Tech Focus: Intercoms, Part 2 — Growth in REMI Production Spurs Product Growth

Flexibility, multifunctionality mark offerings in a highly competitive market

By pro-audio standards, intercoms make up a small but essential market sector — and, in the age of supercharged REMI production, an increasingly competitive one. Here’s a look at the latest offerings from the market leaders.

Click here for Tech Focus: Intercoms, Part 1 — Dynamic Technology Adjusts to Whatever Comes Next.


The Eclipse HX digital matrix, LQ Series of IP interfaces, Agent-IC mobile app, and Station-IC virtual desktop client have been critical in enabling seamless communications for remote production during the transition to remote and hybrid production workflows. Additionally, Clear-Com’s Dynam-EC software for Eclipse systems has allowed users to switch between different role assignments and configurations, saving time and avoiding mistakes.

Clear-Com LQ IP interfaces

Agent-IC and Station-IC enable virtual intercom clients on mobile devices or desktops and have been used extensively to provide easy-to-implement communication between facility-based staff and onsite production teams for field reporting, live event production, remote coordination, and other critical tasks. Remote production personnel who have downloaded the app onto desktop, smartphone, or tablet can connect to a host Eclipse HX digital matrix or LQ IP interface over 3G, 4G, LTE, and Wi-Fi networks. App and desktop users have a fully functional virtual intercom panel that can monitor the intercom system and receive IFB feeds. LQ can extend the capabilities and intercom channels of an Eclipse HX system to one or more remote locations if an LQ device is positioned at the destination location and interfaced with Clear-Com wired beltpacks, SIP clients, or any Agent-IC mobile-app user or Station-IC desktop user.

A single local or remote LQ device can host 16 Agent-IC and/or Station-IC users, and a link group can host a total of 48 Agent-IC and/or Station-IC users, with LQ acting as the server. With a host Eclipse HX matrix, many more Agent-IC users can access the production intercom remotely; the number of users able to access the main intercom can vary, depending on the quantity of IP ports on the E-IPA cards. LQ devices can link different industry-standard 2-wire intercom and 4-wire audio systems, irrespective of brand and platform. They also work with SIP telephony systems, allowing Clear-Com’s portfolio of intercom systems to seamlessly connect with VoIP phones.

Pliant Technologies

The CrewCom wireless intercom system features full-duplex wireless radio packs, excellent range, and multiple RF access points that connect via copper (100 m) or fiber (10 km). CrewCom wireless products are available in 2.4 GHz and 900 MHz models (where this band is legal), and any combination of the frequency bands may be used on the same CrewCom system.

Pliant Technologies CrewCom CB2 wireless intercom system

CrewCom CB2 is also available in 2.4 GHz and 900 MHz, offering the same CrewCom wireless technology while also providing ease of use and high-level performance at an affordable price point for a full-featured intercom system.

Both CrewCom and CB2 offer a new High Density mode, a selectable mode of operation that greatly increases user densities. For CrewCom, the new software-selectable mode supports 32 Radio Packs (RPs) on a single Radio Transceiver (RT) while dynamically allowing any four of the RPs to communicate in full-duplex across four conferences. This allows the system to scale up to hundreds of users.

For CB2, the High Density mode supports up to 16 RPs on a single BaseStation. In addition, users of both systems will have the flexibility to simultaneously deploy Normal-mode–enabled RPs and RTs (synced BaseStations for CB2) along with High Density-mode–enabled devices, providing adaptability for most any application. Pliant also recently introduced the CCU-08 CrewCom Control Unit, which enables use of up to eight 4-wire ports while retaining all the features of the current CCU-22 and CCU-44 products. The new CCU-08 supports up to 82 RPs, 18 in Normal mode and 64 in High Density mode, per Control Unit regardless of RF bands.

Pliant’s MicroCom XR digital wireless intercom system provides portable, full-duplex, multi-user intercom. The robust two-channel intercom system is available in 2.4 GHz and 900 MHz and allows up to 10 full-duplex users and unlimited listeners, providing flexibility for a range of applications. The range of accessories for the MicroCom line include 4-wire interface and antenna and headset options.


Artist digital matrix audio and intercom ecosystem handles AES3, AES67 (including SMPTE ST 2110-30/31), Dante, VoIP, and analog audio formats. A fiber-based backbone provides a decentralized infrastructure for live audio and intercoms with matrix sizes up to 1024×1024 ports in just 2RU. Multiple frames can be interconnected via dual optical fiber rings 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.

Riedel Bolero beltpack

Bolero is a full-roaming, DECT-based wireless intercom system in the license-free 1.9 GHz range and also within the 2.4 GHz range and in hybrid deployments. It can be fully integrated into the Artist digital matrix intercom or used as a standalone, and its features can be applied as a wireless beltpack, a wireless keypanel, or a two-way radio. Several new technologies power Bolero’s capabilities, including an advanced DECT receiver (ADR) for multipath-tolerance improvement and near-field communication (NFC) for easy, Touch&Go beltpack registration and RF frequency monitoring. Bolero also features six channels, Bluetooth connectivity, and nearly 18 hours of battery life. Three network modes are available for Bolero systems, each dedicated to specific applications:

  • Bolero Integrated leverages the Artist infrastructure, including SmartPanels and extensive I/O connectivity.
  • Bolero Standalone Link provides plug-and-play simplicity especially suited to smaller installations, portable deployments, or cases when Bolero needs to be interfaced to other systems without the need for an Artist matrix.
  • Bolero Standalone ST 2110 (AES67) enables users to set up a standards-based (SMPTE ST 2110/AES67) IP network with no Artist required.

