INTERCOM SOLUTIONS GEAR.
Altair Spanish broadcast audio manufacturer Altair’s new IPCom is an IP-based matrix-type system aimed at medium-level TV studios, OB vans and more. It bypasses the need for the expensive physical intercom matrix, replacing it with a switch and LAN. This piece of kit can support up to 128 groups and users, offering private calls, priority assignment to manage different responsibility levels in a team, GPIO-based actions via its new IPF-316 panel, cue light signals received by belt packs and panels.
less-versatile partyline systems to IP-based matrix-type solutions by ‘medium-level’ manufacturers. “Typically, these matrix systems have been overwhelmingly expensive, but there are now some brands (us, for instance) manufacturing professional solutions – sometimes not as powerful, but equally effective – to satisfy the demands of medium studios and OB vans that did not have suitable options,” he continues. “As for filming environments, I don’t see a major change here. Just wireless and some cable devices for coordination during shoots, especially for SFX, action scenes, camera cars, crowd management, etc. There are many systems and brands doing great stuff to cover these needs.” WIRED FOR SOUND? Of course, both wired and wireless varieties have their strengths – otherwise they wouldn’t have
one should avoid. Sandford notes that one common challenge to navigate in the intercom world is initial overcomplication. That’s because trying to plan for every eventuality on a production may seem sensible, but can often lead to user confusion and frustration. “Our advice is to configure an intercom system that is usable, but one you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to understand,” he insists. “Intercom systems naturally grow and evolve as they are used. Through experience, we have learned that you cannot rush the evaluation of a system; it matures and develops to meet the production’s demands.” THE MATRIX Every decade brings change – and while it’s not always easy to anticipate what that will be, Herrería predicts that smaller local or regional studios will shift from
talent on an IFB or coordinating with camera operators to get the best angle, the intercom system must be ready to accommodate the needs of filming a modern show or feature. Scalability is a growing requirement for productions; more and more people on-set need access to the intercom, so a system that can grow is essential.” As well as knowing what to factor into any purchasing decision, it’s also important to know what
“Intercom is the glue that binds production together, and needs to be dependable... A reliable intercom is invaluable in reducing time on-set”
KEEP IT SIMPLE While high-tech, complex systems have benefits, the intercom must be user-friendly
31. JANUARY 2023
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