Ever since then, Clear-Com has stayed true to its roots with analogue-based intercom systems for the live performance market. However, word spread quickly internationally and into diverse industries – so today Clear-Com also operates in markets including Broadcast, Military, Aerospace and Government, Sports Operations, Houses of Worship, Theme Park and Offshore-Marine. These market forces drove the company into innovating larger and more flexible systems such as the fully-programmable MS-808 with greater channel count, more separate intercom channels, IFB capabilities, interfacing with third-party equipment such as cameras, telephone lines, and two-way radios.
Digital Matrix Intercom
Eventually, more complex workflows like those in Broadcast required even more flexible platforms and tighter integration with the digital systems that were now in use. In the early 1980s, Clear-Com introduced its first digital intercom system, Matrix Plus, to address the needs of more demanding television operations, and the first three generations of digital matrix technology were a market favourite. In 1997 Clear-Com’s success in the market caught the attention of the UK-based holding company, The Vitec Group, which not only acquired Clear-Com but also several other companies serving the Broadcast industry, including Clear-Com’s UK-based competitor, Drake Electronics. The two R&D teams came together to develop what became the Eclipse Digital Matrix, which was released by a now-combined company with the Clear-Com brand in the forefront.
Subsequently Clear-Com introduced the Eclipse HX Digital Matrix Platform with a much faster processing speed and expanded capability set. Eclipse HX is unmatched in the industry in terms of integrating with other IP, wireless, digital and analogue Clear-Com-branded intercom families as well as tightly integrating third-party systems using its Host Control Interface (HCI) layer to control those systems.
Digital Networked Partyline Intercom
In 2010, Clear-Com launched HelixNet, the very first digital network partyline system. It had a robust set of partyline capabilities and digital audio quality that operated over any standard shielded twisted pair cable, but its core technology was an IP platform which also allowed audio channels, program audio and distributed Power-over-Ethernet to run on any standard IT network infrastructure via an Ethernet/LAN cable. HelixNet has subsequently risen to the forefront of high-end live performance applications like major Broadway productions and their touring versions.