Rental service for interpreting and conference equipment

SMG UK provides you with a complete package of rental and technical support services for audio, sound and interpreting equipment that to ensure the smooth-running of your next conference.

We can supply on hire, install and provide technical support for all types of conference equipment and systems, from interpreting booths to portable tour guide systems.

We can provide the following simultaneous interpreting systems:

  • Infrared digital systems.
  • Light radio systems.
  • Remote systems.

Infrared digital systems for simultaneous interpreting

Simultaneous interpreting can be performed using an analogue system or an infrared digital system with superior, rustle-free audio.

Soundproof booths that help interpreter concentration and prevent their voices from disturbing the audience and transmitters and receivers for the listeners. This system has a relay function that allows simultaneous interpreting to multiple languages at the same time (use of multiple channels); it offers high audio quality and transmits the signal to an unlimited number of listeners equipped with receivers.

  • Soundproof booth for each interpreting language. This helps the interpreter to concentrate and prevents their voice from disturbing other people in the room. ISO 2603 booths are available.
  • Microphone base (or a console), with microphone for the interpreter and integrated output channel selection system; one microphone base is required for each interpreter.
  • Control unit (or direction unit): this is placed in the direction room, from where the technician controls the correct transmission of the audio signal of the translation from the interpreters to the audience, from the speaker to the interpreters and to the audience and other audio and video signals, if required. The control unit can be connected to a mixer.
  • Infrared signal transmitter (or infrared panel). This transmitter is installed on a platform and is used to transmit the translation signal from the direction unit to the audience receivers. One transmitter is needed every 10-20 m, preferably on both sides of the room.
  • Infrared, stereo headphones for listening to the translation. You need one set of headphones for each audience member who needs to hear the translation. The infrared signal ensures superior quality audio transmission.
  • Fixed microphone on a stand for the speaker. The interpreters use the microphone base.
  • Mobile microphone (or hand mic) to be passed around the audience for live questions or comments.
  • Lavalier microphone, with a lapel clip.
  • Headphones with microphone for interpreters.
  • Amplifier to amplify the voice of the speakers from the floor.
  • Projector for displaying clearly slides and films; where the view is obstructed, images can be displayed on a monitor in the booth.
  • Technician present to assist the client in the delivery / collection of the receivers and check the systems during the event to provide support in handing out / collecting the receiver headsets and ensuring the good working order of systems during the event.

Light radio system for simultaneous interpreting

Light radio systems – also called guided tour systems, infoport or by the brand name Bidule – are less expensive than infrared digital interpreting systems. They are carried by the interpreter on the move, such as tour guides.

They can also be used in a booth, with the interpreter wearing a Lavalier microphone instead of using a microphone base and headphones that transmit the audio of speakers and questions from the audience. Light radio systems have the following disadvantages:

  • Restricted number of listeners: the system efficiency can be compromised for audiences of more than 100 listeners.
  • Limited signal transmission: this system requires an undisturbed signal transmission, so the listeners must be within 30-40 m of the interpreter and there must be no physical obstacles in the way, such as walls, or other transmissions on the same radio frequency. This means all the client’s radio microphones must be set to free channels.
  • Only 1 secure channel: the system offers many channels but each transmitter only allows the simultaneous interpreting of 1 language at a time. Multiple interpreters may use multiple transmitters for different languages, but there is a risk of interference and the system does not have a relay function to create language bridges between multiple interpreters.
  • Practical issues: although these radio systems for simultaneous interpreting are simple to use, they can pose the following problems
    • Transport of equipment: our suitcase systems are entrusted to an SMG interpreter or technician, who also explains how they work to the client. In the case of overnight stays, the suitcase must be stored securely; the client is liable in the event of theft or damage.
    • Inbound audio: The client must ensure that the interpreter can hear all the speakers at the event through their headset. In the event of lack of the necessary equipment or support, the client must contact SMG ahead of time so that we can assess the situation and provide suitable solutions. Where the audio cannot be transmitted directly to the interpreter headphones, the interpreter must be positioned close to a loudspeaker. In this case, the interpreting service is hampered by the difficulty of listening through a speaker and the fact that the audience will also be forced to listen to both the speaker and the interpreter, as it will all be heard through the interpreter’s microphone.
    • Distribution of receivers: the client is responsible for handing out the receivers to the audience and collecting them in at the end of the event and is liable for any loss or damage. We thus recommend that audience members who require a receiver be asked to leave an identity document as a guarantee, to be returned upon collection at the end. Receivers are numbered to help prevent loss or theft. If the suitcase is transported by the interpreter alone, once the event has started, no further receivers can be handed out (e.g. guests arriving late) because the interpreter cannot interrupt the translation. SMG UK can provide hostesses and stewards for the separate job of greeting guests and handing out and collecting in headsets.
    • Technical malfunction: the radio system for simultaneous interpreting is simple to use and it is a relatively robust technology, however, we recommend the use of technical support, especially for interpreting in official events. SMG UK can provide a support technician, who can explain how the system works, prevent potential technical glitches and solve any issues that do arise during the event.
    • Low battery: the suitcases must be charged for at least 2 days before use.

Remote simultaneous interpreting system

The remote simultaneous interpreting system is less expensive than the infrared digital interpreting system and transmits the translation to the listeners’ mobile devices (e.g. smartphones). It allows interpreters to work remotely, using a relay function, and the audience can listen to all the different translation languages (several channels). This remote system provides high-quality audio and can transmit the signal to an unlimited number of listeners provided there is good technical support for the conference and adequate connectivity.


SMG UK can use the client’s Teams, GoToWebinar and Cisco Webex web conferencing platforms to provide the interpreting service alone, or use our own Zoom platform to manage the whole event, including interpreting.

Our Zoom platform can create Webinars for up to 100 participants with our standard license or we can purchase a license upgrade for even larger events.

Remote consecutive interpreting system

SMG UK uses the Cisco WebEx system, with which interpreters provide consecutive translation remotely from our SMG UK offices or from home. We use the Cisco WebEx system for consecutive commercial or non-conference interpreting (e.g. telephone interpreting).

This Voice over IP (VoIP) system has no interpreter travel costs but participants must have good internet connection.

This service involves the following stages:

This service involves the following stages:

  • SMG checks that the participants have adequate internet connection and that the client is authorized to use external web systems (many public bodies are not);
  • SMG creates a work session from its account once the client has ordered the service;
  • the interpreter, the client and the interlocutor receive instructions from SMG on how to use the system before the event begins;
  • SMG invites the interpreter, the client and the interlocutor to the conference and sends them the session access code, the usernames and passwords (more than 3 participants can be organized for an additional fee);
  • SMG remains available during the service to offer technical support, activate the session and close it at the end of the event.