Exstreamer encoder/decoders keep nation’s most-listened to public radio station on the air in Sacramento during extended outage of main links from San Francisco studio


ZURICH, SWITZERLAND, July 20, 2016 — When San Francisco-based KQED Public Radio sought a dependable STL solution as a backup to the unreliable communication links connecting their Sacramento transmitter, the station selected Barix Exstreamer IP audio encoder/decoders. That decision proved invaluable when the Barix system kept KQED on the air during a nearly week-long outage of the station’s primary and secondary Sacramento connections.

KQED-FM is an NPR member station owned by KQED Inc., which offers television, radio, Internet and education services for the greater San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. KQED-FM is the most listened-to public radio station in the U.S., and consistently ranks in the top five of all San Francisco radio outlets. KQED Public Radio has transmitters in San Francisco, where it is heard on 88.5 FM, and in Sacramento, where it broadcasts on 89.3 FM under the call letters KQEI.

KQED first explored Barix IP audio solutions to overcome issues with the reliability of the existing primary and backup links between their studio and the Sacramento transmitter site, both of which depended on aging infrastructure from the same telecommunications provider. The T1 connection that served as KQED’s primary STL failed frequently, and in some cases, the backup ISDN connection would go down at the same time.

The station implemented an STL solution based on Barix Exstreamer 500 units, distributed in the U.S. by LineQ. Linked to the Exstreamer 500 in KQED’s San Francisco studio through a wireless Internet service provider, the Barix unit in Sacramento is connected to a Titus Technological Laboratories 3DRX audio switcher for automated failover. When the AES input signal from the T1 fails, the 3DRX switches the transmitter’s source to the analog feed from the Barix device after a pre-programmed delay. If an ISDN connection can subsequently be established manually from the studio, the 3DRX will then switch to the ISDN audio.

KQED configured the Exstreamer 500s for 16-bit, 32kHz PCM audio, with a relay output used to drive an alarm annunciator for alerts. KQED also took advantage of the Barix units for monitoring purposes, leveraging the Exstreamer’s stereo channels for confidence return of both FM and HD Radio signals.

The Barix equipment was put to the test at the end of 2015, when KQED’s T1 and ISDN-based links were both knocked out by telecommunications cable failures between the two sites. The Barix IP audio STL solution kept KQED’s broadcasts available to Sacramento listeners until the T1 and ISDN connections were fixed several days later.

“We purchased the Barix units to make sure we stay on the air, and that’s exactly what they did for us,” said Larry Wood, Chief Engineer at KQED, who also lauds the Exstreamer’s ease and dependability. “Reliable equipment is that which does not require you to become an expert in its setup and operation; it’s equipment that you set up once and just forget about. The Barix boxes are easy to install and are nice, reliable pieces of equipment. We haven’t had any Barix failures in all the years that we’ve had them.”

Wood’s satisfaction with the Exstreamer 500 has led to plans for expanding Barix’s role in KQED’s operations. While the original Sacramento deployment must be transitioned to a new Internet provider because of the closure of the original ISP, additional Barix units are planned to provide similar fault tolerance for KQED’s soon-to-be relocated San Francisco transmitter site.

Barix: We Move Audio (www.barix.com)

Barix supplies simple and reliable solutions and components to systems integrators and end users worldwide.  We move high-quality audio across IP networks, adding value to customer solutions for more than a decade with hundreds of thousands of devices installed worldwide. Background music distribution with dynamic advertising insertion for retail shops, bars and hotels; public address solutions for schools and public spaces; and intercom and entry systems for facility surveillance, protection and security are among the many applications of Barix solutions. Barix also supports OEM projects for a number of Global 500 listed companies serving many industries worldwide.

About LineQ

LineQ is a full-service distributor specializing in complete Audio over IP solutions, with a complete portfolio of premium, networked end point solutions from IP audio specialist Barix, pro AV specialist Ecler and Cornered Audio loudspeakers; and key partnerships with streaming and software companies to ensure rock-solid multipoint content distribution for in-store radio and other IP delivery systems. LineQ’s customized approach ensures tailored systems to meet the needs of systems integrators and end users in the Pro AV, broadcast and security markets. LineQ’s experience in retail, corporate, transit and education further differentiates its position as an expert solutions provider for an array of businesses and organizations.  Additionally, LineQ’s unique Digital Product Manager software simplifies ordering, design, installation and maintenance in the field through an intuitive, easy-to-use mobile app. Visit www.lineq.com or e-mail sales@lineq.com for more information.

