operating like a wireless keypanel, ROAMEO can be fully integrated into an existing ADAM series. It allows users to address either individuals or specified groups. The system comprises the TR-1800 beltpack, the AP-1800 access point, and accessories including a charger, holster, and pole-mount kit. Connection to a digital matrix is easily established via a single Ethernet cable. In addition, the system can use standard IT infrastructure, and access points can be daisy-chained. ROAMEO’s cellular structure can cover a wide area with seamless roaming among individual cells. The coverage area can be expanded with the addition of access points, while additional wireless beltpacks can be directly addressed as part of a wired RTS matrix intercom system. Depending on the audio codec deployed, users can select between a higher emphasis on voice quality (G.722 full-bandwidth) or a more efficient use of the radio spectrum with a higher number of beltpacks (G.726 narrow-band). ROAMEO can be configured via scroll lists on the beltpacks or via the control software, which allows users to configure the complete intercom system. It offers a large color LED display and intuitive icon-based menu structure, and the four talk/listen buttons are different-shaped, providing users with a tactile feedback and facilitating operation of the device in low-light conditions.

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