Belgium’s historic Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie has upgraded its entire staff communications infrastructure based on intercom equipment from Riedel Communications. Artist digital matrix intercom, Bolero wireless intercom (in both integrated and standalone modes), and SmartPanel have been installed to meet the theatre’s requirements for highly flexible, reliable, high-quality and future-proof intercom operations.

Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie upgrades with Riedel Artist, Bolero and SmartPanelAlso known as the De Munt Theatre, the venue is one of the most prestigious opera houses in the world and the largest in Belgium, with more than 450 employees. Over its 300-year history, the it has survived a revolution, a fire, and two world wars, as well as the normal passage of time and evolution of technology. The Riedel upgrade was part of a massive renovation project that closed the De Munt Theatre for two years beginning in 2016.

‘We had several key requirements for a modern communications system that could meet the needs of our staff and crew. We needed seamless, high-quality coverage of the complete facility. And because of the theatre’s historic designation, the installation would have to be as unobtrusive as possible with a minimum of antennas,’ says Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie Project Leader, Karl Ancia. ‘Another critical requirement is an integrated intercom solution that works over our IP network and also in standalone mode for performances outside the theater, with wireless support for PCs and mobile devices. Riedel’s Bolero has exceeded our expectations on every single count.’

The new communications system spans two buildings and supports a staff of 180 crew members, including a 90-musician orchestra, set builders, costume and makeup personnel, and support and technical services. Equipped with AES67 cards, an Artist-128 matrix intercom mainframe provides AES67 connection over the theatre’s IP network to six rack-mounted 2300 SmartPanels and one desktop 2300 SmartPanel. The SmartPanels enable agile routing and control of all intercom signals transported over the network. In addition, SmartPanel ‘virtual panel’ apps enable up to 56 Mac, PC, Android, or iOS devices to communicate with the system.

Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie interiorThe Bolero wireless intercom system of 48 beltpacks and 12 antennas is also integrated with the Artist matrix via the AES67 cards. Seven of the antennae are installed permanently to provide full coverage for the entire facility, with four additional antennas available for standalone use at outside performances. Outside broadcaster DB Video has also installed Riedel’s Artist onboard its OB van for seamless production communications during live streaming of events.

Bolero’s exclusive Advanced DECT Receiver (ADR) technology is a critical element in the installation, given the building’s historic status, the thickness of the walls, and the spread-out nature of the facility. With ADR, not only does Bolero provide outstanding reception from every needed location, but it requires fewer antenne for a less intrusive installation.

In the performance hall, the new intercom is a great improvement over the previous static system. With the new system, since the virtual panels can be viewed from offices or a laptop, tablet, or smartphone, users can program intercom configurations of any size and create subgroups as needed. Ambient noise during a performance is no longer a problem since the beltpacks can be programmed to eliminate it. A large advantage in a performance setting, especially for music, is Bolero’s extremely low latency – between 35ms and 38ms.

Another key feature is Bolero’s Bluetooth functionality, which enables users to answer calls from a mobile phone directly via the headset of the beltpack. This makes the intercom system a valuable tool in an emergency situation when outside first responders need to be engaged.

‘I installed a Bolero Standalone system with ten beltpacks in only 30 minutes – a fraction of the time I thought I would need. But not only is Bolero extremely easy to use, its ability to operate in both integrated and standalone modes, plus native IP technology, gives us greater flexibility than ever before,’ Ancia reports. ‘IP networks are the wave of the future for communications and signal transport;, Bolero gives us a future-proof solution.’

More: www.riedel.net

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