The nice guys at Trilogy were kind enough to loan us one of their new Messenger talkback systems. The Messenger is Trilogy’s newest talkback system and it’s an impressive piece of kit.
In a nutshell, the Messenger is a powerful matrix-based intercom that includes the comprehensive features and functionality typically only found in far more expensive systems. We’ll come back to price later, but Trilogy’s new Messenger system has made digital talkback systems affordable.
It comes as standard with eight ports and Trilogy will even configure it for you before they ship it to you. So right out of the box, you can be up and running in no time. We were immediately drawn to the Messenger for our PPU and flyaway projects. It’s small – the mainframe is only 2RU, light and has little fan noise. In terms of connectivity, all the port connections on the rear are RJ45. Any key-panels are connected via low cost Cat5 cable with RJ45 connectors. If you want any 4-wire devices or signals, these can wired to an RJ45 connector too.
The Messenger can easily be expanded by adding up to two eight-channel expansion boards to create a 24-port capacity; and an additional interface board can provide up to four channels of analogue telephone service.
In terms of control, the Messenger is driven by a simple Windows application running on a separate PC or laptop connected via ethernet. The software’s really simple and intuitive to use. Programming a key-panel couldn’t be easier – there’s a great visual representation of the key-panel, complete with all the key assignments. There’s lots of comprehensive features and functions that you’d expect with much larger (and more expensive systems) such as options for redundant power, analogue telephone interface and GPIs.
It’s worth noting that the expansion boards or optional extras like redundant power and desktop key panels aren’t expensive. Trilogy have got their pricing spot on. A lot of other systems out there are cost prohibitive but the Messenger is really affordable and it’s reassuring to know that if you need to expand in the future, you won’t be ‘stung’ for the privilege.
So what’s our verdict on Trilogy’s Messenger system? We’re big fans. It’s clearly suited to small TV studios, OBs, events and flyaways, or even media education or conference facilities. It’s a shame the software only runs on Windows (Trickbox Towers looks like an imitation of an Apple store) but we’ll live! So all in all, not only is the Messenger a powerful compact system but it comes at an attractive price.