NAB 2015: Comrex’s Future Takes Shape With IP

At its NAB Show booth, Comrex is demoing the latest features to its BRIC-Link II, which offers GigE support and native XLR connection capability.

LAS VEGAS—Building on its experience in remote broadcasting technology, Comrex came to the 2015 NAB Show with IP on its mind, showcasing technology that the company sees as the future of live video broadcasting.

Comrex is introducing the newest version of LiveShot, a system that allows broadcasters to tackle remote broadcast setups that would be tough with traditional wired configurations. Using Comrex ACCESS audio IP codecs, LiveShot sends live HD video and audio over IP. The system addresses technical inconsistencies in public Internet locales and provides access to low-latency broadcast-quality live video streaming, including 3G, 4G, and satellite-based links.

“The newest version of Live Shot Video IP offers tighter integration with our Switchboard Transversal Server and easy connections to other codecs using our Switchboard server,” said Chris Crump, director of sales and marketing for the Devens, Mass.-based company.

The portable system offers a full-duplex cue channel and is designed to integrate with existing camera equipment weighing less than three pounds.


An Italian ENG crew with Euro Group Line Production in Rome, sets up their Comrex LiveShot for a live shot outside of St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. Crump elaborated on how the company has evolved from broadcast audio to expanding its TV business. “We’ve been making projects since 1961, mainly audio productions for television,” he said. “Over the last several decades we’ve been in the radio space but we’ve had so many of our radio customers move on to TV [and adopted] our audio-over-IP codec, so we had a lot of requests to make something as portable and compact as our audio products but for television.”

What’s especially compelling about this segment of the market, he said, is that there are people “who are doing really creative and unique broadcasts with our products because [they] offer two-way video and return video to the field and intercom in a small little package.”

For example, at a recent air show in Wisconsin, two wireless Comrex devices were used by a local broadcaster for their multicamera fieldwork. “And they were one mile away from the truck but still getting comments from the director well outside of the [traditional] range,” Crump said. “That was cool to be able to do,” he said.

One big selling point for Comrex is the need to eliminate extra equipment when broadcasters are in the field. Listening to customer requests like this is what led the company to introduce the newest version of its BRIC-Link II, which offers GigE support, native XLR connection capability as well as the ability to move linear or compressed audio with a low delay over a wide range of IP links. Future updates include the ability to run on multiple networks for added stream stability.

The company will also show off management systems like the STAC VIP, a voice-over-IP call management system that addresses on-air call coordination. Available in either six or 12-line configurations, STAC VIP makes it possible to conduct browser-based calls and send low-delay, studio-quality audio in two directions.

For remote broadcasts, the company will show off the ACCESS Stereo BRIC, an IP audio codec for remote situations that offers two USB ports and support for 4G wireless cellular data service.

For audio-to-IP conversion in remote broadcast settings, Comrex is showing the BRIC-Link, which provides a means for moving linear or compressed audio with low delay and can be used over a wide range of IP links.v

Of all the options that Comrex is showing NAB Show, Crump said the company’s goal “is to continue to improve and mature [our technologies]. We’re constantly making new improvements, making the systems more usable.”

Comrex is in Booth C2627 in the Central Hall of the LVCC.

Susan Ashworth is the former editor of TV Technology. In addition to her work covering the broadcast television industry, she has served as editor of two housing finance magazines and written about topics as varied as education, radio, chess, music and sports. Outside of her life as a writer, she recently served as president of a local nonprofit organization supporting girls in baseball.