Glensound D4 four-channel desktop intercom unit.
British manufacturer Glensound used the 2018 NAB Show to showcase the new audio over IP (AoIP) products it has released over the last eight months. Key amongst these was the Beatrice range of intercom systems, which join a growing selection of AoIP communications units now available from several manufacturers, as well as the new Paradiso Lite commentator/announcer’s box.
Glensound is using the Audinate Dante protocol for its ranges of microphone and headphone amplifiers, audio interfaces, mixers, commentary systems and, most recently, intercoms. Managing director Gavin Davis says the company first started licensing Dante approximately three years ago but that it is only now that AoIP is "finally happening properly". This is shown, he adds, by Glensound "really selling Dante and AES67 versions".
A new AoIP intercom system was introduced at IBC 2017 and has been seen since at BVE in London as well as the NAB Show. The Beatrice range - named after Beatrice "Bice" di Folco Portinari, who is seen as the inspiration for Dante Alighieri's Vita Nuova, as well as being a guide in The Divine Comedy - is designed to work on Dante networks and is compatible with AES67. The series, now in full production, includes eight-channel rack mount (R8), eight-channel network desktop (D8), four-channel rack mount, four-channel belt pack (B4) and four-channel desktop (D4) versions. The R8 and D8 have IFB (interruptible foldback) capability on each channel and can run on mains or Power over Ethernet (PoE), as can their four-channel equivalents, while the B4 is PoE only.
Gavin Davis, Glensound MD with Paradiso commentary box.
Davis explains that historically Glensound has produced small talkback units, typically using four-wire set-ups. "We reckoned there was a market for small, easy-to-use talkbacks in the small radio station market, up to two studios, as well as smaller OB trucks, SNG [satellite newsgathering] vans and theatres. Beatrice is designed to be simple - you just take it out of the box and plug it into the network."
On the commentary side, Glensound has introduced the Paradiso Lite. This is a lower cost version of the Paradiso Dante/AES67 commentary unit and offers the same number of I/Os but in a more stripped down form. It can accommodate three commentators and, says Davis, has the capability to be used as a standalone announcer's box.
Among recent productions that feature Glensound AoIP products was the Commonwealth Games in Australia, which featured mainly Paradiso commentary systems, plus some Beatrice and Dark1616 break-out units.
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