Cambridge Consultants' Salix uses DECT to slash costs of audio distribution systems - Embedded.com

Cambridge Consultants’ Salix uses DECT to slash costs of audio distribution systems

Cambridge Consultants has launched Salix, a new wireless audio distribution system for the provision of hearing assistance or simultaneous translation within auditoria and conference centers. Salix uses a Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT) platform, eliminating the high set-up and installation costs of current infra-red systems and delivering high quality stereo audio at a small fraction of the costs of infra-red systems.

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 utilizing 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.

For simultaneous translation, multiple Salix systems can co-exist in an auditorium, conference center or school due to a robust spectrum etiquette scheme shared by all users of the DECT bands.

DECT is a radio technology ideal for audio distribution where quality and stability are the two key criteria. 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 program 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, April 9-14th, 2011, and will be offering demonstrations of Salix by appointment. To set up an appointment contact or +44 1223 392578.

For more information visit www.CambridgeConsultants.com.

Toni McConnelcan be reached at . 

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