Riedel also offers PunQtum IP–based digital partyline, which allows very easy network-based partyline intercom deployment. Also available, TAC ultra-lightweight in-ear headset is intended for demanding environments requiring maximum intelligibility and a secure fit; the noise-canceling microphone offers a secure clip-on lavalier-style mic and an XLR connector.

The 1200 Series SmartPanels feature multiple full-color multitouch displays, innovative hybrid-lever keys, the ability to leverage apps for multifunctionality, and easy adaptability to the various workflows in use today. Uniting advanced intercom, control, automation, and audio-monitoring functionalities — such as the new Audio Monitoring App (AMA) — in a single keypanel, 1200 Series SmartPanels deliver a unique combination of capabilities while saving valuable rack or desk space. Besides the 2RU RSP-1232HL with 32 lever keys and stereo speakers, a 1RU version is available: the RSP-1216HL comes with the same feature set as its big brother but with 16 lever keys and one full-range speaker. All 1200 Series SmartPanels natively support AES67, including SMPTE ST 2110-30/31, and can be connected to the host network via fiber SFP or copper RJ45 connections. Two Fiber SFP cages and two copper RJ45 connections offer a variety of daisy-chaining and redundancy options, including SMPTE ST 2022-7, allowing cabling flexibility.


RTS DBP wired beltpack

The new DBP four-channel/four-button wired beltpack runs on PoE (802.3af and 802.3at) and connects via OMNEO IP technology (Dante, AES70, and others). Its hybrid design supports both digital partyline and matrix keypanel modes: for use as a digital partyline device, DBP connects to an OMS; for use as a portable keypanel, including functionality like point-to-point communication, it can be connected to any RTS digital/IP matrix product using OMNEO, including OMI cards in ADAM/ADAM-M frames or OMNEO ports on ODIN frames. DBP automatically selects the correct mode of operation (digital partyline/OMS or keypanel/matrix) when connected and switched on.

ROAMEO uses the license-free DECT 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 comprises the TR-1800 beltpack, the AP-1800 access point, and accessories (charger, holster, pole-mount kit). Connection to a digital matrix is established via a single Ethernet cable. 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 deployed, users can select between higher emphasis on voice quality (G.722 full bandwidth) or 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 shaped differently to provide tactile feedback and enable operation in low-light conditions.


Telos Infinity Virtual Intercom Platform

Telos Infinity Virtual Intercom Platform (VIP), the next evolution of the Telos Infinity IP intercom, realizes the vision of a cloud-based professional intercom system and meets the need for comms in remote production. It’s also now available as an app for free download at App Store and Google Play. With fully featured broadcast Intercom in the Cloud, VIP delivers sophisticated comms virtually, making cloud-based media-production workflows available on any smartphone, laptop, desktop, tablet.

Third-party control devices, such as Elgato Stream Deck, can be used to control VIP, enabling users to harness Telos Infinity IP intercom’s award-winning performance, scalability, ease of integration, and operational/cost efficiencies at home, on-premises, site-to-site, or in the cloud. Telos Alliance offers several deployment options for VIP, which scales to suit users’ varied requirements, from a few remote smartphone VIP instances to an enterprise solution requiring hundreds of instances. It’s available as a physical appliance, and users can install systems of any size as cloud services, both on-premises and on such platforms as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud. It’s also available as SaaS through Telos Alliance’s partnership with Grass Valley to offer VIP on GV AMPP (Agile Media Processing Platform), a professional intercom solution for cloud-based media-production workflows.


Unity Intercom is a full-duplex production intercom system that connects users from anywhere in the world over wired, Wi-Fi, or cellular communications links and allows simplified remote broadcast production. The system comprises two parts: the Unity Intercom server software installed on a Mac computer and the remote talk and listen client applications on iOS, Android, Mac, or Windows operating systems; the Unity Intercom Server handles audio routing, channel setup, and user management for all Unity clients. The client applications connect over wired, Wi-Fi, or cellular connections to talk and listen on independent PL channels or for point-to-point private communications with individual users. Each client app can communicate with up to 128 PL channels, which can be organized into as many as 64 groups. All clients have the ability to receive up to 64 external audio sources on the Unity apps. A common practice is to bring in Dante audio using Dante Virtual Soundcard (DVS) or any external I/O device connected to the Mac server (Thunderbolt/USB). This allows users to be connected to traditional comms systems or even monitor up to 64 audio feeds remotely — an ability that has been especially crucial for many at-home productions this past year. The Unity Max license removes the normal 63-user maximum and allows as many users to be online concurrently as the Mac computer can handle. Some productions have accommodated more than 500 active online users at the same time on a single Mac server.


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