Clear-Com Announces New HelixNet Network Linking at the 2013 NAB Show

April 09, 2013

New Networking Capability Extends the Digital Partyline System for Supporting Broadcast Production Communication Workflow

Clear-Com®, a global leader in critical voice communications systems, will unveil version 1.1 of the HelixNet™ Partyline Intercom System at the 2013 NAB Show (Booth C8008). Included in this new product release is a system linking capability, which extends digital partyline intercom communications over a network among a production’s field users, mobile trucks and studio headquarters cost-effectively and efficiently, without compromising the audio quality.

The HelixNet Partyline Intercom System is the industry’s first digital network partyline intercom to combine the simplicity of a traditional analog partyline intercom with the advanced network management capabilities of a matrix intercom. As it uses a single-pair, shielded cable for supporting all audio channels, program audio, and power for beltpacks, it is ideal for broadcast applications that require quick setup and distribution of multiple channels of intercom.

Expanded functionality under version 1.1 includes the ability to link up to five HMS-4X Main Stations and up to 100 HBP-2X Digital Beltpacks via Ethernet to build larger and more sophisticated partyline intercom systems. HelixNet’s station-to-station networking function makes this possible by defining up to five Main Stations that can be connected via the new HLI-ET2 Ethernet Module. Main Stations can connect directly or through a LAN using standard IT switches. A new HLI-FBS Fiber Module is also available for linking stations over long distances. The Fiber Module has two fiber ports using SFP modules for simple exchange of fiber transceivers. It also allows linking to four other Main Stations in a fiber daisy-chain. The standard connection is Single-Mode with Multi-Mode offered as an option.

“HelixNet Partyline’s first release provided broadcast users with a revolutionary design that offered much functionality, power and simplicity for a cost-effective digital partyline communication solution,” says Simon Browne, Clear-Com’s Director of Product Management. “Now, broadcasters have a network extended solution with HelixNet Partyline 1.1 to distribute more channels without compromising the exceptional digital audio clarity or the ease of setup and maintenance, with the efficiency of simplified cabling.

Browne continues, “Linking HelixNet Main Stations together creates a network that pools channel resources of the individual stations. With the ability to link up to five four-channel stations,  the system can dynamically discover and share up to 20 digital partylines plus five program inputs in a network distributed system. This means that any of the possible 100 two-channel HelixNet Beltpack users can select from up to a possible 20 partyline channels using a single-pair shielded cable.”

Since the HelixNet platform is based on Clear-Com’s I.V.Core™, a core set of Intercom-over-IP technologies for providing networking flexibility, this entire system can operate over any LAN infrastructure found in studio or remote production environments, making it easier to create a decentralized, distributed intercom architecture. Stage managers, along with teleprompter, lighting and camera operators, audio engineers and any HelixNet user can remain connected and easily interface with remote mobile production trucks and/or studios over HelixNet.