While researching IFBs, I came across a product from Listen Technologies – Listen Everywhere, a wireless audio streaming system catered to venues, where users can listen (to e.g. a TV at a sports bar, speech/music in houses of worship) via Wi-Fi and an app on their phone. This video explains it well:
When viewed the same way as the Teradek Serv,¹ a wireless video transmitter that beams camera feeds to smartphones and tablets, Listen Everywhere got me thinking.
For cart-based mixers with a shelf to spare for a compact server and a router, Wi-Fi audio streaming could theoretically be applied in a film production setting. A cautious sound mixer may still keep a conventional IFB system for directors and scripties who require more reliability. But for those big commercial productions who would otherwise rent dozens of IFB receivers for producers, ad agents, and guests, a Wi-Fi stream to their phones is potentially advantageous. No more receivers for people to damage or lose, less equipment for sound mixers to maintain daily, and potentially less cost for the production. Plus it makes for an attractive rental package for sound mixers to offer producers, who want the luxury of anyone on-set being able to hear the scene.
I’m being very idealistic and haven’t put more than a few late-night hours of thought into this. But what does everyone think about the practicality and feasibility of using a Wi-Fi audio system on-set to replace conventional IFB?
1. Sidebar: Has anyone sent audio to clients via the Teradek Serv? It apparently also transmits audio, so combined with a wireless hop feeding audio into the camera…