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Clear-Com Presents the Next Generation of IFB Assignment and Management Capabilities at NAB 2015


Major overhaul of Eclipse HX IFB provides essential operational efficiencies and multi-dimensional control

Today at NAB 2015, Clear-Com®, the leader in wired, wireless and IP communication solutions, presented a newly-designed set of IFB assignment and management capabilities within EHX configuration software and the integrated Production Maestro® Pro assignment facility. The system’s new IFB capabilities deliver exceptional ease of use and routing visibility for both single matrix systems and for multi-user, multi-site facilities, offering reliability and operational efficiency in one of the most challenging areas of broadcast production.
“Matrix systems on the market today offer a one-dimensional view of IFBs and are operationally inefficient. The problems become acute where broadcasters need to scale up quickly for special events and where broadcast communications systems are geographically distributed,” said Peter Stallard, Senior Product Manager at Clear-Com. “By making the IFB facilities more flexible, scalable and user-friendly, we have greatly improved workflow for technical users of this part of the broadcast operation.”
The new IFB management facility can support installations from a few IFBs to hundreds of lines from a single central view, making it suitable for small studios, large events and geographically distributed intercom infrastructures. Up to 200 virtual IFBs are supported on a single matrix system and up to 64 matrices can be networked together to form one system.  As many as 15 system administrators can work in parallel using Production Maestro Clients to manage a network of Eclipse-HX matrix frames.
A major feature is the unique “See-Hear-Touch” all-in-one experience that offers interactive options and clear management support. Dynamic visual views are provided for monitoring IFB status and troubleshooting, such as a detailed and a summary view; an option for assignable VU meters; dynamic assignment of program sources, intercom panels, destination ports and talent return; multi-level undo and redo of all assignments; and configurable screen layouts tailored and annotated for changing requirements.  All operations within the system are transparent and give a seamless view of resources in single and multiple matrix intercom set-ups.
In addition to visual support, the operators can manage the IFBs by touch, with touch-screen and drag-and-drop capabilities enabling intuitive and efficient IFB assignment and user management operations. MCR operators can select to hear the various IFB contributors as they are modified in real time and accurately monitor the final mix to the on-air talent - this is a tremendous benefit to broadcasters that need to make instant adjustments.
All IFB parameters are easy to change dynamically and independently from one or more work surfaces. The user interface represents a significant innovation, as it has been specifically designed to elegantly scale up to large touchscreen monitor size and down to ergonomically fit into tablet devices such as the Apple iPad. At this level of interaction, IFB users gain major operational efficiencies with the convenience of managing IFBs straight from a portable device, from anywhere in the studio.
Visitors to Booth C5409 at NAB 2015 will be able to see, hear and touch the new IFB management capability within Eclipse-HX, together with the complete Clear-Com line of new and enhanced products.