Riedel Communications‘ state-of-the-art Artist Digital Matrix Intercom System, as well as the company‘s digital beltpack system Performer, will be the heart of VERSUS‘ communications system in its new 18,000 square foot HD production studio in Stamford, Connecticut.
VERSUS, a cable television sports network owned by Comcast and shown in the United States, reaches more than 72 million homes with live event programming that includes the Tour de France, the National Hockey League (NHL), collegiate sports from top conferences such as the Pac-10, Big 12 and Mountain West, the America‘s Cup, and World Extreme Cagefigthing. VERSUS will be utilizing Riedel‘s cutting edge technology at the network‘s studio to ensure seamless communications during production.
“I was impressed with the system‘s audio quality,“ commented Paul Koopmann, director of engineering for VERSUS. “It‘s a far superior product in its design in both its intuitive user interface for programming and ease of change. The control panels were more flexible, offered additional features and were easier to use. I was truly blown away when I saw the panels.“
VERSUS employed one Artist 128 intercom mainframe just in time for the NHL season, which began on September 30. Artist is designed as a powerful matrix platform for intercom, as well as the distribution of analog and digital audio and TCP/IP data signals. The system consists of a fiber-based network backbone providing a decentralized infrastructure for live audio and intercom applications. Multiple matrix frames (nodes) are interconnected by a dual optical fiber ring to form a single large, full summing, non-blocking distributed matrix. The maximum distance between two nodes can be up to 1650 ft as standard, and optionally up to 12 mi. This allows a high degree of decentralization of the entire matrix in a very cost-effective way. As a result, the matrix frames can be located near the intercom stations of a specific studio or production facility, saving a considerable amount of wiring and installation costs.
“When you have to wear a headset and talk to people that are in different locations, you don‘t want them to sound like they are communicating over a tin can for six hours of a production,“ stated Koopmann. “What truly sold me was when I put the headset on and listened to the quality of production; I was floored because it sounded like there were professional audio microphones all around.“
The Artist 1000 LED Series provides easy-to-operate, high-tech control panels with broadcast quality audio, minimum dimensions and outstanding design. The 1000 Series are the premium control key-panels from Riedel and are available in 19“ rack-mount, desktop and modular (Danner) versions. VERSUS will be using the RCP-1012, the DCP-1016 and the ECP-1012PT from the Artist 1000 Series. All control key-panels feature bright, dimmable 8-digit alpha-numeric LED displays, individual rotary encoder for listen level control and LED level indication for each talk key. A special alphanumeric 8-digit LED display key has been developed, which allows clear labeling of destinations and excellent readability under all lighting conditions. These exclusive display keys are used on all 1000 Series control and expansion key-panels, resulting in an ultra-compact design. All Artist control panels are connected to the matrix digitally through an AES3-Signal over a single Cat5 or Coax cable resulting in perfect audio quality.
“The Riedel system, unlike others, is modular,“ Koopmann adds. “You can start with whatever size you want and build up. That was critical, because with our growth in sports programming, I can‘t lock myself into a size. It gave me the flexibility and versatility to be able to do what I need today, as well as tomorrow, with growth.“
Versus also employed the Performer Series with the use of the C44 and C3 two-channel digital beltpacks. The C44 system interface makes the Performer Series the first fully integrated ‘digital‘ solution for combined digital matrix and partyline intercom. The C44 converts four two-channel CAT5 matrix ports to four powered beltpack lines. Up to 16 beltpacks can be daisy-chained on each line, one single C44 can power up to 38 beltpacks. C3 is an ergonomically shaped, fully digital 2-channel beltpack that includes popular features from conventional analog partyline systems including daisy-chaining. Unlike its analog counterparts it‘s completely noise-free and hum-free.
The Connect Solo Telephone Hybrid interfaces the Versus intercom system via analog a/b telephone connections to PSTN public telephone networks. The device combines two independent analog POTS telephone hybrids in one halfrack/1RU device. One unit – two hybrids: This saves rackspace and is a valuable advantage, especially for mobile production units. The Versus installation features four Connect Solo devices, which can be conveniently controlled directly from the control panels via the integrated telephone key-pad of the ECP-1012 PT expansion panels.
Riedel – one of the major suppliers of communications equipment to the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino – designs, manufactures and distributes the most sophisticated intercom and radio technology for customers worldwide in the broadcast, pro-audio, event, sports and theatre industries. The products reflect today‘s leading-edge technologies that expand conventional concepts into tomorrow‘s applications. The Riedel group of companies also includes a European based large rental operation that provides radio, intercom services, event accreditation & ticketing systems as well as fiber-based audio and video transmission systems. The Company was founded in 1987 and today employs over 150 people located within 7 locations in Europe, Asia and North America.