Q. Evaluate 3D one year after it was perhaps over-hyped by various industry types at IBC 2010—what is the reality settling down into?
Most broadcast customers we engage with are still working to modernize their infrastructure in order to support the final phases of their HD transition; therefore, they are not focused on 3D.
Q. What broad technology trends do you think will be front-and-centre at IBC?
Discussions around IP-based technology continue to be at the forefront of many broadcasters’ minds. The intricate benefits of IP in delivering cost-effective, flexible and integrated audio/voice, video and data services have proven to be extremely promising. IP technologies empower broadcasters to do more with less and to be highly adaptive to changing needs during productions. For example, crews setting up intercoms at large scale productions would often receive last-minute change requests to add a user panel at a new location in the venue. Traditional wired panels would require laying down new cabling and adding more time and cost to preproduction. With IP panels, crew members are able to add or move a panel to the new location, register the IP address of the panel and be instantly connected to the main intercom system. This level of convenience, flexibility and savings are what most broadcasters require to be highly adaptive and effective today.
Q. What’s new that you will show at IBC and that broadcasters should look for there?
At IBC 2011, we are pleased to demonstrate two new offerings. The Clear-Com Hybrid Network solution can extend critical intercom capabilities over the Optocore Network using the new V3R-FX-INTERCOM and X6R-FX-INTERCOM interfaces. Intercom audio is efficiently and intelligently routed to intercom panels at any remote location on the network, with the added benefits of dual fiber redundancy or additional CAT5 rings, with ultra-low latency and high bandwidth.
The other new offering is Concert for Newsroom, an intercom-over-IP module that integrates with the Associated Press’ ENPS (Essential News Production System), allowing newsroom members using Concert to instantly and cost-effectively communicate and collaborate with other members who also have access to the system.
Q. How is your new product offering different from what’s available on the market?
There are several key advantages of operating Clear-Com intercoms over the Optocore Network compared to that on the market. One is low latency. The unique synchronous design of this solution means that latency in an Optocore network is fixed at 41.6 µs from any point in the network to any other point, regardless of the number of nodes on the network. It also offers high bandwidth and scalability. Optocore’s 2Gbps data rate supports 1024 audio channels. However, bandwidth can be reallocated to suit your needs, for example, to replace some audio channels with data or video channels. It also features very low weight over very long distances. A typical network duplex fibre cable weighs 5.8 kg/km (20 lbs./mi) as compared to unshielded CAT5 cable, which weighs in at 38 kg/km (135 lbs./mi). Mic snakes and multicore cables are even heavier. Transmission distances between devices of 700 m (2300 ft.) on multimode cables and up to 70 km (43.5 mi) on single-mode cables are standard in an Optocore network.
Q. Where are you based, and how many employees do you have? Anything else we should know about your company?
I am based in our Cambridge, U.K. office. Clear-Com is part of HM Electronics (HME), which has employees and offices around the globe.
Q. How many years have you been going to the IBC show and what’s your fondest memory? What’s your favorite restaurant or pub?
This will be my 13th IBC and I still have very fond memories of my first IBC in 1999. We had a Formula 1 racing car simulator on the stand for visitors to compete against one another, it created a great buzz attracting customers and fellow manufactures alike. I always enjoy the community feel of IBC. Whether queuing in the rain for a tram, or a beer in the bar, you always see someone you know. I always try to enjoy one meal during the show at Lucius fish restaurant, and for a night to remember, the Supperclub; but Amsterdam has such a wealth of fabulous bars and restaurants you should never be struggling to find a great place.