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Singapore's Star PAC Takes the Lead With Riedel's Bolero Wireless Intercom

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A reliable communications system with crystal-clear audio is a must for a large-scale facility such as The Star Performing Arts Centre (Star PAC), which includes a 5,000-seat performing arts theater and other innovative meeting and presentation spaces. Understanding the importance of comms, The Star PAC has become the first facility in Singapore to adopt Riedel Communications' Bolero integrated wireless intercom system. The new Bolero deployment will aid The Star PAC in getting the most out of its Artist digital matrix intercom system — also from Riedel Communications — and in staying on the leading edge of wireless intercom technology.

"Reliable intercom systems are critical for our live shows and broadcast operations not only to ensure a smooth-running live performance but also to provide safety and emergency communications," said Reuben Ong, head of audio at The Star PAC. "We've enjoyed five years of success with our Riedel Artist system, and Bolero is a very welcome addition — providing complete integration for all wired and wireless intercom users. Our crew members have always raved about the programming flexibility and high audio quality of Artist, and now we can offer those benefits through the wireless system as well."

Bolero offers complete wireless integration and channel support for The Star PAC's existing Riedel Artist digital matrix intercom system, delivering clear, reliable communications throughout the facility’s auditorium, function halls, and broadcast production center.

Riedel's expandable, full-roaming, DECT-based Bolero intercom system operates in the license-free 1.9GHz frequency range, and its full integration with the Artist platform gives The Star PAC a rich set of features and connectivity. Running over a standards-based AES67 IP network, Bolero uses decentralized antennas to connect to AES67 switches and then to Artist frames equipped with AES67 client cards, thereby providing a fully integrated point-to-point intercom ecosystem with seamless roaming capabilities.

The Star PAC chose Bolero to replace a legacy wireless intercom that could only integrate to Artist via analog four-wire connections. Of the systems The Star PAC evaluated, Bolero offered the easiest integration and the most flexible programming capabilities. Riedel's Artist Director software facilitates fast, easy programming of Bolero beltpacks via a drag-and-drop interface. Thanks to Bolero's modern codec and efficient use of bandwidth, The Star PAC team can support up to 10 beltpacks per AES67-networked antenna and provide much wider coverage with outstanding sound quality.

The Star PAC has deployed eight Bolero antennas to ensure coverage for the entire building, including 5,000-seat The Star Theatre and The Star Gallery, a multipurpose hall. The Star Theatre is outfitted with high-end audio, video, and production lighting systems designed to increase attendees' enjoyment of amplified music and speech events, as well as large-scale musical theater and dance performances. A smaller space designed for flexible configuration, The Star Gallery is a 770-square-meter multipurpose hall that is ideal as a meeting room, banquet reception hall, studio space or even a black box for smaller-scale performances. The space may be partitioned into five individual rooms that range in size from 141 to 178 square meters.

To address the needs of all spaces within The Star PAC, antennas for Bolero are connected to three stacked AES67 switches (which perform as a single switch) that then link to the Artist mainframes equipped with AES67 client cards. A fiber-to-Cat 6 extender allows The Star PAC team to deploy a ninth antenna to cover distant meeting rooms, The Star Loft, and the outdoor amphitheater, Star Terrace, when required.

"With the Bolero-Artist integration, we can change the Bolero beltpacks' programming easily and on the fly, while end users can adjust the settings to their own requirements," Mr Ong added. "In initial testing so far, our crew and staff have felt very positive about the new system. The learning curve has been minimal since they're already familiar with the Director software, and the built-in bottle opener on the Bolero beltpack is a big hit!"

This article is also available in the June edition of Broadcast Film & Video.
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