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Barix’s Annuncicom IP and paging device

change. At present, it would sometimes be “diffi cult or impossible to meet life safety standards with advanced audio functionality as these standards are often over- prescriptive,” he says. “A more modern approach to standards would help the adoption of multi-functional systems while at the same time preserving the vital functionality and reliability of a life safety system.” Fortunately, there is some belief that such a shift may not be too far away. Kevin Sherwood is fi eld sales

director of AV distributor CIE Group – whose portfolio includes audio-over-IP solutions for site-wide, multi- site and worldwide paging distribution over LAN, WAN or web from Atlas Sound and 2N telecommunications – comments: “The case for single systems is only where separation is required for compliancy to VA legislation, but even this is starting to change with manufacturers looking at changing VA legislation to allow the use of IP-based systems. This is a change which is gathering pace with more and more

manufacturers looking to IP as the connection solution. Whether we like this change or not, it is defi nitely here to stay.” Sherwood’s last remark seems to hit the proverbial nail on the head. As in so many other areas of pro- audio, IP operation is destined to have a profound impact; there is simply no reason to expect intercom and paging to be any diff erent. What remains to be seen is quite how much regulatory impulses slow this change, or simply muddy the waters in terms of explaining the transition to potential customers and end-users. As with audio networking in general, the challenge will be for manufacturers, distributors and integrators to explain clearly and simply why IP represents a step forward – and how it can be depended upon to deliver such primary functions. 


As we have seen, the debate about separate systems for separate functions may be slightly more open-ended than fi rst thought. To wit, Simon Browne (pictured), director of product manager at Clear-Com, observes: “Our recommendation would be to use dedicated products that are designed for specifi c intercom and/ or paging tasks, but allow them to use audio and data standards that can tie them together.” Like the other

contributors, however, Browne is aware that change is on the way. “Technology continues to develop at a fast pace, and whereas before we were used to analogue audio signals on twisted pairs, now we see a variety of digitised and IP signals on the same cables, off ering more but requiring additional knowledge in their implementation. Mobile clients require access points or antenna transceivers, and so knowledge about placement and hand-over overlap is now needed,” he says.

Providing a variety of solutions to accommodate this diverse landscape seems like the most logical move. Accordingly, Clear- Com’s own off er ranges from the Encore Partyline and Clear-Com HelixNet to the more all-encompassing ProGrid audio fi bre network solution that encompasses programme audio, intercom, serial data, relay/opto logic GPI, video and a local private LAN. Browne explains: “This allows large installations with both HelixNet or Matrix solutions to be fi bre-connected with ease, together with other media like audio, loudspeaker feeds, MADI and composite video. Other devices can be added to the fi bre to provide for HD-SDI video.”

May 2014 31

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