The Model 204 Announcer’s Console offers a unique combination of analog and digital audio resources for use in broadcast sports, eSports, live event, entertainment, and streaming broadcast applications.
The Model 204 Announcer’s Console offers a unique combination of analog and digital audio resources for use in broadcast sports, eSports, live event, entertainment, and streaming broadcast applications. The unit is housed in a compact, rugged steel enclosure that’s intended for table-top use. Calling the Model 204 “cute” or “cool” would be accurate; its nicely proportioned but diminutive size makes it ideal for use in space-constrained locations. The Model 204 supports Dante® audio-over-Ethernet digital media technology with AES67 compatibility for integration into contemporary applications. The unit is extremely simple to deploy, is “pro” quality throughout, and provides an intuitive user experience. The Model 204’s audio quality is excellent, with low distortion, low noise, and ample headroom. Careful circuit design and rugged components ensure long, reliable operation.
The Model 204 integrates directly into both Dante audio-over-Ethernet and standard analog audio environments. With just a Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) connection, a microphone, and a pair of headphones or an earpiece, a complete broadcast on-air position can be created. And by using the Model 204’s microphone output a direct connection to an analog microphone-level input on an associated camera, remote I/O interface, or audio console can be supported. Two remote control inputs allow external switches or contact closures to activate the main and talkback button functions.
Model 204 operating features are configured using the STcontroller personal computer software application. An extensive set of parameters allows the unit’s functions to be tailored to meet the needs of many applications. STcontroller, compatible with version 7 and later of the Windows®operating system, is a fast and simple means of confirming and revising the unit’s operating parameters.
The Model 204 on its own can provide an “all-Dante” solution for one on-air talent location. A wide range of applications can be supported, including sports and entertainment TV and radio events, streaming broadcasts, corporate and government AV installations, and post-production facilities. The unit’s small size makes it ideal for live-sports applications, such as basketball, where physical space for personnel is very limited. Four Dante receiver (audio input) channels supply the user with their talent cue (IFB) signals. Should the cue signal be “mix-minus” an integrated sidetone function can provide the user with a microphone confidence signal. Two Dante audio output channels, one designated as main and the other as talkback, are routed via an associated local-area network (LAN) to inputs on Dante-compatible devices. Two pushbutton switches, main and talkback, provide the user with direct control over audio routing. The audio switching is performed in the digital domain and is virtually “click-free.”
By providing the main audio signal in two forms, Dante digital audio and analog microphone level, the Model 204 makes integration into a wide range of on-air environments easy to accomplish. The talkback audio channel is available as a Dante output channel which makes routing to an input on a variety of devices, such as matrix intercom systems, audio consoles, and monitor loudspeaker systems, simple and flexible.
Some applications may benefit from not utilizing the Model 204’s Dante main output channel. This typically won’t be an issue of inadequate audio quality but rather a need to match work-flow requirements. For example, for lip-sync or transmission purposes it may be optimal to have the on-air audio transported as an embedded signal along with the associated camera video. Alternately, all on-air audio sources may need to connect to inputs on an audio console or console-related I/O unit. Supporting these scenarios is not a problem as the Model 204 supplies a microphone output connection that’s specifically intended for this purpose. Simply connect the unit’s microphone output connection to the desired analog input, such as the mic/line input on an ENG-style camera—that’s it!
The circuitry associated with the Model 204’s analog microphone output is very simple, essentially a passive path that routes a signal connected to the microphone input connector directly to the microphone output connector. A solid-state circuit, in series with the mic in-to-mic out path, allows muting of the signal on the microphone output connector whenever the Dante main output channel is muted. Having both the Dante main output and the microphone outputs work in tandem can be a valuable resource, allowing one to serve as the primary on-air signal source while the other serves as the backup.