Telephone Paging | PA | Tannoy
Audio broadcast systems (paging, PA and tannoy systems) have traditionally relied on microphones for users to make voice announcements. Microphones are designed and used as single purpose devices, providing simple and effective system input. However, microphones are also fixed device units, limiting user access to fixed locations when making paging and tannoy announcements. Historically, many businesses installed a microphone to their main reception, staff would then call the receptionist and ask for a paging/tannoy message to be sent.
- Microphone Pros: Provide a simple and effective means for users to make broadcasts and announcements,
- Microphone Cons: Restricted system access - limits user and system access to fixed locations.
These days, telephones of whatever type, design and technology have become widely used and available, they are the ubiquitous choice for both personal and commercial voice communication. Providing connection (via a telephone interface) between telephone systems and audio broadcast systems allows users to simply 'call and announce' directly from their phone. Freeing the restriction imposed by fixed location microphones.
- Telephone Interface Pros: Unrestricted, flexible system access.
- Telephone Interface Cons: Security & access control, technical interoperability.
Simplified Telephone Interface Example:
Telephone Interface Units provide location independence
Installing a telephone interface to a new or existing paging, PA / tannoy system, provides access for users to make broadcast announcements and paging calls from telephones. Telephones that might be local to the building, the site, or in fact they can be anywhere, mobile, national or even international. With this location independence, we find customers realising benefit and capability improvements such as:
- 'Anyware' system access: Telephone interface enables PA system access between buildings, across large sites, muti-sites
- First aid / responder: Use of telephones through the PA system to inform or call for help
- No expensive microphone equipment installation or cabling, also simplifies adds, moves and changes
- Telephone Interface Units can often provide 'recorded' announcements. Users only release their announcement message when happy
- Audio Loop: Can be configured to avoid audio 'feedback' between microphones and speakers
Recorded Announcements - user confidence and avoiding audio 'loops'
Some telephone interface devices offer the capability and option to pre-recording announcements / paging calls before they are released to the PA / Tannoy system for broadcast. This popular option provides confidence to the person making the announcement to record the message, and only release it for broadcast when they are happy. Pre-recorded announcements made in this way also helps to avoid audio 'loop' issues (eg. a live announcement made within 'ear-shot' of a speaker).
VoIP Telephone Access - AoIP
SIP VoIP telephones can also be used to make announcements through the PA system. Running SIP firmware, a SIP IP Audio 'decoder' unit registers for service from the host SIP/IP telephony system. The SIP IP decoder unit is used to interface to traditional amplified Public Address (PA) / 'Tannoy' equipment (as shown). Alternatively (or collectively), SIP IP speakers can also be used - adding additional install and location flexibility without the need of traditional mixing/amplification equipment.
Traditional Telephony to VoIP Migration Challenges
Businesses with existing telephone interface between their traditional telephony systems and their paging, PA and Tannoy systems are often faced with an interoperability challenge when they transition their telephony services from traditional analogue/digital to IP Telephony. Existing analogue / 'POTS' (Plain Old Telephone Service) telephone interface connections are not considered and are often no longer available. In such cases, use of Analogue Telephone Adaptors (ATA's) or similar IP/Network analogue telephone convertor is considered and used. Sometimes successfully, but can prove difficult to correctly duplicate 'POT's' signalling and can be problematic in providing reliable service. For this reason, mitigating technical conversion challenges, Abletek recommends replacement of the traditional POT's telephone interface with a SIP/IP telephone interface.
Telephone Interface: Example Client Project
(Garden Products | Warehouse Distribution)
- Large Office / Warehouse Site
- Traditional Amplified Speaker Distribution
- Multi-zone Paging
- Paging, PA & Tannoy SIP Telephone Interface
Outline: New build, large warehouse and distribution site based in Peterborough. Our customer required multiple audio applications - inlcuding capability for making voice announcements from Mitel SIP/IP telephone handsets.
Solution: A SIP IP Interface Decoder device was installed, configured to register with the existing SIP Mitel telephony server. Users dial the SIP extension number of the interface, the device auto-answers and provides a standard line level 'audio-out' connection to the system mixer and power amplifiers.