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Infra Red Listening & Hearing Systems

Infrared Hearing Equipment (also known as infrared listening or IR listening equipment)

The system works with an infrared emitter sending out an invisible beam of infrared light which individual receivers convert into sound via built-in headphones or local lnduction loops worn around the neck (neckloops)

The Lord Chancellor's department recommends infrared hearing equipment for use in courts due to the security aspect. The signal cannot be heard outside the room unlike an induction loop system that can sometimes be heard several metres outside a room due to overspill. Larger emitters are used in court rooms and theatres. As the size of the room and the amount of people wishing to hear increases, additional emitters and receivers will be required.



Advantages of the Infrared Hearing System

1. There is no loop with an infrared system - this is of particular benefit from an installation aspect where the fabric of the building, a church for example, cannot have cable attached or visible.

2. Infrared transmissions will not permeate walls, ceilings, or floors. This means that each room has total privacy from any other room.

3. Since infrared systems are not hampered by multiple frequency problems, a person wearing an infrared receiver in one room can move to another room and use the same receiver unit without switching frequencies or units entirely.

4. Infrared systems can also be set-up to provide stereo sound. This is especially beneficial in theatre, auditorium facilities, lecture halls or presentation rooms where high quality audio is being produced as a part of a video tape or laser disc.

5. Infrared headsets have the receiver unit built into the headset, therefore no wire or connector failures can occur.



Where to use Infrared Hearing Systems

Induction loop systems can be installed in locations such as churches, theatres, public halls and auditoriums, schools, lecture halls, residential homes, cinemas, service counter windows, offices,airports, train stations, cars and homes. Due to overspill issues, loop systems are not recommended for situations where privacy is desired, for example, in court rooms.



Infrared hearing systems are used in a variety of locations, especially where confidentiality is important. Court rooms, theatres, lecture halls, churches are a few popular locations where infrared systems are commonly installed.



JUST A FEW FREQUENCIES

For many years, all IR systems operated on a single carrier frequency: 95kHz. This single standard was handy because it meant that any IR headset could be used with any IR system.

The number of frequencies has expanded in recent years, both to accommodate more channels and to skirt around potential interference from some high-intensity lighting systems.

Manufacturers who still offer the 95kHz claim that new refinements in their circuitry have overcome the interference problems. We still market the 95kHz system and at our entry level price is great value for money. However, the shift up into the 2.3MHz to 2.7MHz range remains a clear trend � primarily because it more easily accommodates 2- and 4-channel systems.

Nevertheless, that means the IR systems of the world still use a relatively small number of carrier frequencies � six in all � with 250kHz commonly paired with 95kHz for 2-channel operation. Compared to the channels allotted in RF spectrum, this limited frequency choice does foster a greater degree of compatibility among transmitters and receivers from various makers.



COVERAGE AREAS

Whereas the carrier frequencies are cleanly defined, definitions of coverage areas are not. Some latitude must be allowed here, as there is no universal agreement as to what constitutes acceptable background noise levels. As a general rule, the more diodes in the emitter and the higher the radiated power (the two usually track together), the larger the potential coverage area. The only absolute rule is that doubling the number of channels carried by each emitter will halve the effective coverage area.

Other factors affecting coverage include amount of direct sunlight (which can introduce noise) and the reflectivity of walls. Most manufacturers will not assume wall or ceiling reflections when making their coverage calculations, so the resultant coverage areas usually form oval or toy-top shapes. But, in most cases, a large area of light-colored wall surface will greatly expand the effective coverage area, often extending a signal into corners of a rectangular room. The dark, fuzzy walls inside a cinema, however, are a completely different story.

MODULAR AND INTEGRATED SYSTEMS

IR systems come in two broadly defined categories: modular and integrated. The modular systems comprise separate emitters (also called radiators) and transmitters (also known as modulators). Many will have separate power supplies as well. Modular systems are the best choice for larger rooms, or rooms with architectural impediments that preclude line-of-sight from only one or two points. With this approach, only one or two transmitters (depending on channel requirements) can be linked to any number of emitters, sometimes of various sizes, as needed to cover the space.



We've worked with Audolink in the US to create a simple set of systems to fit all sizes of rooms, we've kept it very simple, you buy your transmitter sor a small, medium or large room and for those larger or unusual shaped rooms, just add a slave repeater panel.



Then it's just a case of adding as many receiver units as you are likely to need.



There are no strange batteries or dedicated charging units needeed, these Intrared receivers take standard or rechargeable AAA batteries so there is no worry about changing products making the batteries obsolete.

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