Governors State University, one of the first television production facilities to convert its entire audio infrastructure to Dante™ Audio-over-Ethernet media networking technology, recently added Studio Technologies’ Model 45DR and Model 45DC Dante-to-Party-Line Intercom Interfaces to their extensive set of technical resources. This has allowed them to leverage the power of their Dante network by integrating their RTS® and Clear-Com® party-line intercoms into their campus-wide fiber-based Ethernet network. Party-line intercom systems of different types and complexities, and located in different campus buildings, can now easily interconnect using Dante.
Founded in 1969, Governors State University operates two full-HD broadcast studios. In addition to producing programming from the dedicated studios, other campus buildings are also utilized. When using the 1,171-seat Center for the Performing Arts, all video, audio, intercom and control signals link to the control rooms using single-mode fiber. A single fiber pair supports a Gigabit Ethernet link for use by the various Dante-enabled devices. With their current equipment list, they can transport up to 72 channels of bi-directional audio and multiple intercom channels via Dante. Additional control functions, including router control, remote PTZ camera control and RS422-connected control functions can be simultaneously moved over the same Ethernet network.
Prior to the school’s adoption of the Dante technology, it relied on traditional broadcast interconnects, which offered limited audio flexibility, especially when working from the campus’ remote venues. “We could bring some audio back through the fiber links from the cameras, but it was cumbersome and channel counts were limited,” says Charles Nolley, interim vice president of media marketing and communications for Governors State University. “Also, although we have intercom on all of our cameras, we were lacking an efficient way to establish communications with everyone involved in production of a live event. The Studio Technologies’ intercom interfaces helped us streamline our communications and get everyone connected.”
While the television production unit uses RTS intercoms, Clear-Com intercoms are used in the Center for the Performing Arts. “We wanted to find a way to bring the non-camera-based intercoms onto the Dante network, while also seeking a way to connect users of both brands of intercoms with each other seamlessly,” he says. To address this issue, Nolley and his team installed the Studio Technologies’ Model 45DR and Model 45DC intercom interfaces, using one with the Clear-Com system, the other with the RTS and a third for mobile intercom communications.
The school immediately noticed a tremendous increase in flexibility and quality of service. “Through Studio Technologies’ Dante-to-Party-Line Intercom Interfaces, the quality of our intercoms was instantly improved,” says Nolley. “Operating through the Dante network, we are seeing a great increase in flexibility and speed as opposed to what we were accustomed to working in the analog world. Complex production intercom setups can easily be configured in software and stored as presets for future use. Now with the latest firmware update, we even have call light signaling between the RTS and Clear-Com systems.”
Studio Technologies’ Model 45DR Intercom Interface is designed for applications that utilize 2-channel analog party-line intercom circuits. These types are commonly used in studio and remote broadcast applications. The Model 45DR can supply party-line power and two channels of audio termination, allowing the direct connection of user devices such as intercom belt packs. The Model 45DR can also connect to an existing 2-channel powered intercom circuit.
The Model 45DC Intercom Interface is ideal for applications that utilize single-channel analog party-line intercom circuits, such those associated with entertainment applications. The Model 45DC is able to supply two independent channels of party-line power and audio termination. This allows direct connection of two sets of single-channel user belt packs. The Model 45DC can also connect to two existing single-channel powered intercom circuits. Both the Model 45DC and Model 45DR can be powered by Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) or an external source of 12 volts DC.
Nolley says he and the rest of the production team at Governors State University are very pleased with the performance of the Model 45DR and Model 45DC, noting that the products have added greater efficiency to the overall production workflow by bringing all the intercoms onto the Dante network. “Studio Technologies, in my experience, has always been a company that fills critical gaps in the production workflow, and that is certainly the case with these products. They give us an elegant, trouble-free way to get intercom into certain areas where it was previously difficult to do so.”
Governors State University has also recently taken delivery of another Studio Technologies’ product, the Model 215 Dante-Enabled Announcer’s Console. It will assist the school in its future broadcast-sports production operations. For more information on Governors State University, visit http://www.govst.edu/.