What's the difference between Groups and Partylines?

Updated 1 month ago by Tim Chimes

Scope

Infinity allows for different ways to allow multiple devices to communicate with each other, dependings on your application. In Infinity, we call these Groups and Partylines. We will cover the differences here, along with some examples, to help you determine which option would be best for your application.

Partylines

Partylines provide a simple, yet easily scalable facility to enable multiple devices, inputs and outputs, to talk and listen to each other on a common communications channel. Each device that is a member of a Partyline can talk and listen to all other devices on the Partyline. Keep in mind that multiple devices can talk simultaneously on the Partyline. If they do, then all other devices part of that Partyline will hear them.

A typical Partyline might consist of a Director, Producer, Lighting Director, and Camera Operator, and each would be made a member of the Partyline in Dashboard. The Director and Producer could use MP-16 panels and the Lighting Director and Camera Operator could use beltpacks, such as the BP-2.

Groups

Groups provide a logical association of multiple devices called members. This simplifies the operation so that one key can be used to communicate with multiple panels and Beltpacks that reside within a common Group. Members of a Group do not generally talk/listen to each other but do communicate with devices outside the Group. Hence a member of a Group cannot hear if one member of the Group talks, but they can hear a non-member who has a key to talk to that Group.

For example, a Group named “Floor” is created consisting of Camera’s 1, 2, 3, and 4, and the Floor Manager on a Beltpack. The Group “Floor” would be assigned to key-1 on the Producers MP-16 panel and assigned to key-1 on the Directors MP-16.

When the Producer pushes the “Floor” talk key, each of the devices within the "Floor" Group will hear them, that is Camera’s 1, 2, 3, and 4, and the Floor Manager. The Director will not hear the Producer, as they Director is not a member of the "Floor" Group.

If the Floor Manager was to push their "Floor" Group talk button, then only the Producer and Director would hear them. None of the Cameras would hear the Floor Manager.

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