Barix Promotes Frank Frederiksen to COO
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New role puts focus on IP solutions development and company operations

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND, November 14, 2013 — IP audio and control specialist Barix has promoted Frank Frederiksen to COO following a successful 15 months as Vice President of Product Marketing and Strategy. His promotion, effective immediately, represents part of the strategic process at Barix to build a strong management team that will lead the company to new growth. He reports directly to Barix CEO Ronni Guggenheim.

Since coming to Barix, Frank has focused on enhancing the user experience for customers through streamlined solutions that simplify ease of use and installation. He oversaw the development and rollout of Barix’s recently-introduced IP Paging ecosystem, which eliminates complex configuration processes in favor of a plug-and-play solution where Barix devices self-configure automatically.

Frank will continue to oversee product management at Barix while working to enhance company operations, with an emphasis on improved logistics, manufacturing and fulfillment to more effectively meet customer demand. As a result, he expects Barix to strengthen its focus on complete solutions and better vertical integration.

“IP streaming has entered the mainstream, and many of our customers need more than capable hardware devices; they need a complementary environment around those devices to control, manage and monitor their entire systems,” said Frederiksen. “We have simplified interfaces and improved ease of use over the past year so that our customers don’t need to be IT experts. And there are exciting developments on the horizon that will better position Barix as a complete IP solutions provider.”

Barix’s global product management and logistics/fulfillment teams will report to Frank, and he expects to leverage this opportunity to build a more flexible production environment. “I look forward to establishing a stronger link between defining products and bringing them to market,” he said. “The combination of overseeing products and production responsibilities is a good basis for driving operations and budget.”

Barix Welcomes Ronni Guggenheim as CEO
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Seasoned executive makes worldwide company growth a priority

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND, September 24, 2013 — IP audio and control specialist Barix ushers in a new era with the appointment of Ronni Guggenheim as CEO. Based in Zurich, Mr. Guggenheim takes the reins on October 1 — and he has big plans for the company.

“Barix has a stellar reputation as an IP technology pioneer and a very solid technology core, the majority of which is hardware-driven,” said Guggenheim. “We have an opportunity to increase market share by building a broader ecosystem with a stronger software focus.”

Guggenheim certainly understands technology, with recent leadership roles at Minicom Digital Signage and ComQi, a leading global digital signage technology supplier. The latter company formed through a merger between Minicom Digital Signage and EnQii, an effort which Guggenheim drove and executed. He brings additional leadership experience to Barix as former managing partner and CEO of neXius AG, where he drove strategy development and execution for hardware and software technology companies.

Guggenheim will leverage his proven leadership skills and business sense, along with a history of sales and marketing expertise, to take Barix to the next level — an exciting proposition for Barix founder Johannes G. Rietschel.

Rietschel has served as CEO of Barix since its inception in 2001, and will remain with the company as executive chairman and CTO. This will allow him to focus on his visionary and technology development skills as he relinquishes the daily operations and business strategy to Mr. Guggenheim.

“Barix has achieved excellent growth for 12 years, but we have reached a size where we need different entrepreneurial skillsets,” said Rietschel. “I will remain involved in the overall company vision but am getting back to focusing on technology, and ensuring we have the best to offer for our customers. Ronni brings the experience we need to build stronger sales channels and strategic focus worldwide. And I will work with him to guarantee greater acceleration of Barix’s success.”

Guggenheim’s digital signage experience is an ideal complement to Barix’s strategy in the retail and business space, where the company has a strong reputation and global customer base for in-store audio solutions. Guggenheim will bring an overall stronger vertical focus to the company, which also supplies technology solutions to the broadcast, security, entertainment and professional AV/installation markets. He will also further invest in relationships with existing OEM and channel partnerships, while paving the way for new alliances.

“At Barix, we have a well-developed, well-defined and established company that will break through to a new phase of revenue growth by building on the successes of our existing team — a team we will continue to rely on heavily,” he said. “We’ll quickly bring better clarity to our vertical and geographical focus, and we expect exponential development of the company as a result.”

