Date posted: May 13, 2015

Integrated solution removes the headaches of procuring content and licensing, while simplifying deployments and operation through a fully networked system

StoreStreams is debuting this week at the 2015 NRA Show with a compelling case for restaurants, foodservice and hospitality businesses seeking an all-in-one, branded in-store radio service.

StoreStreams simplifies the traditional patchwork of systems and components to deliver branded music and advertising. Instead, the StoreStreams model brings together the network infrastructure, audio systems and licensed content—the latter of which saves content providers and businesses months of legal headaches and costly fees. Delivered together with a simple front end user interface for content management, the complete StoreStreams platform simplifies the launch and operation of a multi-site in-store radio system, and delivers a quick return on investment for businesses.

“We are intent on delivering a single platform with all the tools needed to launch a profitable in-store radio service,” said Will Schmidt, vice president of sales for LineQ, a Minneapolis-area distributor that brings together the audio playout systems. “With no disparate elements and the freedom of comfortable month-to-month contracts, businesses can focus on customer service while enjoying the benefits of a branded, monetized streaming audio service.

StoreStreams brings together the music catalog and network intelligence of XYZ Stream Hosting, a specialist in live, multiplatform content delivery with a robust and reliable streaming architecture.

In addition to a wide selection of music channels with pre-licensed content, StoreStreams includes a management application to structure and time ad placements, station IDs and promotional material. LineQ will supply the end point hardware for each deployment, featuring Ecler Sound amplifiers, Cornered Audio loudspeakers and media players from Barix, an IP audio pioneer with hundreds of thousands of hardware players in deployment worldwide.

“With the reliability of our cloud-based, redundant streaming architecture at the core, the StoreStreams model ensures a live, reliable streaming service with high availability for networks of any scale,” said Charles Odom, vice president of marketing, StoreStreams. “This ensures a dynamic, high-quality and uninterrupted in-store radio experience for the restaurants, foodservice and hospitality businesses we serve.”

LineQ and XYZ Stream Hosting will jointly demonstrate the StoreStreams service from May 16-19 in the Start Up Alley section of the 2015 NRA Show exhibit floor, Booth 9416D. Please visit http://show.restaurant.org/Exhibit/Start-Up-Alley for more information on the Start Up Alley.

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Date posted: January 29, 2015

Board-level module gives manufacturers, systems integrator a flexible foundation for Audio over IP product design

IP audio and control specialist Barix has long had a strong OEM business, with the company’s IPAM module series at the core of tens of thousands of devices deployed worldwide today.  At ISE 2015, Barix will exhibit its latest module, the IPAM302, for vendors and systems integrators seeking cost-efficient, openly programmable modules to build their own IP audio products—as well as for companies interested in private-label products manufactured by Barix.

The recently introduced IPAM302 is more compact and uses less expensive connectors than previous generation IPAM modules, further reducing the price of an already low-cost series. Most importantly, the IPAM302 is forward compatible for the next generation of IPAM modules, ensuring that OEMs can freely build a product today and easily replace the module in the field moving forward.

The IPAM302 allows Barix OEM partners to build Audio over IP products at a low cost today, and seamlessly upgrade to next-generation modules in the field

“Our OEM business accounts for nearly 25 percent of our business, and is among the primary reasons why Barix is considered a visionary in IP audio and control,” said Frank Frederiksen, managing director, Barix. “We remain dedicated to working with companies who need the freedom and flexibility to build their own solutions using Barix’s open programming environment, along with the reliability that our core technology delivers across security, transportation and professional AV applications.”

The IPAM302 is the board-level technology at the core of Barix’s latest-generation Instreamer IP encoders and Annuncicom two-way audio devices.  The board design includes one serial port and four I/O connections, which OEMs can map to relay closures and other devices such as an amplifier, IP speaker or door station to enable SIP intercom. Barix IPAM modules are especially popular for vendors and integrators building products for residential spaces, K-12 schools and university campuses, and fire safety and evacuation systems. Additionally, IPAM modules are at the heart of numerous OEM products for transportation, both on-board trains for paging and intercom; and inside stations for platform announcements.

