AES New York: Alteros Emphasizes RF Solutions, GTX Series Wireless-Mic System

Alteros (Demo Room 2D05), an Audio-Technica company, is dedicated to the research, development, and sales of innovative technology products with a special focus on the evolving RF landscape and creating high-end wireless solutions for live audio production, broadcast studios, sports events, and theater applications in the ever shrinking frequency spectrum. Alteros products capitalize on Audio-Technica’s extensive research in ultra-wideband (UWB) and RF technology and innovative digital solutions to solve the most demanding technical problems.

Alteros President/CTO Jackie Green; EVP, Digital Engineering, Brian Fair; and EVP, Product Engineering, Bob Green are on hand to help illuminate the current and future state of the broadcast industry, solutions offered by Alteros, and its long-term goals.

Components of Alteros’s GTX Series Ultra-Wideband wireless-microphone system: the GTX3224 rack-mount control unit (center), which operates up to 24 simultaneous channels; GTX32 transceiver (top), and GTX24 body-pack transmitter

A highlight of the exhibit is the Alteros GTX Series UWB wireless-microphone system, a game-changing professional-broadcast solution delivering the highest-quality, low-latency, uncompanded audio. The fully digital 6.5-GHz system provides reliable, intermod-free performance, and license-free operation, supporting up to 24 simultaneous, high-quality, low-latency (< 3-ms), uncompanded 48-kHz/24-bit audio channels.

The product of seven years of dedicated research and development, during which it underwent real-world testing in conjunction with major broadcasters and wireless-audio professionals, the GTX Series system operates far beyond the UHF and VHF television bands; requires no frequency coordination, license, database registration, or STA; and does not cause interference or create intermodulation products. The system is ideal for studio-to-studio operation since it emits less intentional radiation than the typical PC and will not interfere with surrounding signals.

The GTX Series system launches with three key components: the GTX3224 control unit, GTX24 body-pack transmitter, and GTX32 transceiver. No additional filters, combiners. or distribution amplifiers are required.

The GTX3224 simultaneously supports up to 24 channels, an additional 24 channels of talkback audio, and eight group-assignment channels in just 3RU. The unit features MADI, Dante, and AES67 digital outputs that are all available simultaneously and allow seamless integration with IP-based infrastructures. A single-mode–fiber output supports long-distance runs. The 7-in. front-panel touchscreen provides access to system settings, monitoring tools, performance reports, and other controls. The unit can be configured for either multi-mode or single-mode, depending on customer need, and can be purchased with eight, 16, or 24 channels of audio, which can be easily field-upgraded via firmware as needed.

Up to 32 GTX32 transceivers can be deployed, connecting to the GTX3224 over standard shielded Cat 5 cable, which is operational to 1,000 ft. The GTX Series system’s powerful management software maximizes operational efficiency, enabling users to set up and confirm operation of 32 transceivers and 24 transmitters in only a few hours.

The GTX24 bodypack transmitter may be purchased on its own, without a microphone, or configured with one of two Audio-Technica subminiature omnidirectional condenser lavalier microphones: the AT899cL4 or AT899cL4SW, the latter equipped with an in-line talkback switch. The GTX24’s talkback function allows talent to easily speak to production staff, eliminating the need for a separate wired talkback box, or it can be used as a momentary “cough switch.”

Broadcast-friendly features of the GTX3224 control unit include two separate and fully redundant AC power supplies and the ability to synchronize directly to the house clock, with failover to an accurate internal clock. The front-panel GUI offers a real-time battery gauge that displays the remaining operational time for each transmitter and additionally allows user to set custom battery-level alerts. The unit may be remotely monitored and controlled from a PC or computer network and offers a timestamped event-logger tool that can track and record the performance of every GTX32 and GTX24 for up to one month.

Also showcased at the booth are recent Alteros corporate developments: the opening of a new dedicated R&D facility in Stow, Ohio; a new manufacturing partner in San Jose, CA; expansion of its engineering staff; and the recent shipment of the GTX Series UWB wireless-microphone system. Alteros has several RF solutions in the works, including a version for large stadiums, extreme sports, and campus-based events.

“It’s a new world now for wireless audio, and not just because of the RF reallocation,” said Jackie Green. “Alteros is designing RF products for how the industry is going to need to work in the future as well as today. Our foundation is still pro audio, but, as we move up into the 6 GHz-10 GHz ranges, we’re entering new territory, and we need new thinking to go with that.”

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