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A virtual press conference from Sound & Video Contractor


ALAMEDA, CALIFORNIA/STATE COLLEGE, PENNSYLVANIA — While AccuWeather.com® was busy covering the solar eclipse on August 1, another eclipse worked its magic at the acclaimed weather broadcaster’s headquarters in State College, Pennsylvania. There, the Eclipse Median Digital Matrix intercom system, along with a CellCom® digital wireless network from Clear-Com®, a Vitec Group brand, form the heart of AccuWeather.com’s intercom network, enabling flexible and crystal-clear communications.

AccuWeather.com uses the Eclipse Median, purchased from one of Clear-Com’s premier dealers, AZCAR USA, Inc., for live hits and setting up IFB feeds. The complete system, designed to provide expanded support in mobile facilities or fly-away systems for large spaces, includes two V-Series V12LDX4 user control panels, for each of AccuWeather.com’s studios, and a V-Series V24LDX4 for its control room. Adhering to IFB/PL requirements, the broadcaster also has three sets of TEL-14s and FOR-22 interface modules along with PTX-3 UHF wireless transmitters and PRC-2 UHF wireless receivers.

The CellCom system, meanwhile, gives AccuWeather.com employees beltpack-based wireless communications throughout its operations floor, allowing up to 10 beltpacks to roam seamlessly between remote active antennas. CellCom is equipped with an alert feature that maintains contact even when a headset has been removed, and also provides remote battery monitoring and remote microphone kill for greater control and information at the base station. As CellCom operates in the 1.9 GHz band, it can be safely and reliably operated even after the February 2009 reallocation of UHF bands mandated by the FCC.

According to Steve Dowd, Senior Video Engineer, AccuWeather.com, the facility was impressed with the flexibility of the Clear-Com systems. “We had outgrown our original party-line configuration, which limited us from being able to do multiple live hits from our studios simultaneously,? he says. “We needed a system that allowed for more expansion. Clear-Com was extremely valuable in helping find that solution. Its team of experts came down to evaluate our facility and then proposed the Eclipse Median and CellCom products to best suit our requirements.?

Dowd adds that while Clear-Com’s products offer exceptional performance, its customer service has proven second to none. “Clear-Com sent its commissioning engineer to our facility, and he did a great job in assisting with the completion of the installation process and system programming. He also made sure that our video technicians were properly trained in using the equipment, which made for a smooth transition as we shifted from our original party-line to the Eclipse Median and CellCom networks.?

Note: CellCom® and FreeSpeak® are different brands representing the same digital wireless intercom system (with minor technical differences). Due to trademark limitations, CellCom is only available in the USA and Canada; FreeSpeak is available in all other countries.

AccuWeather, The World’s Weather Authority®, presents accurate, localized, branded forecasts and severe weather bulletins to over 110 million Americans each day via the Internet, mobile devices and IPTV, through the airwaves, in print and on digital signage. The 113 meteorologists at AccuWeather deliver a portfolio of customized products and services to media, business, government, and institutions, and inform millions of visitors worldwide through the free AccuWeather.com website. AccuWeather also provides content onto more than 20,000 third-party Internet sites, including CNN Interactive, ABC’s owned and operated stations, The Washington Post and The New York Times. Visit www.accuweather.com for more information.

Clear-Com®, a brand of The Vitec Group plc, is the global leader of professional communication solutions for broadcast, live performance, military, government and commercial markets. For more than 40 years, Clear-Com’s signature products such as Encore™ Party-line, Eclipse® Digital Matrix, CellCom®/FreeSpeak® Digital Wireless and IP Communications systems have revolutionized broadcast stations, production trucks, houses of worship and performance venues. Recognizing Clear-Com for its history of intercom innovation, production teams around the world achieve ubiquitous communication with products to promote easy interoperability and global connectivity. More information can be found at www.clearcom.com.

The Vitec Group plc (“Group?) is acknowledged as a global leader in the supply of equipment and services to the broadcasting, entertainment and photographic industries and has established a reputation for technical excellence and superior engineering along with an astute business strategy which has seen it grow by acquisition. Innovation is a cornerstone of the Group’s activities and the organization is committed to a policy of continuous product development. With revenues (2007) of $546m (£274m) and over 2,200 employees world-wide, its products are distributed in almost 100 countries, through a strong, fully-resourced distribution network or direct to the end user or corporate customer. More information can be found at www.vitecgroup.com.

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