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PL+S 2017: Riedel introduces new wireless intercom system

Riedel launched its new Bolero wireless intercom system at a special event yesterday evening in downturn Frankfurt. CEO Thomas Riedel (pictured), assisted by Jake Dodson, director of product management, introduced a product designed to make more efficient use of RF bandwidth as well and to counter problems caused by reflected signals arriving out of phase.

Bolero is an expandable, full-roaming, DECT-based intercom system in the license-free 1.9GHz frequency range. Fully integrated into Riedel’s Artist digital matrix intercom platform, Bolero features and connectivity can be applied three ways: as an wireless beltpack, as a wireless keypanel, and as a walkie-talkie radio, which is claimed to be an industry first.

Bolero runs over a standards-based AES67 IP network. Decentralised antennas connect to AES67 switches and then to Artist frames equipped with AES67 client cards, providing a fully integrated point-to-point intercom ecosystem with roaming capabilities. To the system, the beltpacks look just like Riedel panels but are wireless, providing the high levels of flexibility and programmability.

The Bolero voice codec provides both higher speech intelligibility and more efficient use of RF spectrum supporting twice the number of beltpacks per antenna for the same audio bandwidth as other DECT-based systems. The codec has strong latency characteristics while being efficient with processing power, providing excellent beltpack battery life, and saving DSP processing power for other functions.

“When we designed Bolero, we wanted to make life as easy for the customer as possible. Registration can be a complex process that requires a user to go into the beltpack menu and apply a pin code so the beltpack can be registered to the antennas. This process can easily take 2 mins per beltpack. Imagine doing that for 25 beltpacks,” said Jake Dodson. “Bolero incorporates Near Field Communication technology into both the beltpack and the active antenna. The user needs only to touch the beltpack to the antenna to complete the registration process.”

“Bolero is a category-changer for wireless intercom systems,” said Thomas Riedel. “A lot of time and effort has gone into every phase of Bolero’s development, a true ground-up development touching all aspects of design. We are proud to share that the BBC is already building their new studio intercom systems around the Bolero wireless concept.”

Industrial designers have been employed on the Bolero to create a beltpack whose display can be read easily whether the pack is hung from a belt, laid flat on a table or mounted on a wall. Jake Dodson commented at the launch that the design of the circular recess and slot in the back of the beltpack, designed for wall mounting, resembles a beer bottle opener. Accordingly, the edge of the recess has been reinforced so that it can indeed be used to crack open a celebratory drink.