Barix Audio over IP Solution Simplifies Radio Broadcast Distribution, Lowers Costs for Total Star Network
ZURICH, SWITZERLAND, April 4, 2011 â€” Barix announces that Total Star Network, a radio broadcast network comprising eight stations in England and Spain, has switched from leased line and ISDN transport to a more cost-efficient Barix Audio over IP distribution network. The broadcaster estimates it will save nearly $10,000 (6,000 British Pounds) annually on program distribution costs and in some cases improve the audio quality.
Total Star Network chose the Barix Reflector Service to simplify Audio over IP distribution from the networkâ€™s headquarters in Cheltenham, England, to seven regional transmitter sites. Barix Exstreamer 500 professional IP Audio hardware codecs provide the encode/decode points from headquarters to the local studios; and onward to the transmission sites. The network also uses the Barix Audio over IP solution to deliver OneGold Radio brand programming to an FM station on the Costa Blanca, a stretch of the Mediterranean coast in the Alicante Province of Spain.
According to Liam Kelly, broadcast engineer for Total Star Network, the Reflector Service greatly simplified set up of the Audio over IP network and has provided consistent, reliable service. Hosted by Barix partner StreamGuys (www.streamguys.com), the Reflector Service acts as an online center to configure the audio transport bridge and provides a straightforward relay of the audio feed.
â€œMy IT knowledge is limited, which made configuration of static IP addresses and routes challenging,â€? said Mr. Kelly. â€œThe Reflector Service eliminated those requirements in favor of simply creating an account at the serviceâ€™s website, entering some information about the hardware devices and making some general audio adjustments. Everything started to work from there.â€?
Mr. Kelly noted that the ability to remotely change audio levels on the Exstreamer 500 from anywhere over the Reflector Service program is a big benefit, removing the need to plug into the actual devices. He added that audio quality has improved in comparison to his ISDN lines, thanks to the significant increase in streaming bandwidth available using the Reflector Service (128kbps to 192kbps MP3).
Perhaps the biggest surprise in switching to Audio over IP has been consistency. â€œItâ€™s quite unbelievable that we can pass such high-quality audio over these distances with this kind of continuity,â€? said Mr. Kelly. â€œThe signal strength is rock-solid with no drop outs.â€?
Total Star Network separately uses the Exstreamer 500 for remote broadcast applications, including the recent Cheltenham Gold Cup horse race event held in mid-March. Total Star Network staff pass live signals from the remote broadcast site to network headquarters over a satellite broadband connection that costs about $32 (20 British Pounds) a month. This gives the broadcaster a cost-effective yet professional way of doing outside broadcasts without the need for highly expensive satellite distribution equipment and rented satellite links.
Barix will show its Exstreamer 500 professional IP Audio codec at the 2011 NAB Show (April 11-14, Las Vegas Convention Center, Booth C8316), as well as new updates to its Reflector Service that further simplify integration within existing broadcast infrastructures. Contact closure tunneling, monitoring, alerting and system resilience are among the enhancements to the updated release.
About Barix AG (www.barix.com)
Barix AG, headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, specializes in research and development of state of the art IP based communication and control technology. Barix products are stand-alone and able to remotely connect worldwide over standard networks/Internet offering new and improved solutions to the professional audio distribution, communication and automation industry. Barix products provide solutions in audio over IP (audio distribution and monitoring, communication, security) and automation (remote controlling, monitoring and maintenance).
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