Lectrosonics demonstrates four-channel discrete digital RF concept at NAB2008

At NAB2008, Lectrosonics demonstrated a new product concept, the D4 digital wireless transmission system. Consisting of a transmitter-receiver pair measuring less than 5in x 5in x 2in and operating in the 902MHz-928MHz range, the D4 uses an interleaving system to transmit four discrete, full-frequency range channels of audio over a digital carrier. Four different carrier frequencies will be available initially, allowing a theoretical capacity of 16 audio channels to operate simultaneously.

In an exclusive interview, Karl Winkler, Lectrosonics director of business development, said that the D4 wasn’t promoted before the show because it was still in the lab. “We don’t show new concepts or products unless they work,” he said. “I wrested this out of the hands of engineering late last Friday when they were still running probes through the system.”

He characterized the D4 as “essentially, a wireless, four-channel digital snake.” The initial application envisioned is for camera-hop situations, with the talent typically using lavalier mics going into the mixer, then back to the camera. The D4 will enable those tracks to be kept discrete.

“We can see other applications as well, including testing and measurement,” Winkler said. “That’s one reason we brought it to NAB, to get input and ideas from people, to plant the seed of the product line that will eventually come out of this platform.”

While full product details are not yet publishable, Winkler said that the measured audio response of the system is flat to within 0.5dB from 20Hz-20kHz. The D4 system will feature both analog mini XLR and digital AES/EBU inputs and will be DC powered. Lectrosonics expects to ship the system late in 2008.