Visitors to ISE 2015 can learn more about the capabilities of the IPAM302 at the Barix stand (Hall 8, 8-M245) in the RAI Conference Center, February 10-12.

Date posted: January 14, 2015

Audio over IP pioneer will demonstrate comprehensive, cloud-based management and audio playout capabilities of SoundScape at ISE 2015

Barix last year introduced SoundScape, a solution to centrally manage and distribute branded audio over IP networks of any size.  At ISE 2015, Barix will demonstrate the complete cost-reducing, revenue-generating capabilities of SoundScape as the company brings the fully integrated solution to market – including cloud-based content management and live status monitoring via the SoundScape Portal; and new compact, multi-format Exstreamer SoundScape IP audio players for location-based media playout.

Content providers and network operators can manage the new SoundScape IP audio players remotely from a central location, from firmware updates to volume adjustments.

SoundScape is the only “in-store radio” solution capable of integrated audio distribution, remote device management, dynamic contact scheduling, system-wide reporting and monitoring, and high-quality, multi-format audio playout.  Essentially, SoundScape brings together several traditional Barix strengths previously available as separate applications—including dynamic, targeted ad insertion—to simplify, accelerate and monetize deployments for content providers and systems integrators.  SoundScape’s cloud-based, software-as-a-service (SaaS) design also establishes a centrally hosted model to increase network accessibility and availability, reducing overall operating costs and maintenance.  As a result, SoundScape is more than a basic in-store radio solution:  It is a fully functioning, revenue-generating music and entertainment system with hierarchical user management for single locations (clubs, supermarkets), large campuses (universities, corporate complexes) and multi-location networks (retail and hotel chains).

The introduction of Exstreamer SoundScape players is significant because it provides a highly reliable platform for remote device management and local playout.  The Linux-based players feature the traditional benefits of Barix Exstreamer device­s—including a compact form factor, low power consumption, multi-format decoding and broadcast-quality audio—and adds integrated control via a simple built-in, five-button keypad.  Users can navigate the menu, skip songs, and change audio settings and network configurations without connecting to the central web-based SoundScape interface.  A blue-toned backlit LED display details audio program and player information relevant to the location.

Exstreamer SoundScape players also bring greater efficiency to the playout operation through exceptional internal memory, minimizing network resources required for live streaming.  A built-in real-time clock ensures that players continue to stream content locally via internal content storage in the event of network downtime—and pick up exactly where the playlist left off upon return of the network.

Visitors to the Barix stand (Hall 8, M-245 in the Amsterdam RAI, February 10-12) can simulate remote device management using the SoundScape Portal, the solution’s central management interface.  In a typical SoundScape deployment, a content provider or network manager can visualize every player on the network using an intuitive, interactive map.  Color-coded pins help users quickly determine the operating status of every player in the network, with green indicating normal operation and red indicating that attention is required.  SoundScape’s in-depth troubleshooting capabilities enable users to remotely drill down into each player to determine and fix operating issues, while finely-tuned alerting capabilities inform users of problems via automatic e-mails or SMS texts.

The SoundScape demonstration at ISE will also allow visitors to establish connections between the Portal and players—the first step in adding new locations to the SoundScape network—build dynamic playlists featuring music and advertisements, and download audio content to local players.  The SoundScape Portal’s rich content management capabilities also allow users to centrally assign and schedule content to unlimited player groups; and group devices by location and language.  These flexible parameters further empower SoundScape’s revenue generating benefits by establishing a foundation for highly targeted, localized ad insertion.

“SoundScape is exciting as it truly offers a wide range of users an audio content distribution system for background music and messages across commercial and public spaces,” said Frank Frederiksen, managing director, Barix.  “No other IP audio solution on the market offers as rich of an SaaS-enabled content and player management solution that also incorporates targeted advertising, stream tracking and reporting, and live status monitoring.  Adding in tried-and-true reliable Barix audio players, SoundScape brings together a complete hardware and software solution to build new revenue streams and reduce total cost of ownership for branded, location-based music and entertainment.”

