Clear-Com - Bob Boster, President
Q. What kinds of products or services does your company offer for broadcasters?
Clear-Com is a manufacturer and global provider of intercom and communication products. Broadcast is one of our two primary markets. We offer wired intercom systems using a variety of platforms including analog partyline, digital partyline, digital matrix systems and IP-based intercoms. We also have a wide variety of wireless intercoms and they operate in different frequencies to address the communication challenges presented by complex applications of every type.
Q. What’s new that you will showcase at the NAB Show and that TV broadcasters should look for there?
There are three new products in our portfolio that will excite broadcasters at the NAB Show this year. The E-MADI card and V-Series rotary panels are two significant extensions to the Eclipse matrix family. The E-MADI card, which goes inside our Eclipse-Median and Omega frames, offers 64 channels of MADI connectivity per card from our frames to other third-party systems such as audio routers or audio mixing consoles. This is useful for routing and monitoring talent feeds and other feeds from outside the intercom systems across the intercom backbone. Another addition to the Eclipse family is the V-Series rotary panel, which is designed with a rotary interface to allow users to easily and quickly change volume levels.
Our very popular Tempest2400 2.4 GHz wireless system will also be available with a new feature, which enables seamless roaming from base station to base station. For instance, one base station can be installed in a stadium and one in an OB van. Operators can move freely, roaming from node to node. These are the most important Clear-Com releases for the NAB Show this year.
Q. How is your new product offering different from what’s available in the market?
The E-MADI card is different from what’s on the market in that it gives a higher density of MADI connectivity. For roughly the same price as our competitor’s MADI interfaces, it offers a much greater number of MADI interconnections per card, which is an important differentiator.
Many of the unique characteristics that were available in our other V-Series panels are also all available in our V-Series rotary panel. Some of our competitors already have panels with rotary controls, but it’s those attributes that are consistent across all our V-Series panels that actually distinguish this innovation. The V-Series panel has 10 character alpha-numeric display and a built-in standard IP connectivity, among other features.
The roaming capability of the Tempest product is new largely because there is not a roaming solution in the 2.4 GHz frequency. Because 2.4 GHz is a license-free worldwide frequency band, broadcasters are comfortable making an investment in those systems since they can be moved around and used from country to country. Tempest has been a major hit for a variety of different broadcast applications and this new feature will just extend the impact of this important product even further.
Q. What do you anticipate will be the most significant technology trend at the 2012 NAB Show?
There’s a lot of excitement this year about 3D video at the 2012 NAB Show. Besides that, on our side of the business, IP will continue to be an important platform for interconnectivity as well as an integral part of the system architecture. Clear-Com is well-positioned in that regard because IP is a fundamental part of our technology. Our Instant Voice Core (I.V. Core) is a suite of IP technologies at the heart of Clear-Com Concert, which is an IP-based intercom for standalone use or deep integration into the ENPS newsroom system. I.V. Core is also built into our other products within the Eclipse family. Our IVC-32 card, for instance, offers up to 32 IP channel connections within our Eclipse matrix and enables IP connectivity for all our V-Series user control panels and allows integration with Concert. With these product offerings, we are well-positioned to support this particular trend.
Q. Where are you based and how many employees do you have? Anything else we should know about your company?
Clear-Com’s headquarter office is in Alameda, Calif. We also have a presence within our parent company facility in San Diego, Calif. We have a research and development office located in Montreal, Canada and our office in Cambridge, England holds a variety of functions, including engineering and sales support. We also have a sales and marketing operation in Beijing, China.
Clear-Com has been a proud member of the HM Electronics family of companies since 2010. With the addition of HME’s wireless range, the Clear-Com product portfolio of wired, wireless and IP solutions has never been more extensive in our 40 years of business.