LONDON — We at Global Radio Services first experienced the Glensound HD Voice system in 2011 when we received a demo system on loan.
First impressions were very good. The system consists of a portable battery-powered unit (GS-MPI004HD) about the size of a paperback book, which contains an audio input and headphone output, together with a keypad and minimal user controls. It’s built like most other traditional Glensound kit, in that it feels like it will work for many years to come, despite the rigors of daily use.
The studio base unit (GS-MPI005HD) is a 1RU rack-mount box, with controls that replicate the portable unit, together with a power mains socket and external antenna socket.
Both units have to connect to the same mobile network to operate in Glensound HD Voice mode, and they feature a full-size SIM card slot. Careful positioning may be needed to make sure the base unit is located somewhere where there is good mobile reception.
Once the kit was installed, it was simply a matter of dialing the number of the opposite unit. This is great as it works just like a mobile phone, which means there really is minimal training required. Our reporters usually dial from the portable unit to the base unit using the 10 presets we’ve assigned to the built-in programmable memory, meaning it’s a case of pressing two buttons to connect to the studio.
Over the years our news and speech-based station, LBC, has tried all sorts of technologies to enable its reporters to broadcast-quality audio back to the studio. At first the traditional 3G data-based units were good, but as time has progressed, and more and more people acquired a data device, particularly in Central London, it’s become increasingly difficult to find a connection stable enough to use on air. As the Glensound unit utilizes the 3G voice channel, once you’ve initiated the call, the data is yours, meaning that it’s far more likely to work in areas where there are lots of other 3G users. This has meant that the journalists have grown to like and trust the system.
So far it’s been in use daily since we bought the units in November last year. We’ve also used them at many events and news stories including last year’s Royal Wedding and the recent Queen’s jubilee events in central London, which were attended by many hundreds of thousands of people.
The sound quality is fairly good, maybe not quite as good as some of the 3G data units, but for speech-based radio this is more than made up for by the reliability of the connection as the low latency of the system.
Overall the system has worked very well for us, and for less than half of the price of other 3G systems, represents good value.
For information, contact Marc Wilson at Glensound Electronics in England at 011-44-1622-753662 or visit www.glensound.co.uk.