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Date posted: November 3, 2014

North Carolina FM station installs Intraplex® IP Link for dual-path STL connectivity, leverages built-in Opus codec for pristine audio quality

GatesAir, a global leader in wireless, over-the-air content delivery solutions for radio and TV broadcasters, has transitioned a low-power FM station in North Carolina to an IP transport architecture for studio-to-transmitter link (STL) connectivity.  With the GatesAir Intraplex® IP Link as a foundation, the intelligent networking solution solved the challenge of efficiently moving program audio and data over a studio-to-transmitter path that offered no line of sight for traditional fixed RF STL connections.

WRLY-LP in Raleigh made the switch following its studio relocation to more accessible commercial space, creating a greater distance to the transmitter facility.  Unlike higher power stations, low-power stations typically do not transmit signals off high towers, making RF STL links impractical.  Transitioning to IP proved the most budget-friendly option for the station.

The Intraplex IP Link codec incorporates Ogg Opus audio coding for exceptionally high-quality, low-latency streaming for STL and other networked audio applications.

WRLY selected the IP Link based on its feature-to-price ratio, including support for the emerging Ogg Opus audio codec.  GatesAir was the first broadcast codec adopter of Ogg Opus audio coding, which incorporates technology from the Skype-developed, speech-oriented SILK codec and CELT, a low-latency, next-generation music codec.  Broadcasters benefit from Opus’ combined strengths of high-quality audio and very low delay, which distinguishes it from audio codecs that excel in one area but fall short in the other.

“I’m very budget-constrained as a low-power station.  IP was readily available, more cost-efficient than an enterprise T1 solution, and eliminated the challenges of erecting rooftop structures in a commercial zone,” said Steven White, owner of WRLY-LP.  “I was an early adopter of voice over IP technology, and had been monitoring the capabilities of Opus from an audio quality perspective.  Much of our music library has been encoded in high-end formats, so I needed a codec that wouldn’t over-compress the audio and develop artifacts in the stream.  GatesAir was the only codec supplier that built Opus into the feature set, and since there was no extra expense for Opus, the overall costs remained low.  The flexibility of the IP Link and its software-driven features struck the right balance of features, cost and quality.”

WRLY is also benefiting from built-in redundancy that shares IP packets across a dual-path stream.  Called Dynamic Stream Splicing, this IP Link feature allows the primary stream to borrow data from the secondary stream in the event of dropped packets en route to the transmitter.

“The IP Link provides excellent statistical information that show if, and where, packets have dropped,” said White.  “The dual-path architecture of the IP Link ensures that instances of dropped packets that make it through are very, very rare, and never noticeable on the air.  The reliability is exceptional.”

“Intelligent networking solutions are proving their value for broadcasters across all power levels, as radio stations large and small recognize the cost- and operational benefits of transitioning audio and data connectivity to IP,” said Joseph Mack, vice president of sales, Americas.  “Our low-power customers like WRLY are building a networked foundation that begins with simple STL connectivity, and opens the door for advanced contribution and distribution applications thanks to a scalable and cost-efficient architecture.”

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Date posted: October 28, 2014

Transition to IP audio simplifies scheduling, playout of music for Ohio retail campuses

The Dutchman Hospitality Group specializes in helping its guests slow down and enjoy the simpler things in life.  Keeping with this philosophy, the company has turned to Barix to centralize its in-store radio programming on its core IT network, transitioning to the Barix Store&Play IP audio solution to simplify the scheduling and playout of content on three of its largest retail and hospitality campuses.

Based in Amish country in rural Walnut Creek, Ohio, Dutchman Hospitality Group sought a unified solution to deliver audio programming across multiple buildings to maintain a consistent and pleasant customer experience — a feat that proved impossible with separate CD players and the “everyone’s a DJ” approach.  The company put its IT contractor, Mark Greenawalt of Makarios Networks, in charge of finding a cost-efficient solution that would offer better control of the overhead music in each building.

The Barix Store&Play solution simplifies scheduling and playout of music for Dutchman Hospitality Group, while using minimal network resources to distribute high-quality audio

“When we made the business decision to have a single source of overhead music on each campus, the challenge of distributing the audio seemed to require pulling new wires between each building,” said Greenawalt.  “I discovered Barix Store&Play while conducting research, and discovered that their solution converts audio to data packets for network distribution, before converting back to audio at the playout point.  Once I realized we could use our existing infrastructure, it became clear that transitioning to Barix would save a lot of time, labor and money.  The devices are inexpensive, and the ease of setup made the overall transition very affordable.”

