It doesn’t have to be hard for the hard of hearing with Salix

Cambridge Consultants slashes costs for wireless audio provision for hearing impaired and simultaneous translation

Cambridge Consultants, a leading technology design and development firm, today announced Salix, a new wireless audio distribution system for the provision of hearing assistance or simultaneous translation within auditoria and conference centres. By using a Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT) platform, Salix eliminates the high set-up and installation costs of current infra-red systems, delivering high quality stereo audio at a small fraction of the installed costs.

Most audio distribution systems in use today are based on infra-red technology which has limited range and requires a clear line of sight between the transmitter and receiver. This means installing multiple transmitters in a venue, generally on the ceiling. This can be expensive, not only because of the need for multiple transmitters, but also because of the time-consuming and complicated installation. Salix overcomes these problems by utilising DECT wireless technology that delivers an effective operating range of at least 100m, does not require line of sight and is self-configuring to ensure interference-free broadcast. The result is high-quality, zero-dropout audio distribution from a single transmitter installed anywhere – significantly reducing hardware and installation costs. Importantly for simultaneous translation, multiple Salix systems can co-exist in an auditorium, conference centre or school – this is due to a robust spectrum etiquette scheme, which is shared by all users of the DECT bands.

“Cambridge Consultants has a long history of creating advanced products using the DECT cordless technology platform,” commented Tim Whittaker, System Architect, Wireless Division at Cambridge Consultants. “DECT is a rock solid radio technology which is why we consider it ideal for audio distribution where quality and stability are the two key criteria. The fact that it is a well-established technology also means that

DECT chips are widely available at a very low unit cost, which enables the development of extremely low cost transmitters for auditoria. In addition, the low-cost of installation means that some venues could reduce installation costs to a tenth of comparable infra-red based systems.”

The Salix reference design, which has been tested and proven, is available as a hardware documentation package including photoplot and assembly information, with executable software for both transmitter and receiver ends. Alternatively, source code licensing is available for custom design.

 The Salix system comprises a transmitter board that can be populated for one or two stereo channels, and a receiver board with selector buttons for volume, power and programme selection, audio output socket and a built-in lithium polymer battery. A modern high quality, low latency music codec delivers stereo audio with a 15kHz bandwidth.

Tim Whittaker from Cambridge Consultants will be attending the NAB Show at the LVCC, Las Vegas, 9-14th April 2011, and will be offering demonstrations of Salix by appointment through Reveal email address or +44 1223 392578.

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