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New intercom devices from RTS presented at IBC 2016

New intercom devices from RTS presented at IBC 2016
New intercom devices from RTS presented at IBC 2016

The Netherlands Many broadcasters have studios in multiple geographical locations, with a large number of both analogue and digital keypanels in use. With its two new multiplexer models, RTS now offers these users a powerful solution to integrate their analogue keypanels into high-performance optical fibre networks. The FMI-4 and FMI-8 are fully compatible with RTS intercom matrices. User keypanels and interfaces from RTS can connect up to four or up to eight analogue devices to a matrix over fibre network.

Multiplexing several analogue cables into one single optical fibre not only reduces the amount of cabling, it also means less maintenance, allows for easy network configuration via software routing and provides full redundancy in a double fibre configuration. In addition, existing infrastructures can be leveraged by companies already using optical fibre networks.

The two multiplexers units from RTS:

  • FMI-4: multiplexer featuring four RTS compatible four-wire intercom ports with serial control, line level audio inputs and outputs, along with serial data links on RJ45 connectors for communication between intercom matrices and auxiliary devices.
  • FMI-8: multiplexer featuring eight RTS compatible four-wire intercom ports with serial control, line level audio inputs and outputs along with serial data links on RJ45 connectors for communication between intercom matrices and auxiliary devices. 

Instead of wiring each analogue keypanels to its corresponding matrix, the keypanels are connected to the optical network and can then be routed to the matrix via software. But not only the wiring of analogue keypanels itself is simplified; a fibre connection also allows users to build various network topologies like a ring, star or daisy chain. The data streams are transmitted unaltered and uncompressed, with a fixed latency of only 41.6 µs per node – currently the lowest on the market. Various signals can be mixed and routed, such as analogue audio, MADI, and Dante. Compared to copper-based networks, a fibre-based network architecture also offers greater bandwidth, lossless signal transmission over large distances and is unaffected by any electromagnetic field.

Once the multiplexers are interconnected in a dual fibre ring, the network is resilient to a single fibre failure and provides full redundancy. This prevents a single fibre fault interrupting the signal between the matrix and the keypanels. The multiplexer devices also feature built-in dual power supplies on board, allowing a permanent connection to a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply).

The complete system configuration is scalable and backwards compatible, it can be expanded at any time with the latest or legacy interfaces. Only a networked approach to media distribution allows an intercom system to be designed, configured and – if needed – redesigned with little additional effort and cost.

Digital audio requires synchronisation. The most professional way to transport digital audio is via the synchronous network. The data and the clock are transported together in a synchronous manner and all devices connected to the network work with the same clock. The new multiplexers come with a built-in, highly stable word clock generator. In case of a failure of the word clock master, the FMI-4 and FMI-8 multiplexers employ an automatic switching algorithm allowing every device to function as word clock master in a system.

The RTS multiplexer models feature low power consumption and silent operation. They can even be used in recording studios, OB vans or theatre productions with very high requirements for room acoustics. The new devices will be sold as single units and pairs and will be available worldwide at the end of 2016.

New intercom devices from RTS presented at IBC 2016 New intercom devices from RTS presented at IBC 2016

15th September 2016

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