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

Versatility, seamless integration, ease of setup are important features

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

Click here for Tech Focus: Intercoms, Part 1 — IP Boosts Economics, Efficiency, Accessibility

Clear-Com LQ Series connectivity interfaces

Clear-Com
LQ Series devices are versatile connectivity interfaces for linking and extending communications over secure LANs and WANs or the internet. They can link different industry-standard 2-wire intercom and 4-wire audio systems, irrespective of brand and platform. LQ 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, SIP clients, or any smart devices with Agent-IC mobile apps. Any core production user on the main intercom system can instantly connect with adjacent contributors on Agent-IC for monitoring the intercom, receiving IFB feeds, or working remotely. Each LQ IP interface can support up to eight individual Agent-IC clients: up to eight users can call into the intercom system through 3G/4G or Wi-Fi internet links — to a total of 48 channels of LQ Series IP that can be connected to a particular intercom system. LQ interfaces can link the remote Agent-IC users to any 2-wire partyline and/or 4-wire digital solutions over IP networks. All setups and configurations for up to six LQ interfaces are easily managed within the browser-based Core Configuration Manager (CCM). The LQ interfaces also work with SIP telephony systems, allowing Clear-Com’s portfolio of intercom systems to seamlessly connect with VoIP phones. www.clearcom.com/

Pliant Technologies
CrewCom wireless intercom system features full-duplex wireless radio packs and extreme range, with multiple RF access points that connect via copper (100 meter) or fiber (10 km). CrewCom wireless products are available in 2.4 GHz and 900 MHz models (900 MHz versions are limited to where this band is legal). Any combination of these frequency bands may be used simultaneously on the same CrewCom system, providing the ability to put RF coverage where needed while deploying a consistent user interface throughout the system. CrewCom offers a significant price advantage for larger applications, given the actual cost of deploying many wireless users in a production. The system features hundreds of conferences that provide the flexibility of a matrix/partyline without the cost or limitations of those systems; it’s based on a decentralized platform that puts system resources where they are needed. MicroCom XR is Pliant’s newest digital wireless intercom system, which provides full-duplex, multi-user intercom for applications where high-quality audio, extended range, and affordability are essential. The system is a robust two-channel intercom system available in 2.4 GHz and 900 MHz and offers ease of use, extended range, and the ability to have up to 10 full-duplex users and unlimited listeners, providing flexibility for a range of applications. www.plianttechnologies.com/

Bolero Standalone wireless intercom

Riedel
Artist is a digital matrix audio and intercom ecosystem that handles a wide range of audio formats, including AES3, AES67, AVB, Dante, VoIP, and analog. The system consists of a fiber-based backbone providing a decentralized infrastructure for live audio and intercoms with matrix sizes up to 1,024 x 1,024 ports in just 2RU. Multiple frames can be interconnected via dual optical-fiber ring to form a single large, full-summing, non-blocking distributed matrix that looks like one system to the user. The Director configuration software is easy to use and boasts the industry’s fastest upload times.

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 or used as a standalone, Bolero offers robust features that can be applied as a wireless beltpack, a wireless keypanel, or a two-way radio. Several new technologies power Bolero’s capabilities, including Advanced DECT Receiver (ADR) for multipath tolerance improvement and near-field communication (NFC) for easy, Touch&Go beltback registration. Bolero also features six channels, Bluetooth connectivity, and nearly 18 hours of battery life.The 1200-series SmartPanel features multiple full-color multitouch displays, 32 innovative hybrid-lever keys, the ability to leverage apps for multifunctionality, easy adaptability to the various workflows in use today, and high-quality stereo speakers. Each of the RSP-1232HL’s 32 lever keys features an integrated rotary encoder that provides control over parameters in the same location as the key. Users are able to choose custom colors for either the key labels or the LED rings positioned around each key. In addition, the RSP-1232HL natively supports AES67 through two fiber SFPs and two RJ45 connections that offer a variety of daisy-chaining and redundancy options and delivers cabling flexibility. www.riedel.net/en/

The Telos Alliance
The Telos IP Intercom takes sports communications to new levels with on-the-fly configuration and graphic user interface that make it easy to set up — crucial for complex events that require even unseasoned engineers to configure systems under pressure. Because it has eliminated the need for matrix technology, it improves workflows and frees up space in production trucks, scaling easily as endpoints are added. New Infinity Link technology connects remote systems, bringing local and long-distance production centers together over IP LAN/WAN. This makes it far simpler to share equipment, studios/control rooms, and staff across locations, offering big savings and immense production flexibility over existing technology. Because it’s built on IP, Infinity is an agile, flexible, and scalable solution that allows broadcasters to future-proof while improving reliability and uptime. www.telosalliance.com

RTS ROAMEO cellular wireless intercom system

RTS
Using 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 consists of the TR-1800 beltpack, the AP-1800 access point, and accessories: 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 between individual cells. Users can expand the coverage area by adding further access points, and additional wireless beltpacks can be directly addressed as part of a wired RTS matrix intercom system. Depending on the audio codec used, 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 by using 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. The four talk/listen buttons are shaped differently, providing users with tactile feedback and enabling operation of the device in low-light conditions. www.rtsintercoms.com/