Clear-Com’s flexible technologies provide invaluable business agility

Clear-Com’s flexible technologies provide invaluable business agility

IABM Journal

Clear-Com’s flexible technologies provide invaluable business agility

Mon 02, 10 2023

Clear-Com’s flexible technologies provide invaluable business agility

Bob Boster, President, Clear-Com

If there is one truth in this business, it’s that nothing ever stays the same when it comes to clients’ business needs. Ever-changing requirements and a wide variety of environments and workflows mean communications – and the tools needed to deploy them – look different in every situation, even when done by the same team.

Clear-Com® is broadly known for providing real-time, multichannel full-duplex voice communication for close collaboration, which is particularly needed in studio and outside broadcasting environments, corporate broadcast, and media and live event production.  In recent years, following an overall move within the industry to leverage the ubiquity and flexibility of standard IP networks, Clear-Com’s systems have facilitated a previously unimagined level of ‘business agility’ to our customers in terms of updated workflows and ease of re-configuration.

Traditionally, these systems functioned in a single-group operational mode, even in applications with multiple systems communicating together. In these traditional scenarios, systems were designed for one task and the intercom was organized around that. As the need for remote production became more prevalent, technology advanced to allow systems to link to outside sites, such as outside broadcast trucks or news vans. Initially, these were linked by one or two phone lines, generally managed from the Master Control Room on behalf of a specific studio or program. In the mid-2000s, Clear-Com developed a ground-breaking technology to provide these connections over IP, which became increasingly popular and in demand as this kind of connectivity started to become more prevalent for broadcast operations and traditional phone lines, not to mention higher bandwidth connections like ISDN, started to become scarcer.

That IP connectivity capability sparked the evolution of our current market-leading family of tools, which allows for both traditional wired and wireless full-duplex systems to extend over standard IP networks, including internet-based connections, to facilitate a wide spectrum of communication needs.  Clear-Com has continued to extend the workflows of traditional production intercom in a variety of ways, all of which have allowed our clients to respond to changing requirements with extraordinary flexibility.

These options include devices like the LQ® Series of IP Interfaces that can extend communications from existing hardware-based solutions, including those of alternative intercom manufacturers.  Many of our current hardware options can be implanted over lower-bandwidth connections as well as locally over uncompressed industry-standard IP connections like AES67, fiber, and dedicated copper. We also have broad support for SIP, which provides a tool kit for integration with local, campus-wide, and global communication tools such as IP-based phone systems and two-way radios. Finally, our award-winning IP mobile and desktop clients Agent-IC® and Station-IC™ allow team members to run dedicated and tightly integrated intercoms on their personal devices like mobile phones, tablets, or laptops.

This range of options provides industry-leading flexibility, which was particularly valuable during COVID-19 when workflows suddenly changed dramatically.  Our versatile tool kit allows people to work from where they are, whether from home offices tying into TV studio operations for the NFL draft, or on film sets where team members needed to conform to new protocols but keep the wheels of production turning. Clear-Com tools have been critical to re-establishing broadcast operations in a matter of minutes following disruption by hurricanes and enabling entire new sports production models for localization (i.e., different language presenter teams) around the world for major events or even streaming-based smaller league coverage models. They have empowered massive teams of floor managers and assistant producers, even extending coverage across vast distances, for major city events like the New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square, Jubilees in London, and the Carnival parades in Brazil.

Now, we are bringing the flexibility that has driven so much of the innovation we’ve brought to our traditional intercom customers over the last decade to our award-winning Arcadia® Central Station. Up to now, Arcadia’s focus has been on live event solutions that require a channel-based workflow across multiple platforms of user endpoints, including FreeSpeak II®, FreeSpeak Edge®, and HelixNet® Digital Partyline. The newest enhancements to Arcadia enable I.V. Direct™ connections, the same innovation in our Eclipse® HX E-IPA cards and  LQ® Series of IP Interfaces, straight into the unit, guaranteeing the further integration of all these solutions working together across local, area, and even global connections as needed.

Ultimately, Clear-Com’s rich set of capabilities to empower team communications in different configurations combined with our vast experience helping our partners and end users to develop and deploy these unique solutions have supported unprecedented business agility throughout our history. We anticipate even more innovation emerging in the coming years as this industry continues to evolve dramatically, and we can’t wait to share with you what’s coming next.


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