Since discovering Barix, Greenawalt has since transitioned Dutchman Hospitality Group’s Walnut Creek and Sugar Creek campuses, which include multiple buildings spread across large areas, featuring a mix of retail stores, restaurants and inns.  In the Ohio town of Berlin, the company is streaming music from the Berlin Farmstead Restaurant to the Carlisle Country Inn a quarter-mile down the road, taking advantage of Barix’s flexibility in networking audio across separate, distant properties.

The distribution of audio over the network via Barix technology delivers a more consistent hospitality experience across the mix of retail stores, restaurants and inns on three Dutchman Hospitality Group campuses.

The Barix Store&Play solution is configured to minimize use of network resources, downloading programs for playback on a scheduled basis.  The network architecture includes a central Instreamer device on each campus to encode audio into files for streaming over the network; and Exstreamer devices at each remote building to receive and decode the files back to high-quality audio.  With fiber-optic connections and a Gigabit Ethernet backbone already in place, Greenawalt had the Barix system online and streaming audio across all assigned locations within days.  The IP-addressable Barix solution has operated flawlessly, producing outstanding audio quality with exceptional reliability.

“Being a musician, I have to say that I’m very impressed with the sound quality,” said Greenawalt.  “But the ease of configuration and reliability is what really makes this special.  The Barix receiving devices plug directly into our sound systems, instead of requiring investment in new amplifiers and loudspeakers.  As one representative in a two-person IT department, having a low-maintenance solution is huge.  It really is a set-and-forget system, with no wires to pull and no extra materials or components required.”

Looking ahead, Greenawalt expects that the Barix system will be used solely for the purpose of reliable background music distribution, but envisions opportunities to scale the network to additional locations on each campus as new services develop.

“The Barix IP audio solution strikes me as having an internet radio station for our own private campuses,” he said.  “The sky is the limit in terms of where we can take it in the future.  Considering its flexibility and ease of configuration, I’m not sure there is anything you can’t do with this system in terms of audio distribution if you are thinking creatively.”

Date posted: September 9, 2014

Advanced HD Radio, intelligent networking architectures combine with high-efficiency performance to accelerate return on investment

CINCINNATI, September 9, 2014 GatesAir, a global leader in over-the-air broadcast solutions for television and radio, comes to The Radio Show this week with its over-the-air efficiency message, exhibiting turnkey solutions to create, transport, deliver and monetize over-the-air radio for AM, FM and HD Radio™ broadcasters.   With advanced new platforms for digital multichannel and intelligent IP networking on display, GatesAir’s vision delivers high-efficiency solutions that accelerate ROI and new revenue streams while providing the lowest total cost of ownership.

Many sessions at The Radio Show, taking place Wednesday-Friday at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, will focus on launching, operating and maintaining a successful digital radio service.  At the GatesAir booth (303, Exhibit Hall D), broadcasters can learn how the company’s latest HD Radio solutions support these initiatives while simplifying operations and launching new business opportunities.  GatesAir will showcase its innovative line of Flexiva analog and digital transmitters incorporating the Gen 4 Exgine architecture for multichannel HD Radio program transport and delivery, building on its long legacy of innovation in HD Radio broadcasting that dates to the first IBOC tests in the 1990s.

The complete GatesAir Gen 4 Exgine integrates all pertinent signal processing and transport solutions with the industry’s most cost- and power-efficient transmitters, bringing toward an all-in-one, networked solution from the company’s market-leading Flexiva portfolio.  The Gen 4 Exgine architecture is ideal for broadcasters facing the challenges associated with HD Radio power level increases, where power utilization, bandwidth, noise and interference challenges can affect efficiency, quality and compliance.  The GatesAir Gen 4 Exgine platform enables higher HD Radio power levels through advanced digital signal processing and efficient broadband transmitter designs, increasing headroom while reducing signal distortion and eliminating interference.  These improvements ensure an enjoyable experience for listeners who appreciate the high-quality, multichannel experience that HD Radio provides, while helping broadcasters increase market share and monetize digital services through improved coverage and performance.

