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WorldCast to launch new Astral IP audio codec at 2010 NAB Show

APT, the codec specialists within the WorldCast Systems group, will launch a new IP audio codec, the WorldCast Astral, at this year’s NAB Show in Las Vegas, in Booth C751. The new model is the latest addition to APT’s award-winning WorldCast IP series and is touted as the industry’s first IP codec to also offer remote-control capabilities and audio backup from a streaming server, according to the company.

The WorldCast Astral is essentially an IP STL platform that offers a full complement of professional audio delivery algorithms, including Enhanced apt-X, Linear, MPEG L3, MPEG L2, G.711 and G.722. This entry-level codec can then be tailored to meet the precise needs of the broadcaster wishing to add extra functionality for reliability, remote control or compatibility.

For added reliability, the WorldCast Astral offers redundant power supplies and a new audio backup suite. Should the main IP link go down, the WorldCast Astral’s audio backup package allows a station to continue to broadcast from either static files stored on an SD card within the unit or direct from a SHOUTcast stream. The sophistication of the unit’s backup is such that it enables the user to manage up to 10 playlists, schedule specific files to play at specific times and use contact closures to trigger file playout.

For easy and extensive network control, broadcasters can use either APT’s highly intuitive Codec Management System Software (supplied as standard) or an optional Web browser accessible through a separate IP link. Additionally, by using Audemat’s Scripteasy v2 software, Astral enables remote control of a wide range of SNMP-enabled equipment at the transmitter site. The powerful graphical interface enables the creation of scripts and automatic routines to monitor devices and trigger changes on units such as audio processors, satellite receivers, RDS encoders and transmitters as well as numerous routers, servers and switches. For legacy equipment without support for the SNMP protocol, WorldCast offers Scripteasy EasyLink, a customized RS232 API solution that enables the integration of serial protocols.

For added compatibility, WorldCast Astral is fully SIP and N/ACIP compliant and also offers an optional algorithm pack including MPEG-4 AAC LD, MPEG-2/4 AAC LC and AAC HEv2 to ensure maximum compatibility.