Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Barix simplifies STL for broadcasters with new Reflector Service
At the 2010 NAB Show, Switzerland-based Barix AG introduced a new plug-and-play application package for its Exstreamer Audio over IP (AoIP) devices that simplifies STL setup and includes the end points for its new Barix Reflector Service. This new hosted Web application serves as an online STL center to configure and monitor the STL bridge while providing a straightforward relay of the audio feed.
The Barix Reflector Service simplifies installations for broadcasters relying on basic high-speed Internet connections for STL and point-to-multipoint distribution by eliminating firewall poking and configuration issues with costly static IP addresses. Devices are automatically partnered following connection to the Web-based Reflector Service, eliminating the need for IT department intervention. The Reflector Service is part of a new low-cost STL out-of-the-box package featuring the new Exstreamer 500, a low-cost version of the Barix Exstreamer 1000 Audio over IP device for professional radio broadcasting.
“Larger broadcast companies and broadcast engineers operating their own networks have found it easy to establish IP-based STL connectivity with our hardware,” said Johannes Rietschel, Barix CEO and founder, “(but) many of our customers that use a basic Internet connection to transport point-to-point audio have had challenges getting past firewalls and setting up static IP addresses. The Reflector Service essentially auto-configures the devices over the Internet and serves as an intermediary; the encoder forwards the program audio to the server and the decoder pulls the stream. It’s an out-of-the-box solution that greatly simplifies the setup process for our customers, also adding powerful 24/7 monitoring and statistics.”
Initial setup requires opening an account at www.barixreflector.com, plugging in the two Exstreamer 500 devices and entering the unique MAC address for each device into the Web page. The auto-configuration process enables communication between the server and the two devices, which are streaming live audio within minutes. The Exstreamer 500 is a half-rack AoIP device with encoding and decoding capability that includes balanced inputs and outputs and a set of contact closure interfaces.
Barix will offer the Reflector Service free of charge to Exstreamer 500 and 1000 customers for several months before charging a nominal annual fee. The monthly fee will add up to less than the cost of a static IP address, which ranges from $20-$50 per month. Hot-standby/backup service and 24/7 monitoring of the stream will be made available at a later date.