GatesAir will also showcase intelligent networking solutions for contribution and distribution.  The company’s Flexiva range of on-air and production solutions for studio facilities, including multi-destination routing architectures with networked consoles and accessories, enhance creativity and collaboration across studios while reducing infrastructure, wiring and management complexity.  GatesAir will also showcase its latest contribution and distribution solutions for external signal transport, including compact Intraplex® IP Link codecs and the North American debut of Intraplex LiveLook, a new network optimization that strengthens visibility into IP network performance.  LiveLook’s real-time, interactive monitoring platform is designed to help broadcasters better comprehend and optimize network performance through in-depth analysis and troubleshooting of IP transport architectures.

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Date posted: September 3, 2014

New in-store solutions cover the spectrum for live and scheduled playback of audio content, including dynamic ad insertions

ZURICH/ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA, September 3, 2014 — The upcoming InfoComm India show in Mumbai marks the official launch of Barix’s next-generation of in-store radio solutions in the Asia-Pacific region.  Highlighting solutions that generate revenue for end users and reduce costs for systems integrators, Barix will demonstrate IP audio strategies for consumer engagement that meet a vast array of business requirements.

Barix’s next-generation IP audio “products” comprise wholesale applications that bring multiple software and hardware components together into complete solutions, driving both new operational efficiencies and revenue-generating opportunities.  Visitors to the Barix stand at InfoComm India (Hall 1, B17 at the Bombay Convention and Exhibition Centre, September 17-19) can see how the company’s latest in-store radio solutions align with this solutions-oriented strategy.

Store & Play gives end users and integrators an in-store radio solution for retail stores and other location-based businesses that wish to schedule playout of audio and advertising content; and preserve network resources

“Barix’s years of experience developing IP audio and control solutions for in-store radio has advanced to a point where we offer two very distinct networked solutions, each offering benefits based on system scale, network resources and even general customer preference,” said Domenico Gambino, VP Sales, Barix.  “We are providing end users and integrators with an affordable, high-quality foundation to incorporate single or multichannel audio streams—along with revenue-generating advertising opportunities—into any organization’s promotional and entertainment strategies.  Barix’s knowledge and expertise in moving audio over networks ensures that our customers experience simple deployments, reliable operation and infinite scalability.”

Store & Play

Store & Play specifically offers a solution to retailers and businesses that want dynamic in-store radio programming without using too many network resources, and/or want more control locally over their playout schedules.  Store & Play allows customers to download music and advertising content off the network, and reliably play out that programming on schedule with excellent audio quality.  Exceptional download speeds and system memory preserve playback quality through demanding processing actions, while a built-in precision clock ensures that schedules remain intact in the event of network outages.

SoundScape

SoundScape allows comprehensive management of audio distribution over IP networks, offering a centralized management portal and audio players at multiple locations.  Users can manage, configure and group SoundScape audio players, schedule content and monitor device status network-wide.  The network-wide management capabilities of SoundScape further reduces costs and complexity by enabling remote firmware updates, log creation and more.  SoundScape delivers broadcast-quality programming with targeted, location-based advertising insertions that seamlessly fade in and out of music programs, as well as the ability to seamlessly switch between live and scheduled streams.

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Date posted: September 2, 2014

Network expands with GatesAir high-efficiency FM/AM radio transmitters across the Americas, reducing labor and energy costs with each installation

GatesAir, a global leader in over-the-air broadcast solutions for television and radio, is shipping seven Flexiva™ transmitters to the Bible Broadcasting Network, a quickly expanding Christian FM/AM radio network with English- and Spanish-language stations throughout the Americas.  Bible Broadcasting Network has exclusively selected GatesAir for all main transmitter sites, citing noticeable efficiency gains across labor and power consumption as key benefits.

“The green efficiency of the Flexiva transmitter has been advantageous and measurable,” said Ron Muffley, network engineering manager, Bible Broadcasting Network.  “We have seen a sharp decrease in power use where we have replaced older transmitters.  We see the difference in our recent low-power installations in Pennsylvania and Ohio, and we anticipate a noticeable reduction in power costs as we install the high-power transmitters over the coming months.”

