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Clear-Com Acquired, Announces HelixNet for NAB

HM Electronics (HME) announced a definitive agreement to acquire Clear-Com Communication Systems, a business unit of The Vitec Group. Clear-Com will continue operation as a wholly owned subsidiary.

HM Electronics (HME) announced a definitive agreement to acquire Clear-Com Communication Systems, a business unit of The Vitec Group. According to officials, Clear-Com will continue operation as a wholly owned subsidiary of HME, with no changes planned for its product portfolio or its current mission. The company plans to unveil its new HelixNet unified intercom platform at the NAB Show 2010.


HME, a privately-held company based in Poway, Calif., provides digital wireless intercom solutions for restaurant, hospitality, sports, and pro audio markets. The acquisition will expand HME's reach into new markets, according to the company, while allowing the combined companies to leverage synergies in product development and operations.

"We are extremely pleased to make this announcement," said Mitzi Dominguez, president of HME, in a statement. "Both companies have been in the professional intercom business for over 30 years and share similar cultures and core values. And there is tremendous synergy between the two companies. With their combined expertise in the professional audio industry, they will focus on finding new, innovative ways to help their customers."

Next week Clear-Com's HelixNet platform will debut with the first two products in the family: the HelixNet Main Station (HMS-4X) and HelixNet Beltpacks (HBP-2X). According to the company, HelixNet simplifies the setup, management, and use of intercom systems often required in multiplatform production workflows, such as in local broadcast facilities, houses of worship, and intimate live venues. Based on Clear-Com's I.V.Core technology, HelixNet breaks down the silos of separate intercoms and allows operators to connect and control multiple system connections on a single communications platform, the company says.

All systems on the HelixNet platform are designed to work on common, standard cabling, such as microphone cables, Cat-5, and fiber. HelixNet is compatible with Clear-Com Encore, RTS two-wire or party line, and four-wire matrix wired and wireless systems.

"Today's sophisticated audiences place ever-greater demands on production teams for airtight, well-coordinated communications, which is why we developed the HelixNet platform to be highly flexible, powerfully robust, and simple to use," said Matt Danilowicz, managing director of Clear-Com, in a statement.

The HelixNet Main Station can connect on a facility's exiting network infrastructure, forming a single communications network and allowing connectivity over greater distances, according to Clear-Com officials. Supporting four channels and 20 belt packs, the Main Station offers group communication and the high-channel capacity of point-to-point matrix systems. USB connectivity provides software and firmware maintenance and upgrades, while standard wire cabling helps expand the system network and scale operation more cost effectively, says the company.

The HelixNet Beltpack features status displays and controls for reliable operation under demanding conditions, says the company. High-contrast OLED status displays ease visual operation, while tactile controls offer intuitive touch operation. The Beltpacks come with self-configuring and auto-update features designed to streamline software and firmware upgrades, and are also designed to operate effectively on a variety of standard cable types. The Beltpacks can connect to the Main Station with passive Y-splitters to interconnect in different patters, and can be daisy-chained over standard audio cable.

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