Skip to main menu Skip to main content Skip to footer

Clear-Com's Eclipse HX New Release Offers Significant Enhancements to IFB and V-Series Panels


Software version 8.5 delivers sophisticated tools for communications and digital audio distribution
At IBC 2015, Clear-Com® will demonstrate its vast communication portfolio, including new updates to the Eclipse HX matrix intercom platform. The Eclipse HX v8.5 software, which is now shipping, will deliver a completely revamped interactive and dynamic IFB management capability within Production Maestro and extends V-Series panels connectivity options to their host Eclipse HX system over MADI.
V-Series Panels over MADI for Eclipse HX Integration
As part of the Eclipse HX v8.5 configuration software updates, V-Series panels can now be connected to their host Eclipse HX system over MADI-based routing. This enables operators to take advantage of third-party audio routers and audio networking devices that support the routing of MADI audio streams to AES3 end devices. Using a generic MADI infrastructure, operators have a new option for system operator panel interconnection that can support both high quality audio channels and connections to operator panels.
In addition, Clear-Com’s ProGrid low latency, high quality infrastructure can be more tightly integrated with Eclipse HX so that MADI can carry multiple audio channels and operator panel data via ProGrid. By combining Eclipse HX, V-Series panels and ProGrid, users can connect consoles, routers, and stage boxes over a resilient ProGrid backbone, simplifying cabling while delivering high quality end-to-end digital audio distribution.
“Clear-Com’s integration of MADI now enables a cost-effective solution for distributed systems,” said Peter Stallard, Senior Product Manager for Matrix Systems at Clear-Com. “By simultaneously supporting both high-quality audio and operator panel connectivity, our new MADI card [E-MADI-HX-64] provides users with a dense multi-function interface that simplifies audio and intercom connectivity as well as cabling.”
New Eclipse HX IFB Management Capabilities
Clear-Com understands that today’s IFB systems must be dynamic, with the ability to re-route feeds during commercial breaks and quickly configure external lines. The new Eclipse HX 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 iOS tablet devices. 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.
“The worst thing that can happen on-air is to see an anchor or field reporter with their hand at their ear - that means something is wrong with the IFB system,” said Stallard. “At Clear-Com we know how mission critical these systems are, and how easy it is for a news cast to fall apart when the IFB is unreliable. That’s why our customers have come to trust Clear-Com. We don’t just deliver a robust system; we continuously improve it..”
The complete line of Clear-Com new and enhanced products will be available for demonstration at IBC2015 on Stand 10.D29.