Clear-Com FreeSpeak Version 2.0 featured at IBC

Clear-Com took another step in the evolution
of its FreeSpeak digital wireless beltpack system with the newly enhanced FreeSpeak
(formerly FreeSpeak10) Version 2.0. The popular wireless
intercommunication system was featured at this year’s IBC 2008. The new
version brings enhanced beltpack capacity, Interrupted Foldback (IFB)
functionality and improved group operations between beltpacks, party-lines and
other external inputs.
FreeSpeak
is a digital wireless intercom system based on a cellular architecture that
offers license free communication and can allow up to 20 beltpacks roaming
seamlessly between remote active antennas.
“In
today’s busy broadcast environment, production staff are expected to support
multiple job functions, creating an increased need for wireless connectivity,”
says Stephen Sandford, Clear-Com FreeSpeak Product Manager. “In Version
2.0, we have doubled the number of beltpacks that a basestation can support,
giving more users the freedom to communicate while on the move and improving
the crew’s flexibility and efficiency.”
Additional
new features available in FreeSpeak Version 2.0 include 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. “For example, a director using a beltpack has the ability to
interrupt the broadcast feed to the deliver instructions to a camera operator
listening to the broadcast via an IFB key. This provides true standalone
IFB system functionality with program source feeds and beltpack interrupts
mixed and routed to beltpacks acting as wireless IFB receivers. The user
also has the option of working in conjunction with other IFB systems where the
interrupts are generated from the FreeSpeak beltpack keys.”
Other new
components include the Wireless Party-line groups. This feature allows
the user to seamlessly mix Party-line users, external inputs and beltpack users
in the same group without facing the issue of having different output volume
levels.
The new
FreeSpeak system is centered on a highly programmable 1RU basestation 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 basestation or remotely via an Ethernet
connected PC that runs the configuration software.
The
basestation links wirelessly to the beltpacks by the remote active antennae
that enables users to roam freely throughout the broadcast 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 basestation 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 basestation, allowing
multiple combinations of beltpack-to-beltpack and small-group conversations to
be held simultaneously.