Riedel Communications introduced its new wireless intercom solutions, Bolero, at Prolight + Sound. 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 can be used three ways: as a wireless beltpack, as a wireless keypanel, and as a walkie-talkie radio.
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 seamless roaming capabilities. To the system, the beltpacks look just like Riedel panels but are wireless, providing a high level of flexibility and programmability.
The Bolero high-clarity 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 exceptional latency characteristics while being very 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 two minutes per beltpack. Imagine doing that for 25 beltpacks,” said Jake Dodson, Director of Product Management at Riedel Communications. “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.”
The beltpacks support Bluetooth 4.1, allowing either a Bluetooth headset or a smartphone to be connected. When a smartphone is connected, the beltpack can act like a car’s ‘hands free’ setup so the user can receive calls on their phone and talk and listen via their beltpack headset. Users can also make calls and then connect that person into the intercom matrix, eliminating the need for a telephone hybrid.
Based on Riedel’s rental experience, the beltpacks use a combination of premium materials, including high-impact plastics and rubber overmoulds, to create a tough device with an ergonomic feel that provides easy use and handling. The display can be inverted so that it is readable in any orientation.
The beltpack itself features six buttons for each of the six intercom channels, plus a separate ‘Reply’ button that easily facilitates a reply to the last channel that called. Finally, the beltpack can be used without a headset like a walkie-talkie radio utilising an integrated mic and speaker.
“Bolero is a category-changer for wireless intercom systems,” said Thomas Riedel, CEO at Riedel Communications. “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.”