ATK Versacom specializes in providing intercom systems for live shows, specials, and corporate events, and has relied on Pliant® Technologies CrewCom® wireless intercom system for shows like the iHeartRadio Music Awards, Kids Choice Sports Awards, The Voice, Comedy Central Roast of Bruce Willis and various BET red carpet specials. When Matt Campisi, managing engineer at ATK Versacom was looking to add to his inventory, he knew that the addition of Pliant’s innovative intercom system would be a great fit in providing the support, user counts, and range needed for some of the industry’s most demanding broadcasts.
“I have been using CrewCom on a variety of shows and special events for temporary installation and rentals,” says Campisi. “We were looking for a system with a lot of flexibility, easy installation, and a different operating RF band split verses other manufacturers, and Pliant fit all of that criteria. CrewCom works in the 900MHz spectrum, which offsets the other products I have operating in the 1.9GHz frequency band and provides less intrusion. CrewCom also offers the reliability and support I need for all of the productions ATK Versacom works on.”
Using CrewCom, ATK Versacom is able to have 18 users on a Control Unit (CU) and the system can be expanded to accommodate many more users with additional CUs. This is extremely helpful when tailoring the infrastructure to meet diverse production RF needs and varying user counts. For added flexibility and ease-of-use, any CU can access, control, and monitor any CrewCom device across CrewNet™, CrewCom’s proprietary network that coordinates and transports all system timing, audio conferences, signaling, and control. The frequency agnostic CU is also an important part of CrewCom’s multi-frequency capability that allows additional options for today’s crowded RF environments.
“Having that many users on one CU is key for some of the large-scale shows we do since they have such high requirements,” says Campisi. “I have had up to 32 users on a red carpet show with multiple zones covered. CrewCom has definitely allowed me to have more users than most of the other systems on the market today.”
ATK Versacom interfaces one of the company’s digital matrix systems to the 4-wire ports of the CrewCom system, which provides a high-quality link to the wired intercom systems. The company takes advantage of the CrewCom Hubs to extend connectivity and increase range. “Pliant has done a great job with its network-based transceiver distribution,” says Campisi. “The Radio Transceivers (RTs) have great range as well. In addition, the Hubs help me get further to other zones that need additional coverage and it’s an easy setup with standard Cat 5e cable.”
The CrewCom Radio Transceiver houses a radio with corresponding antennas and serves as an access point enabling RF communications with CrewCom Radio Packs. Using CrewNet as a backbone, up to 16 transceivers can be positioned on the network throughout a wide coverage area by being linked back to a CU either directly, through a Hub(s), or connected in a daisy-chain configuration.
“CrewCom has been used by directors, stage managers, camera operators, audio departments, lighting departments, producers, and special effects people who have all praised the system for its exceptional sound quality,” adds Campisi. “Sound quality is really important to have when you are in a very loud environment. The fidelity needs to be there when hearing camera cues at critical moments. The pack is ergonomically built for ease of use with individual volume controls, which is key for some of the things we do. The users really like these features and so do I. I look forward to continuing to use the system on future projects.”
More information about Pliant Technologies is available at www.plianttechnologies.com.