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New FreeSpeak Version Debuts

Clear-Com Communications announced its plan to debut FreeSpeak Version 2.0 at this year's IBC 2008.

Clear-Com Communications announced its plan to debut FreeSpeak Version 2.0, formerly FreeSpeak10, at this year's IBC 2008. The latest version of the wireless intercommunication system introduces enhanced belt pack capacity, Interrupted Feedback (IFB) functionality, and improved group operations between belt packs, party lines, and other external inputs.

The company describes FreeSpeak as a digital wireless intercom system based on a cellular architecture that offers license-free communication and can allow up to 20 belt packs to roam seamlessly between remote active antennas.

"In today's busy broadcast environment, production staff are expected to support multiple job functions, creating an increased need for wireless connectivity," said Stephen Sandford, Clear-Com FreeSpeak product manager, in a statement. "In Version 2.0, we have doubled the number of belt packs that a base station can support, giving more users the freedom to communicate while on the move and improving the crew's flexibility and efficiency."

New features available with FreeSpeak Version 2.0 include wireless party-line groups, which allow the user to seamlessly mix party-line users, external inputs, and belt pack users in the same group without having different output volume levels; and three configurable IFBs, giving the user the ability to assign IFB keys to any number of belt packs. The belt packs can then be programmed to act as IFB talent receivers or as the originator of the interrupts.

"This integrated IFB capability gives the user the ability to listen to audio feeds while allowing other users to interrupt that audio feed at any point," said Sandford. "For example, a director using a belt pack has the ability to interrupt the broadcast feed to deliver instructions to a camera operator listening to the broadcast via an IFB key."

The FreeSpeak system is centered on a programmable 1RU base station from which an operator can manage and oversee communications for up to 20 digital wireless belt packs. It links wirelessly to the belt packs by the remote active antennae within the license-free 1.8-1.9 GHz frequency band.



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