FRANKFURT, GERMANY, 26 MARCH 2009 â”€ Clear-Com® Communication Systems, a Vitec Group brand, is bringing to Prolight + Sound 2009 (Hall 8, Booth K54) FreeSpeak® Version 2.0, the next evolution of its FreeSpeak digital wireless beltpack system. The new version brings enhanced beltpack capacity, Interrupted Foldback (IFB) functionality and improved group operations between beltpacks, party-lines and other external inputs, ensuring successful staff communications during live performances.
Supporting Clear-Com's strategy of providing ubiquitous communication, FreeSpeak is a digital wireless intercom system based on a cellular architecture that offers license-free communication and can allow up to 20 beltpacks to roam seamlessly between remote active antennas.
“In today's live performance environments, production staff are expected to support multiple job functions, prompting an increased need for wireless audio connectivity,” says Stephen Sandford, Clear-Com® FreeSpeak Product Manager. “In Version 2.0, we have doubled the number of beltpacks that a base station can support, giving more users the freedom to communicate while on the move and improving the overall production crew's flexibility and efficiency.”
Among the new features available in FreeSpeak Version 2.0 are three configurable IFBs, allowing the user to assign IFB keys to any number of beltpacks. The beltpacks can then be programmed to act as IFB talent receivers or as the originator of the interrupts.
“This integrated IFB capability gives the user the ability to listen to audio feeds while allowing other users to interrupt that audio feed at any point,” Sandford says. “This provides true standalone IFB system functionality with program source feeds and beltpack interrupts that are mixed and routed to beltpacks, which act as wireless IFB receivers. The user also has the option of working in conjunction with other IFB systems where the program feed is routed through the base station and the interrupts are generated from the FreeSpeak beltpack keys.”
Other new components include the Wireless Party-line groups. This feature allows for the seamless mixing of Party-line users, external inputs and beltpack users in the same group
The FreeSpeak 2.0 system is centred on a highly programmable 1RU base station from which an operator can manage and oversee all communications for up to 20 digital wireless beltpacks. The system can be controlled from both the bright front-panel display on the base station or remotely via an Ethernet-connected PC that runs the configuration software.
The beltpacks are linked wirelessly to the base station by the remote active antenna that enables users to roam freely throughout a facility while maintaining consistent communication without loss of signal. All transmission takes place in the license-free 1.8 - 1.9 GHz frequency band, which helps eliminate interference with other wireless products such as PCs, talent microphones, IFB and in-ear monitors.
Another key benefit of the system is that each wireless beltpack and wired intercom connection on the rear of the base station has its own full-duplex port. The voice communication from each port is sampled, mixed and re-routed throughout the system as desired. As each wireless beltpack has its own timeslot, it can be individually addressed by the base station, allowing multiple combinations of beltpack-to-beltpack and small-group conversations to be held simultaneously.
Note: FreeSpeak® and CellCom® are different brands representing the same digital wireless intercom system (with minor technical differences). Due to trademark limitations, CellCom and CellCom Integra (formerly CellCom50) are only available in the U.S. and Canada; and FreeSpeak and FreeSpeak Integra (formerly FreeSpeak50) are available in all countries other than the U.S. and Canada.
Clear-Com®, a brand of The Vitec Group plc, is the global leader of professional communication solutions for broadcast, live performance, military, government and commercial markets. For more than 40 years, Clear-Com's signature products such as Encore Party-line, Eclipse Digital Matrix, CellCom®/FreeSpeak® Wireless and IP Communications systems have revolutionised broadcast stations, production trucks, houses of worship and performance venues. Recognising Clear-Com for its history of intercom innovation, production teams around the world achieve ubiquitous communication with products to promote easy interoperability and global connectivity. More information can be found at www.clearcom.com.
ABOUT THE VITEC GROUP
The Vitec Group plc is acknowledged as a global leader in the supply of equipment and services to the broadcasting, entertainment and photographic industries and has established a reputation for technical excellence and superior engineering along with an astute business strategy which has seen it grow by acquisition. Innovation is a cornerstone of the Group's activities and the organisation is committed to a policy of continuous product development. With revenues (2007) of $546m (£274m) and over 2200 employees world-wide, its products are distributed in almost 100 countries, through a strong, fully-resourced distribution network or direct to the end user or corporate customer. More information can be found at www.vitecgroup.com.