by Mary C. Gruszka ~ April 25, 2006
To better support its North American customers, digital intercom maker Riedel Communications announced its partnership and investment with CP Communications, a major rental company for broadcast, film, and event productions.
"Where you find a CP Communications office in Florida, Burbank, or New York, you will now find a Riedel Communications office," said Thomas Riedel, managing director of Riedel Communications at a Monday afternoon press conference. "This will allow us to get closer to our customers, and to provide better service for our products."
The partnership, as Riedel said, will present a larger footprint for the company in the U.S., and in addition, CP Communications will have the largest inventory of Riedel intercoms in North America. Sales and technical support staff will also increase.
Michael Descoteau, Riedel's newly appointed general manager, U.S. said, "Now people will be not be forced to buy something to try it out. They can see how the system works [by renting it] and judge for themselves if it works for them."
In addition CP Communications is a big player in sports; Descoteau said this partnership "will allow Riedel to accelerate our presence in the sports world."
On the product side, Riedel Communications introduced the next generation of the Artist intercom matrices. While maintaining the same functionality as the older Artist M and S frames, the new Artist 32, Artist 64, and Artist 128 frames now all use the same type of controller and client cards. These frames support 32, 64 and 128 intercom ports respectively.
The modules are hot-swappable and now plug in from the front of the frame. Other enhanced features include increased memory for complex multinode installations, alarm signalization, optimized cooling for quiet operation, compatibility with legacy Artist frames, and a flexible fiber option, noted Vinnie Macri, sales and marketing manager for Riedel Communications. In addition, every frame size can be fully redundant with redundant power supplies and controller cards.
Like the older series of frames, the new Artist matrix frames can connect to each other via a dual redundant fiber ring, to create a larger intercom system with up to 1,024 ports, a convenient way to interconnect two or more mobile production trucks, Macri noted.
At NAB2006, Riedel introduced two more products in its Connect series for interfacing the Artist intercom frames to the outside world. Joining the Connect Duo, which made its debut at IBC2005, are the new Connect Solo and Connect IP.
"Connect Solo is a two-channel analog telephone hybrid that allows us to have remote telephone connection to the matrix," Macri said. The half-rack width unit can be operated from its integrated keypad and large full graphic display, or from the Artist control key panels. Features include auto-answer, auto-detect, auto disconnect, automatic gain control and echo cancellation.
Connect IP provides audio over IP connectivity between the Artist intercom matrices and IP-based networks within a studio or from a remote location. The 1RU interface unit converts one AES-3 stream and can be used in three different applications -- from matrix to control key panel or panels, for matrix to matrix connections, or for distribution of audio over IP. Standard Artist 1000 or 2000 series control key panels connected to an Artist matrix via Connect IP operate with full functionality just as if they were connected to the matrix directly, Macri said.
In addition, the bandwidth is scalable in audio quality from 3.5 kHz audio bandwidth at 40 kbps to 20 kHz at 230 kbps.
© 2006 NAB