27. October 2020 Mark

Clear-Com at XMedia.Lab

In spring 2020, Clear-Com participated in MCI’s XMedia.Lab, providing its products and IP solutions for extensive ST-2110 testing. With the support of leading broadcast and IT manufacturers, MCI is accompanying the technical developments of the SMPTE/EBU IP roadmap. Already in 2018, the IP Testlab was created to offer a platform for IP-based approaches in the broadcast and ProAV area, as well as future cross-media requirements of broadcasters, within which current developments are validated and new solution approaches are developed. In this context, new questions are constantly arising, which require a flexible, yet in-depth consideration of the new possibilities. To meet this challenge, MCI 2020 founded the XMedia.Lab as an evolution of the original IP Test Lab. The XMedia.Lab examines possible IP solutions for everyday activities in the broadcast and ProAV sector on the basis of use cases.

This year, the XMedia.Lab took place in the period from February 2020 to June 2020 inclusive. The principle of “everything via one network” was followed. An IP-based production infrastructure enables simultaneous transmission of audio, video, and metadata over the same wire of the same network, significantly reducing the complexity of distributing signals over physically separate wires. In addition, an efficient distribution structure in the network can be benefited from.

One of the use cases chosen was remote production, where intercom systems make an indispensable contribution to communication in everyday production. When selecting the intercom systems, the requirement was to integrate them into the principle of “everything via one network”. In close cooperation with experts from Clear-Com, an intercom system was to be integrated into the XMedia.Lab that would meet these requirements.

Alexander Hemme, Sales Manager Clear-Com: “We not only have a long-standing partnership with MCI, but also a common interest in actively shaping future cross-media developments in an IP-based broadcast industry. Clear Com has invested a lot of energy in the development of IP-capable solutions in recent years. The XMedia.Lab offers the opportunity to test our products for interoperability in an ST-2110 environment and provides insights that will help us further develop subsequent product generations.”

For integration into an IP infrastructure, Clear-Com relied on the 256-port Eclipse Delta intercom matrix with an E-IPA 64-port AES-67 IP card. For smooth communication, both FreeSpeak II, the DECT-based wireless system with IP antennas, and the new IRIS microphone units were used.

The challenge in this year’s XMedia.Lab was to integrate the matrix system at the various locations and enable communication via AES67. This is due to the fact that the entire structure of the XMedia.Lab was designed on the ST-2110 standard.

Markus Neeb, Project Engineer MCI: “An IP-based production infrastructure via the ST-2110 standard currently still presents us with the challenge of interoperably networking different product solutions.. Clear-Com was actively involved in the integration of its solutions into the IP system throughout the XMedia.Lab and was always helpful and responsive.”

The Clear-Com Matrix was located at the main site on the Studio Hamburg premises in Hamburg-Tonndorf. The various IP intercom stations and IP antennas were distributed throughout the network at various locations, including a remote site, which was approximately 30 km transmission distance away. The entire system was connected to the network and connected via a specially provided VLAN.

The integration of the Clear-Com intercom system into an ST-2110 infrastructure was possible with only a few adjustments, which were quickly carried out by Clear-Com. A real-time communication via AES67 was successfully carried out due to the low latency times and thus the Clear-Com KDO system incl. the DECT wireless system could meet the principle of “everything via one network”.