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05.28.2006
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Linear Acoustic announces StreamStacker-HD audio distribution system

Linear Acoustic has unveiled the new StreamStacker high-density audio distribution system, which comprises the LA-5173 encoder and the LA-5174 decoder. Using advanced multiplexing and coding technologies, more than 20 channels of PCM and emission rate audio can be combined with audio metadata and user definable auxiliary data and then carried via a single AES/EBU-format digital pair. All audio and associated data are kept together for ease of routing, storage and distribution.

The StreamStacker-HD system allows up to 16 channels of PCM audio to be input to the LA-5173 encoder, either as eight AES pairs or through HD or SD-SDI. Alternately, emission rate audio programs such as AC-3, AAC-Plus, or DTS-LR can replace some or all of the PCM channels as needed, allowing a custom mixture of programs in the most suitable formats. For example, a primary 5.1 channel surround sound program can use six PCM channels, an auxiliary program can use another two, while alternate language or Descriptive Visual Service (DVS) programs can be applied as pre-compressed signals.

Metadata functionality includes internal generation and re-generation of both legacy and advanced audio metadata, and this functionality is controlled via remote. Audio metadata input to the system can be provided via the legacy 9-pin RS-485 format or within the VANC space of the HD-SDI input. Digital monitor outputs are provided to allow for important audible preview of metadata settings. User defined data, such as PSIP or closed-captioning data, can be input via a 100 BASE-T Ethernet connection. Control is provided by parallel GPI/O and Ethernet connectivity.

The LA-5174 decoder follows the "stacked" input stream and de-multiplexes signals to their appropriate outputs. Emission rate programs are output as standard AES-3 signals, re-timed and ready for insertion into the station's DTV encoder just as if they were encoded locally, thereby saving the cost of multiple local emission audio encoders. PCM channels are available as AES-3 signals and/or re-inserted into an HD or SD-SDI signal applied to the unit.

Metadata output is available on a standard 9-pin connector for interfacing to products supporting audio metadata via serial input and can also be embedded into the VANC space of an HD-SDI signal applied to the unit. Internal metadata generation is provided for cases where incoming metadata might be absent or incorrect.

A bright LED display, rotary encoder and four control keys provide for straightforward menu navigation and function adjustment on both the LA-5173 encoder and the LA-5174 decoder. Advanced metering and control are provided by connection of remote control software or a future hardware remote control. SNMP capabilities allow for custom remote control and metering. Dual redundant, auto-ranging power supplies allow for trouble-free operation worldwide.

For more information, visit www.linearacoustic.com/streamstacker.htm.



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