NAB Perspectives: Clear-Com unveils scalable signal distribution system, HelixNet additions
The 2014 NAB Show introduce two primary new offerings to the broadcast market – both of which, says the communications stalwart, “offer the benefit of reducing manpower and cables to deploy them in large productions”. Clear-Com’s newly-appointed director of EMEA sales, Nicki Fisher, reflects on the response to its latest launches and more general developments in evidence on the NAB showfloor – not least those seemingly ubiquitous drones…
What were the main stories of this year’s show as regards Clear-Com?
We announced ProGrid, the low-latency, highly scalable, and reliable signal distribution system. This complete set of solution redundantly routes, transports, and distributes all signal types over optical fiber with full management and diagnostic capabilities over the Optocore and SANE platform. The introduction of these new products means that, in addition to its world class communications systems, Clear-Com can now provide end-to-end solutions for many types of installations that require signal distribution.
In addition, Clear-Com also added new user devices to the HelixNet digital network partyline system. The 4-channel intercom system is networkable, and up to 12 channels of intercom can be put on one XLR or Ethernet/IP line. Any beltpack or the Main Station, including the new Remote Station and Speaker Station, can be configured to receive any channel on the intercom system without running extra cabling.
What was the overall reaction to your latest developments at the show?
From our Global Channel Partners to the customers from various industries, the overall feedback on our latest announcements was astoundingly positive. Clear-Com first revealed our latest development at a Partner Meeting that took place a prior to the first day of the show. Partners from all over the world were pleasantly surprised, and yet completely in agreement with our strategy to introduce ProGrid. The new family represents a major advancement for Clear-Com and its customers. As the trusted, go-to brand for voice communication systems, we can now go one step further and provide our customers with the distribution backbone for any kind of installation. And our customers seem to agree with the strategy also. With over a thousand partners in the network that can support them locally, it makes sense to deliver a total audio solution that they trust.
What are the specific elements that make NAB so important to your annual calendar?
NAB remains critical to our calendar and second only to IBC for the EMEA market in terms of assessing the needs of our customers and launching new solutions. NAB is the one of the global broadcast show where visitors from all offer the world come see the latest technological advancements for the broadcast industry. After NAB many projects will be decided. So it is important for us to exhibit at this show and take advantage of this international platform to showcase our latest developments.
Aside from the Clear-Com stand… what else caught your eye at NAB 2014?
Other interesting bits that caught our attention was the increase in availability of 4k, HEVC and end to end Video Workflow enhancements. It was also surprising to hear about the extensive acquisitions taking place in the market. Moreover, we did also notice the explosion of offerings to the drone market. Several years ago the Central Hall was filled with camera cranes but this year the drones seem to have taken over.