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Clear-Com® Showcases New FreeSpeak® Version 2.0 at PLASA 2008


New Features and Added Connectivity Highlighted in Wireless System

Las Vegas, April 14, 2008 – Clear-Com® Communication Systems, a Vitec Group brand, is bringing to PLASA 2008 (Stand L38) the next evolution of its FreeSpeak digital wireless beltpack system with the newly enhanced FreeSpeak®(formerly FreeSpeak10) Version 2.0. The new version brings enhanced beltpack capacity, Interrupted Foldback (IFB) functionality and improved group operations between beltpacks, party-lines and other external inputs, ensuring staff communication during live performances always go off without a hitch.

Supporting Clear-Com’s strategy of providing ubiquitous communication, FreeSpeak is a digital wireless intercom system based on a cellular architecture that offers license-free communication and can allow up to 20 beltpacks to roam seamlessly between remote active antennas.

“In today’s live performance environments, production staff are expected to support multiple job functions, prompting 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 overall production crew’s flexibility and efficiency.”

Among the new features available in FreeSpeak Version 2.0 are 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. “This provides true standalone IFB system functionality with program source feeds and beltpack interrupts that are mixed and routed to beltpacks, which act 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 FreeSpeak 2.0 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 beltpacks are linked wirelessly to the basestation by the remote active antenna that enables users to roam freely throughout a 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.

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 the U.S. and Canada; and FreeSpeak and FreeSpeak Integra (formerly FreeSpeak50) are available in all countries other than the U.S. and Canada.

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