Archive for April 24th, 2012

Barix Reflector Audio Over IP Solution Supports Network-Wide Delivery for CRIS Radio

Connecticut’s only Radio Reading Service uses Barix Reflector service to significantly reduce costs and reliably deliver audio between several studios

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND
Barix is exclusively supporting IP audio delivery between multiple studios and transmitter sites for Connecticut Radio Information System (CRIS Radio), Connecticut’s only radio reading service for the blind. The non-profit broadcaster uses the company’s innovative Reflector Service for audio stream delivery. CRIS Radio is also reducing costs by using the new Barix Reflector App to monitor on-air feeds in real-time from an iPhone.

CRIS Radio is a talking newsstand for the blind and visually impaired, featuring newspaper and magazine articles, book readings and interviews. The broadcaster operates out of Windsor, Connecticut, and transmits programming from four satellite studios to specially tuned radios, cable TV systems, home telephones and to the web at http://www.crisradio.org.

Barix Exstreamer 500 IP audio hardware supports audio transport between headquarters and the remote studios using the Barix Reflector service, with 16 devices in operation across the network. This complete solution from Barix simplifies setting up, operating and monitoring the audio distribution and reduces costs — two significant benefits for CRIS Radio given its small staff and non-profit status.

John Galeota, consulting engineer for CRIS Radio, estimates that the Barix solution saves the company about $9,000 a year in Telco charges by eliminating legacy devices and twisted-pair connections. He notes that the Barix solution is robust and reliable, offering stable and effective audio streams with the right tools to help him manage the entire network.

“The Exstreamer 500 and Reflector Service provide a solid and reliable foundation for growth as we add new locations,” said Galeota. “I can program the 500s from anywhere, add them to the network using the Reflector Service and plug in the devices at the studio — and they work. These are mostly unattended, automated studios, so the ease of configuration and operational reliability are ideal. I also like that the Exstreamer 500 has balanced audio in and out, which allows me to eliminate extra line amplifiers and transformers to maintain quality.”

Radio broadcasters and other service providers typically use the Reflector Service to stream audio between two or more points. Hosted by Barix partner StreamGuys (www.streamguys.com), the application is an online center to configure and monitor the audio transport bridge while providing a straightforward relay of the audio feed. The service offers IP streaming without the complexity of IP, eliminating firewall hassles and the need to configure IP addresses and routing paths.

Galeota adds that the Reflector App reduces time spent on the road traveling between studios to fix on-air problems — a significant benefit as the studios are at least 60 miles apart — and points out that the combined customer support efforts of Barix and StreamGuys has been enormously helpful.

“Technical support is critical for someone like me working at a non-profit,” said Galeota. “The support from Barix and StreamGuys is unlike anything I’ve experienced in all my years in the business. They respond promptly, courteously and effectively whenever we have a question.”

Down the road, Galeota expects to explore other features on the Exstreamer 500 as new sites are added to the network — including the use of built-in contact closures to trigger on-air events via his Broadcast Software automation system.

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