NAB 2019: Riedel Expands Artist Intercom, Collaborates on Full-IP Broadcast Facility, Supports VoIP-Based Comms for Chinese Esports
Riedel Communications (Booth C6537) is showcasing several developments in intercom and other communications. It has expanded the Artist intercom unveiled with the Artist-1024 node, which provides features and advanced capabilities that clients have asked for and offers higher port densities and full SMPTE 2110-30/31 (AES67) compliance. Also, Riedel is collaborating with tpc, an SRG subsidiary and Swiss broadcast-technology leader, in development of Project Metechno, Switzerland’s first full-IP broadcast facility. And the company is providing support to TechSound, a Shanghai-based company specializing in audio for international esports teams.
Artist Intercom Ecosystem
The Artist-1024 node boasts 1,024 non-blocking ports in just 2RU, significantly reducing rack-space requirements. This latest addition to the Artist ecosystem introduces technical innovations centered on software-definable Universal Interface Cards (UIC), a new type of interface card that combines networking, mixing, and management and can be configured as an AES67 or MADI subscriber card or as an Artist fiber/router/processor card. Changing the connectivity type is as easy as reconfiguring the UIC with the click of a button in the Director configuration software.
The frame provides 10 bays for UICs, with two being reserved solely for routing and networking UICs. The remaining eight bays can be equipped with UICs of various configurations to provide subscriber connectivity. The integral mixer on each subscriber card can be scaled from eight to 128 ports per card and can access all 1,024 ports of the Artist backbone. In addition, four expansion slots are available for various GPIO or synchronization applications.
Artist-1024 also introduces a customer-friendly, flexible licensing scheme with frame-level licensing instead of connectivity-type licensing. Each node starts with a Virtual Artist Matrix (VAM) license, which includes a defined number of ports (16-1,024) that can be freely distributed across the node’s subscriber cards. Besides these node-locked licenses, there are also flexible licenses that allow for a fast reconfiguration of the system by simply moving capacities between nodes.
Riedel’s newest Artist node has been designed with redundancy at its core. By supporting multiple redundancy schemes, including N+1, NIC, and SMPTE 2022-7, it can provide an unprecedented degree of robustness and reliability. All control logic and data links within the frame are redundant, and additional security is provided by two load-sharing PSUs and a fan module with redundant fan units. The sum of these measures equals the most comprehensive comms safety net available on the market.
“System compatibility and the sustainability of client investments are of the utmost importance to us,” said Thomas Riedel, President/CEO, Riedel Communications. “The Artist-1024 node will suit new clients looking to have a comprehensive and future-ready system today as well as those clients who have supported us for years and are now ready to take the step to IP infrastructures.”
Further information about Riedel and the company’s products is available at www.riedel.net.
Full-IP Broadcast Facility
Riedel and tpc are collaborating on development of Project Metechno. Located in the Leutschenbach district of Zurich — the new campus for the Swiss public broadcasters SRG, SRF, and tpc — is set to open in the autumn. The IP-technology beacon project will include several studios, postproduction facilities, a new MCR, and a centralized playout center — all based on a full-IP infrastructure that unites intercom, audio, and video.
As the production and technology partner of SRG, tpc took on the task of designing the technical framework for the new sports, news, and technology center. One of the cornerstones of their concept was to maximize multifunctionality and flexibility, thus the technical infrastructure of the facility will continuously evolve and grow with industry developments and production demands. In order to keep their communications up to date with the latest technical innovations, tpc has entered a strategic, long-term partnership with Riedel.
“With this new intercom contract, we have taken our long-standing partnership with the Swiss public broadcasting association to the next level. SRG and Riedel are united in their commitment to push the borders of innovation and have one shared vision: to help shape the IP broadcast world of tomorrow,” said Riedel. “With this exciting project, we want to realize this vision together.”
In an intense collaborative effort, engineers and system consultants from tpc and Riedel began to conceptualize the intercom system of the future as early as 2017. They devised a fully AES 67-compliant communications infrastructure based on Riedel’s Artist decentralized intercom network that will seamlessly integrate with the IP workflows in use throughout the facility. The scalable infrastructure will easily adapt to future developments in IP broadcasting and will be one of the first installations worldwide to incorporate Riedel’s new, full-IP Artist-1024 node.
“With its wide range of connectivity options and extensive IP capabilities, the Artist ecosystem is the perfect communications backbone for our facility. Riedel’s intercom network will provide us with a reliable, futureproof foundation for our networked live productions,” said Andreas Lattmann, CTO, tpc.
The Riedel installation in Zurich represents the first milestone in a comprehensive modernization of SRG’s intercom network across all of the Swiss broadcaster’s studios in Bern, Geneva, Chur, and Lugano.
“Through this partnership with SRG, the largest player in the Swiss market is now a Riedel intercom customer. This framework contract is the result of long and intensive cooperation based on both mutual trust and nearly a decade of experience working with our MediorNet products,” said Roger Hess, GM, Riedel Communications Switzerland. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to support SRG and tpc with sustainable solutions and the know-how needed to transform their vision into reality, and to accompany them on their exciting journey towards full-IP broadcast infrastructures.”
VoIP-Based Communications for Esports
Riedel has announced its support of TechSound, a Shanghai-based company specializing in audio for international esports teams. TechSound designs and operates advanced player communications systems for China esports clients based on Riedel’s Artist digital matrix intercom system, Performer partyline system, and MAX headsets. Enabling a cost-saving voice-over-IP (VoIP) remote-production workflow for esports events across China, the Riedel gear ensures clear communications not only between players but also between the remote-production staff and onsite referees.
Founded in 2017, TechSound is a rapidly growing consultancy and systems engineering company serving the expanding Chinese esports and live-event markets. It has relied on Riedel solutions from the beginning to provide bespoke communications solutions for music, corporate, exhibition, and traditional sports events.
“TechSound is one of the few companies in China using VoIP systems for remote production of esports competitions. As such, it’s the perfect partner for us to expand our presence in the dynamic Asian esports arena. TechSound and its clients can testify to the value of our Artist-based system for delivering the seamless communications critical to running a smooth international event,” said Gao Jian, GM, Riedel China. “The evolving technical requirements of esports have become a key driver of China’s comms industry, and we’re pleased to be supporting TechSound in addressing these requirements and achieving an agile and efficient production workflow for esports competitions across multiple geographic sites.”
The Riedel Artist system integrates with audio routers and consoles in any type of remote broadcast production workflow, and its modular architecture provides a wide range of connectivity options. Participants and the production team can reliably use communications systems from various manufacturers without the need for human interfacing.
For a recent international esports event held in northern China, the Riedel solution enabled TechSound team members to seamlessly integrate intercom, wireless, and walkie-talkie systems from different rental vendors and manufacturers into one communications system. TechSound also manages semipermanently installed season systems, connecting stage referees and players across six Chinese cities back to a centralized production studio.
“With the Riedel solution, our producers can sit in Shanghai and call shows in other cities,” said Patrick McGowan, director, TechSound. “Direct communication with on-stage referees at different venues allows for a remote workflow that saves on hotel and flight costs. Because the solution integrates so well with other production tools, we can easily and cost-effectively add further studios or sites to the production.”