Belfast, UK, 22nd March 2009 â€“ APT, the codec specialists within the WorldCast Systems group, will launch a brand new IP audio codec, the WorldCast Astral at this yearâ€™s NAB Show in Las Vegas.
The WorldCast Astral, the latest addition to APTâ€™s highly acclaimed and award-winning WorldCast IP series, will be the industryâ€™s first IP codec to also offer remote control capabilities and audio back-up from a streaming server.
â€œThis is a truly exciting new development in the worldwide codec market,â€? states Kevin Campbell, APT Sales Director. â€œThe WorldCast Astral is packed full of innovative new features such as streaming audio back-up and broadcast facility management that will it make it a key device for every studio and transmitter site.â€?
At its heart, the new WorldCast Astral is a rock-solid IP STL platform offering a full complement of professional audio delivery algorithms including Enhanced apt-X, Linear, MPEG L3, MPEG L2, G.711 and G.722. This keenly-priced entry-level codec can then be tailored to meet the precise needs of the broadcaster wishing to build-in extra functionality for reliability, remote control or compatibility.
For added reliability, the WorldCast Astral offers redundant power supplies and an exciting new audio back-up suite. Should the main IP link go down, the WorldCast Astralâ€™s Audio Back Up package allows a station to continue to broadcast from either static files stored on an SD card within the unit, or, direct from a SHOUTcast stream. The sophistication of the unitâ€™s back-up is such that it enables the user to manage multiple (up to 10) playlists, schedule specific files to play at specific times and even use contact closures to trigger file playout.
For easy and extensive control of your WorldCast codec network, broadcasters can utilize either APTâ€™s highly intuitive Codec Management System (CMS) Software (supplied as standard) or an optional web browser accessible through a separate IP link. However, the power of the WorldCast Astral goes far beyond that of the codec network. Using Audematâ€™s Scripteasy V2 software, the Astral enables remote control of a wide range of SNMP-enabled equipment at the transmitter site. The powerful graphical interface enables the creation of scripts and automatic routines to monitor devices and trigger changes on units such as audio processors, satellite receivers, RDS encoders and transmitters as well as numerous routers, servers and switches. Should you wish to connect to legacy equipment without support for the SNMP protocol, we can also offer a solution via Scripteasy EasyLink, a customised RS232 API enabling the integration of serial protocols.
Lastly, for added compatibility, not only is the WorldCast Astral fully SIP and N/ACIP compliant but it also offers an optional algorithm pack including MPEG 4 AAC LD, MPEG 2/4 AAC LC and AAC HEv2 to ensure maximum compatibility with other codecs in the field.
Campbell concludes. â€œCodec manufacturers throughout the industry are clamouring to offer the lowest cost audio codec. Of course, cost is hugely important and the WorldCast Astral is highly cost-competitive but, more than that, it represents the best value codec on the market – an affordable unit for stations that refuse to compromise on audio quality and reliability and value the versatility and broadcast functionality it delivers.â€?
APTâ€™s WorldCast Astral will be demonstrated on the WorldCast System Booth C751 in Central Hall 2 at the NAB Show, April 12th-15th.