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Clear-Com® Achieves Record Number of FreeSpeak Installs in 2008

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Digital Wireless Intercom Solution Wins Customers from Beijing to Stockholm 

Cambridge, UK, December 11, 2008 – Clear-Com® Communication Systems, a Vitec Group brand, is pleased to announce that this year, companies across a diverse range of media fields have made the FreeSpeak® digital wireless beltpack system an essential part of their operations. Impressed by the system’s clarity, reliability and ease of integration, a record number of customers, including a new performing arts centre in Spain, several Olympics broadcasters in China, as well as two television production companies, one in Sweden and one in Germany, installed FreeSpeak in their facilities this year.

They found that when it comes to wireless communications, FreeSpeak is in a class of its own. Not only can it operate either as a standalone system or connected to a wired system, it combines DECT and wireless roaming technologies to ensure excellent continuous coverage. At the same time, it operates in the license-free 1.8-1.9 GHz frequency range, away from the UHF and other crowded frequency bands.

FreeSpeak was the digital wireless intercom system of choice at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where CCTV, China’s National Broadcaster, employed FreeSpeak Integra. The system was integrated directly into its Clear-Com Eclipse Omega matrices, which also used smaller PiCo matrices and V-Series user panels to link between CCTV’s new Television Culture Centre (TVCC) and the International Broadcasting Centre (IBC), the hub of all broadcasting activities for the Olympic Games. CCTV staff workers utilized Clear-Com’s FreeSpeak Integra digital wireless systems to enable connectivity between FreeSpeak user beltpacks and any other user connected to the Eclipse matrix system, enabling wired-free mobility and reliability over a wide area of operation.

Other leading Chinese broadcasters chose Clear-Com systems to assist in the coordination of the Olympics coverage, with many opting to add FreeSpeak beltpacks to provide fully integrated communications for the production teams roving about the broadcast centres and sporting stadiums. China Beijing TV, Hunan ETV, STV (Shanghai), Jinan TV, Guangdong TV and Shandong TV were just some of the premier Chinese broadcasters using Clear-Com gear, including the FreeSpeak, for the games.
ProSiebenSat.1 Produktion, one of Germany’s premier television production companies, was so enthusiastic about the FreeSpeak system they decided to increase the size of it when the time came to upgrade the command centre for its Munich facility. In order to expand communications capabilities for employees, ProSiebenSat.1 Produktion purchased five Eclipse Digital Matrix intercom systems, combining them with FreeSpeak to deliver a completely integrated and seamless digital wireless solution.

Further north, Sweden’s Twentyfourseven added FreeSpeak to its supply list this year. The company, one of Northern Europe’s largest suppliers of TV production gear, recently purchased a FreeSpeak base station featuring eight antennas, two antenna splitters and eight beltpacks with headsets for its Filmhuset studio in Stockholm. It also upgraded its existing Eclipse equipment with new software and seven Eclipse V-Series user control panels. The company has purchased gear from Clear-Com’s Encore Party-line range as well.

“FreeSpeak’s success is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our development staff, who designed the system from the ground up to offer an unprecedented level of clarity, connectivity and flexibility,” says Jake Dodson, Vice President, Product Management, Clear-Com. “FreeSpeak easily integrates with a facility’s existing audio system, works within a frequency range virtually free of interference and gives users the freedom to roam about a facility without the fear of losing connection to the base station. We’re tremendously proud that customers have been able to take advantage of these features.”

FreeSpeak also found a home in 2008 in the live performance space. Los Teatros del Canal, a prestigious multipurpose performing arts complex in Madrid, Spain, opened its doors this September with a performance by the acclaimed Spanish musician Nacho Cano. As Cano struck his first notes on the stage, Los Teatros del Canal crew members coordinated communications behind the scenes with 30 FreeSpeak wireless beltpacks, along with Clear-Com Eclipse Digital Matrix and Encore Party-line systems.

FreeSpeak beltpacks can operate with FreeSpeak, a standalone intercom base station, or with FreeSpeak Integra, within the Clear-Com Eclipse Matrix system. Major benefits include point-to-point and small group wireless communications accessible via multiple routes to the beltpack, frequency and channel-hopping technology that automatically finds clear spectrum, remote “Active Antennas” that create user-defined coverage zones and full-duplex 7kHz “commentator” bandwidth for high-clarity audio.

Clear-Com at IBC 2008 previewed the next-generation of the FreeSpeak system, FreeSpeak Version 2.0, which brings enhanced beltpack capacity, Interrupted Foldback (IFB) functionality and improved group operations between beltpacks, party-lines and other external inputs.

Note: FreeSpeak® and CellCom® are different brands representing the same digital wireless intercom system (with minor technical differences). Due to trademark limitations, CellCom and CellCom Integra (formerly CellCom50) are only available in the USA and Canada; and FreeSpeak and FreeSpeak Integra (formerly FreeSpeak50) are available in all countries other than the USA and Canada.

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