Clear-Com is featuring the HelixNet Partyline intercom system at AES 2012 (Booth 1218).
The networked partyline intercom arrives at AES after successfully showcasing its capabilities at 31 sports venues during the 2012 London Summer Games. With 50 HelixNet main stations and 550 HelixNet beltpacks in operation across the game venues, the production teams were able to take advantage of the systems’ efficiency, cost savings and flexibility from setup to operation and maintenance.
Under the initial release of HelixNet Partyline, audio professionals can purchase the HMS-4X main station, HBP-2X HelixNet beltpacks and the HLI-2W2 two-wire and HLI-4W2 four-wire interface modules. Also, as users can perform the central administration of the entire system from the main station with a single cable, including firmware upgrades and maintenance, HelixNet can work off one’s existing cable infrastructure.
HelixNet’s ability to be run over cabling that is already in place enables easy deployment and expansion as needed, the company says, making it the ideal solution for the Summer Games. Many of the venues where the events were held already had an established cable infrastructure, so integrating the HelixNet with these setups was simple. The committee in charge of selecting audio equipment had specified digital communication systems for the events. The HelixNet partyline system fit this bill perfectly, providing audio professionals with all the functionality of an analog partyline within a digital environment.
“HelixNet offers such audio professionals as those at the London Games the simplicity of running cable anywhere without worrying about each cable type or where it will run,” said Dan Muchmore, regional sales manager, UK, Ireland and Scandinavia, Clear-Com. “Essentially, they only have to run one long cable, along which all of the channels can be run. It doesn’t matter how or where the cable is run—users will have access to every channel. At the beltpack end, audio professionals can choose what channel they want or need to run. Another advantage of HelixNet is that it can operate over inexpensive cabling, such as CAT-5, keeping the cost of deployment low. The ease of setup and reduced costs made possible by the system were a few of the main reasons HelixNet was selected as the intercom system of choice for nearly all of the venues at the games.”
Clear-Com was contracted for the games’ overlay functions, requiring it to provide communications for three separate groups. These included announcers and commentators, along with the on-venue results (OVR) people—who were the primary HelixNet users—as well as the production people who manage the stadiums and events. As the HMS-4X HelixNet main station and interface modules feature a high channel density and professional audio capacity, it was able to provide access to many people and areas at once.
HelixNet’s sleek 1RU main station fits into any standard 19-inch rack, and can provide power and four channels of audio to support up to 20 digital beltpacks. Unlike standard analog systems, the all-digital HelixNet system is immune to electro-magnetic interference and ground loops, so there is never any hum or buzz. The main station settings and menus are quickly accessible, highly flexible and offer intuitive professional audio operations. The system’s firmware maintenance and upgrades can also be achieved easily via USB ports, and it offers greater connectivity with existing analog intercom systems and audio devices.
The expansion bay in the main station allows the optional HLI-2W2 two-wire and HLI-4W2 four-wire interface modules to connect easily with existing analog intercom systems and audio devices, while preserving high audio quality that is free of hum and noise.
The HBP-2X HelixNet beltpack offers high channel density and selectable channels to save resources. The rugged, ergonomically designed unit is a two-channel beltpack that can access two of any four system channels, connect program audio and provide individual level control over just one single cable, while distributing networked audio over a twisted pair. These features decrease the required number of cables. The beltpacks are also simple to read and operate, with optimally positioned buttons and volume knobs that are easy to locate, identify and control. Channel labels are simple to read on the high-contrast, ten-character OLED displays. The flexibility of the units allow them to be set up in daisy chain or star configurations, with no need for active split boxes.
The HelixNet beltpacks are highly durable, fabricated from lightweight cast aluminum and come with a sturdy beltclip, rubber bumpons and an integrated strap guide, offering a variety of practical mounting options.