A closeup of the Flexiva transmitter at Bible Broadcasting Network’s FM affiliate in Leesport, Pa. The Leesport station is one of four affiliates to recently install a high-efficiency GatesAir low-power transmitter.

The most recent shipments include low-power FM transmitters for WYBQ-FM in Leesport, Pennsylvania; WYFY-FM in Cambridge, Ohio; and FM stations in Quito and Guayaquil, Ecuador.  The network will soon install high-power Flexiva models—10kW, 20kW and 30kW—at WYFO-FM in Lakeland, Florida; WYFQ-FM in Charlotte, North Carolina; KYFS-FM in San Antonio; and KYFJ-FM in New Iberia, Louisiana.

Bible Broadcasting Network has gradually shifted to GatesAir exclusively for its main AM/FM transmitters as the network has grown.  In addition to power efficiency gains, maintenance and engineering work has been greatly simplified through fewer spare parts, hot swappable module replacements and built-in redundancy that always keeps them on the air.  These benefits all tie to the green PowerSmart® 3D architecture at the core of Flexiva transmitters, reducing footprint, monthly bills and labor through exceptional power density, energy efficiency and broadband designs – all equating to the industry’s lowest total cost of ownership for any radio broadcast transmitter on the market.

“We have some particularly remote sites that are very difficult to access, including the new Pennsylvania, Texas and Louisiana installations,” said Muffley.  “The benefit of having fewer spare parts means that an engineer can easily replace a module in a few minutes.  We have also been pleased that the high-efficiency Flexiva series eliminates the need for large transformers and chokes, greatly reducing size and weight.  There is a big benefit to having a lighter transmitter that one person can handle.”

Bible Broadcasting Network is also deploying GatesAir signal transport solutions, having recently installed an Intraplex® IP Link codec at WBYK-FM in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  The IP Link established a network connection to transport audio previously brought in by the satellite receiver, eliminating the RF performance issues that had hindered signal integrity at maximum operating power.

“Our long-term relationship with GatesAir has been excellent through the years, largely due to the excellent sales and support coupled with strong technology,” said Muffley.  “They wear more hats than sales, even providing input into maintenance and generally solving problems for us as they did at the Chattanooga site.  We have grown far beyond our expectations the past couple of years, and GatesAir has kept up with our growth at every stage.”

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Date posted: August 12, 2014

Over-the-air leader’s IBC debut includes Intraplex® LiveLook to strengthen visibility into IP network performance

GatesAir, a global leader in over-the-air broadcast solutions for radio and television, will showcase intelligent networking and signal transport reliability as a key part of its over-the-air efficiency and innovation message at IBC2014 (RAI Convention Center, Amsterdam, September 12-16, Booth 8.B10).  GatesAir will help broadcasters better comprehend and improve network performance with the launch of Intraplex® LiveLook, a dynamic software solution that improves analysis and troubleshooting for IP transport.  GatesAir will also demonstrate new interoperability features that enhance audio contribution and distribution opportunities for over-the-air broadcasters.

LiveLook is a real-time interactive monitoring solution that works in conjunction with Intraplex® IP Link codecs, optimizing performance for mission-critical audio contribution and distribution networks.  LiveLook provides time-based graphical analysis of network statistics, including burst packets and other performance-related measurements that adversely affect IP signal transport.  Built-in data mining algorithms automate packet analysis and subsequent report generation, recommending optimal techniques for error mitigation.  This streamlines the setup, configuration and optimization of IP networks to reduce complexity and improve overall network performance.

Broadcasters further benefit from analysis of both live and logged data.  The graphical nature of LiveLook, in conjunction with log clock association, gives users better insight into performance trends over periods of time.  Additionally, the continuous logging of IP packets ensures that broadcasters can easily pinpoint and analyze statistics from a specific time window to review and troubleshoot known performance issues.

Ultimately, Intraplex LiveLook is a value-added complement to reliability techniques already built into IP Link codecs, including dynamic stream splicing, an application that provides hitless recovery of dropped packets via seamless convergence of main and backup streams.  These and other integrated redundancy measures ensure IP Link codecs match the performance reliability of traditional T1/E1 circuits, while significant lowering total cost of ownership.

