Blog

7th May, 2018

Talkback

Talkback is the essential glue that holds any event, small or large, together. Ensuring all the teams and departments can communicate efficiently and quickly ensures that your event runs smoothly and changes are dealt with efficiently.

Traditional ‘party line’ systems enabled people to talk all together on one system, so everyone could speak to everyone and could hear everyone but with no priority or separation. So the show caller would be trying to call the show whilst the video department were discussing the next cue, and lighting were discussing an issue, and sound talking about a change of radio microphone number, understandably confusing, but for smaller shows this is all thats needed.

Newer systems came along with the ability to have two ‘party lines’ - so you could separate some talkback traffic, for example the camera crew. The next step from this was a large broadcast matrix system - which enables everyone to talk to everyone individually or create groups of people / departments, and whilst these systems are marvellous, they lack an ease of use and flexibility needed in live events.

Looking for a new solution, we tried a few ‘new products’ but none offered the flexibility and quality that we required, so partnering with GreenGo and their existing talkback product, we worked to develop a system that was both flexible, easy to use, and in a recognisable form factor, and we’re pleased with where this has led us. The GreenGo system enables you to have 250 groups ( party lines ) with 3000 users and up to 32 groups available at any one time on any device. The unique way that the GreenGo system was developed means that there is no large ’central matrix’ system, but it’s all done with clever programming and software that is held in each device on the network. So now it’s easy to give each department their own independent and private talkback, plus groups for the show caller and production.

Multichannel wireless talkback is now also easy, with every wireless talkback user able to have different channels, all this with a radio license free system.

In addition to this ‘on site’ advantage it’s now possible to connect remote sites together - so multi site events can be connected together as one event using standard internet connections or 4G mobile networks.

Developing our talkback systems further we partner with an app based system, hosted in our data centre that connects any Apple iDevice or Android device on any network worldwide to our talkback system.

We aim to become the UK's premier talkback solutions provider - contact us to chat about your event.

26th August, 2017

Digital Radio Microphones

Radio microphones have long been a mainstay of corporate presentations and have become the norm for most events, but radio mic frequencies and their use are coming under increased scrutiny with pressure from governments to sell radio frequencies for mobile services and also from hackers and eavesdroppers.

The current generation of radio mics that are most widely used in our industry are based on reliable but old analogue technology which is no different from an FM radio in a 1970’s car and whilst this has served the industry well it’s clearly time for change, and the change of radio mic technology is now well on its way and essential to the continued use of radio microphones in our industry.

So lets look at the advantages this new technology can provide:

  • Better frequency use in an increasingly pressured frequency spectrum - the European frequency spectrum is divided into blocks of frequencies that are described as TV channels ( from the days when TV was analogue ), with analogue technology you can put 8-10 radio microphones into one TV channel block - if you have two TV channels then you can get around 14-16 channels, and these channels and frequencies you pay for through OFCOM in the UK. With new digital technology you can achieve a minimum of 21 channels and up to 63 channels in the same space as 8-10 channels of analogue system, so immediately you have a ‘spectral efficiency’, a cost efficiency and with some systems ( Shure Axient Digital ) the radio signal is more reliable due to the new types of transmission.

  • Security - analogue radio microphones provide no security against eavesdropping, if someone wants to listen to a presenter who is wearing a microphone then they can buy a simple receiver from Amazon or Ebay and listen to and record all their conversations. The new radio microphone systems offer encryption, the new Shure system offers 256 Bit AES encryption, ( the NSA use this for their top level security )

  • RF security - even when frequencies are bought from OFCOM there’s still a possibility that someone may use your licensed frequencies whilst you are using them, what happens then is you get interference, in order to mitigate this, the best systems enable you to remotely and inaudably change the frequency of the transmitter on the presenter to a new clear frequency and some systems now also have two transmitters in each pack so that there is double security - currently only the Shure system enables you to do this.

  • Battery technology - it’s always a bugbear that our industry uses so many disposable batteries - it’s hard to see thousands of batteries go to be recycled when there should be reliable technology to avoid this waste. Finally manufacturers have developed ultra reliable rechargeable systems that exceed the performance of conventional batteries and provide minute accurate displays of battery life to the engineer.

  • Reliable and redundant networking - almost all new digital audio equipment is now connected using the same networking standards as you have in your office, so rather than one cable for one signal we now have one cable for hundreds of signals and these can be split / routed as you need very easily, using conventional industrial grade network switches and computers. Most of these new systems also have a redundant path so if that one cable or network switch stops working, it seamlessly switches to the backup network, the one radio mic system that has this at the moment is the Shure Axient Digital.

So we looked long and hard at which systems met all our needs and one system ticked all the boxes  - Shure Axient Digital - it also provides the largest frequency range, and is a forward looking and innovative platform to base future developments on.

We have made a substantial investment in Shure Axient Digital to ensure our clients have the best, most secure and reliable technology available to them. If you need secure, backed up, reliable RF there’s nothing better out there - Integrity You Can Hear - Shure Axient Digital.

 

www.shure.co.uk/axientdigital

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