“Many broadcasters have already transitioned to IP signal transport as its reliability is well established, but to date have lacked tools that provide true visibility into network performance,” said Rich Redmond, chief product officer, GatesAir.  “It’s just as critical to understand how well live streams and recovery techniques are performing, especially in large contribution and distribution networks.  LiveLook introduces another layer to the IP transport reliability story by adding true performance visibility, allowing broadcasters to understand how and why performance issues from random to heavy burst packet losses are happening — and how to improve their network architectures to prevent future occurrences.”

GatesAir will additionally showcase initiatives surrounding standards-based interoperability initiatives, including support for the EBU 3362 specification.  The EBU 3362 specification in part covers the use of standard SIP and RTP protocols to establish audio streams.  This compatibility allows IP Link codecs to seamlessly mix with other hardware codec vendors across large broadcast networks, as well as software codecs used on various smartphones and tablets — a clear indicator of the company’s forward-looking interoperability strategy.

Support for SIP, or the Session Internet Protocol, is especially attractive for remote broadcasts and similar contribution applications.  Instead of requiring a remote encoder, a broadcaster can call into an IP Link receiver at a radio station using an iOS or Android phone, for example, to contribute an on-air feed.  Additionally, a listener or guest with a SIP phone or application can similarly contribute to a live or recorded broadcast call using a common mobile device.

GatesAir’s innovations for intelligent networking and interoperability integrate hardware and software into a single, complete solution that accelerates IP transitions and simplifies how broadcasters transport professional, high-quality on-air content.

Date posted: June 10, 2014

Custom solution reliably streams branded content to more than 30 stores in central Europe

Leading corporate music provider DMD2 of Switzerland has long trusted Barix IP audio solutions to stream branded audio content to businesses around Europe.  The company has again selected Barix for multipoint in-store radio, streaming high-quality custom music programs to 33 Bucherer retail jewelry stores in four countries.

Bucherer was founded in Lucerne, Switzerland in 1888, and is today the European retail leader for luxury watches and fine jewelry.  The Barix installation marks the first time Bucherer has used a live in-store radio service, with DMD2 crafting a specially branded music stream from a huge music library to match specifically the vibrant and elegant atmosphere of their stores.  The service gives the retail chain a high-quality audio program, producing a pleasant and consistent audio experience for customers.  The service is now live in stores across Switzerland, Germany, France and Austria.

The Barix IP-based delivery architecture also keeps employees focused on customer service instead of fumbling with CDs and the FM radio dial, removing the role of “in-store DJ” from the sales team’s job description.

“Bucherer have gained exceptional control over this part of their in-store branding with the Barix and DMD2 solution,” said Alexander Dal Farra, owner and president of DMD2.  “They are very happy with their choice.  The Barix solution also ensures that their existing audio equipment could be used for an overall cost-effective installation.  Additionally, the audio service is virtually maintenance free once it is up and running.”

The technical concept of the Barix and DMD2 solution was equally appealing to Bucherer.  The solution provides a low-latency, bandwidth-efficient live stream over the retail chain’s existing network, requiring no major updates at the store level.  The streams originate from the DMD2 offices in Bern, Switzerland, with direct connection to Barix Exstreamer IP audio decoders inside the stores.  The Exstreamers reliably play out AAC+ streams at a bitrate ideal for background music.

The Exstreamer models selected for this installation feature a front-panel display with artist/title and stream information, as well as MicroSD slot with backup music in the event of network failure.  That MicroSD slot additionally provides built-in content protection, eliminating the temptation for customers or employees to remove attached USB sticks with DMD2 in-store content.  Set up is simple and efficient,  and virtually no physical space is required due to the Exstreamer’s compact footprint.

Dal Farra adds that his success with Barix across similar in-store radio installations, including Victorinox retail stores in four countries, gave Bucherer the confidence they needed to modernize their in-store music approach.  DMD2 handles all Barix device configuration, service monitoring and music licensing for its in-store radio customers, further simplifying matters for retail customers like Bucherer.

“DMD2 has installed well over 1000 Barix Exstreamers across many businesses, each of which have varying network conditions,” said Dal Farra.  “That track record of success made it easy to convince Bucherer that it was smart to build their service on this technology.”

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