Barix Radio – enjoyed everyday by hundreds of listeners!
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Barix Radio was launched a few years ago as a fun tool to help customers easily prove that their new Exstreamer was happy in its new home – connect it up and get down to the groove!

We expected lots of short connections, as customers installed their devices and then set them up for business, but the statistics show a different story: Barix Radio is feeding hundreds of long term listeners. It seems our customers benefit not only from the Barix trademark rock-solid reliability, but also enjoy the great music mix that is Barix Radio as the soundtrack to their lives!

We hope that we continue to entertain you all for many years to come!

Barix Celebrates the Airwaves with International Radio Festival Sponsorship
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Zurich-based festival to share live content to listeners over the air and over the internet

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND, August 12, 2013 — IP audio and control specialist Barix will help the International Radio Festival getting its message out to the world this September: Radio is the world’s most consumed medium, and it’s time that the industry celebrates its greatness.

The International Radio Festival is the world’s largest public on-air festival, offering global audiences the chance to “Listen to how the World Sounds” over a four-day period – and on a single channel. The programs will broadcast live content representing different cultures every two hours, with over-the-air signals in Zurich and the cities and regions of festival guests including BBC Radio ONE, Ibiza Global Radio and Medina FM of Morocco. The programs will also stream online worldwide at http://www.internationalradiofestival.com.

The event, now in its fourth year, extends well beyond on-air celebrations. The festival offers a unique networking platform to share knowledge, explore audience trends and engage with global consumer and music business audiences onsite – including the B2B Forum, a hub for industry thought leaders and attendees to develop closer business and cultural relationships. The festival takes place September 4-8 at Schloss Sihlberg in Sihlberg, Switzerland.

Barix, which offers complete IP audio solutions for studio-to-transmitter links, online radio broadcast, syndicated program distribution, dynamic ad insertion and more, serves as the sole industry sponsor from the vendor side.

“This year the IRF invites more than 25 music radio shows, their creators and the radio stations that broadcast their shows – and otherwise engages with all stakeholders in the industry from presenters and program managers to music labels and technology leaders,” said Miguel Alvarez, co-founder, International Radio Festival. “Barix is a clear leader in the area of enabling broadcast solutions for radio, and the IRF has its sights firmly set on working with industry leaders and authoritative voices in this exciting industry.”

Alvarez’ partner and co-founder Darryl von Daniken adds that the IRF embraces all forms of radio and related broadcast and audio technology, and aims to act as a knowledge center for attendees that are pressured to keep up with leading edge technologies and developments.

“Barix feels strongly about representing a forum like the IRF that is open to all who love music-oriented radio,” said Johannes G. Rietschel, CEO and Founder of Barix AG. “It is an honor to sponsor this event, which is happening in our hometown. We are very happy to help the International Radio Festival to offer an opportunity for those interested to attend this festival, network with peers, and physically watch and experience how radio is made.”

Musika InStore Selects Barix as Exclusive IP Audio Playout Vendor
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Barix helps Musika InStore, retailers and other businesses enhance in-store atmosphere and expedite return on investment

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND, July 16, 2013 — IP audio specialist Barix is supporting audio streaming and delivery for Muzika InStore, the new Croatia-based in-store audio service that allows customers to manage their own content. Muzika InStore exclusively uses the Barix Exstreamer 100 IP audio device to receive and decode programming at retail stores and businesses, citing exceptional audio quality, reliability, ease of use and low energy consumption.

The Muzika InStore service is a classic “store and forward” operation that includes two in-house developed web applications to support program development and management. The first application, MIT AddSite, gives customers complete freedom to create in-store audio programs that enhance the retail experience or business atmosphere. The second, MIT FTPstats, focuses on network-wide monitoring and troubleshooting. Current clients include KTC d.o.o, a Croatian chain of retail store and restaurants for which Muzika InStore produces 210 weekly promotions and advertisements; as well as retail businesses Metro, Emmerzeta, Trgocentar and Trgostil.

Robert Malekovic, CEO of Muzika InStore, says that the Barix devices help to ensure continuous playout of all in-store audio programs, while delivering a quick return on investment for both his company and his in-store clients.

“No operator in the world can guarantee 100 percent availability of the live internet stream, so we developed our ‘forward and play’ operation with Barix so that we do not have to depend on constant connections,” said Malekovic. “Barix devices are extremely reliable for playout and since each device consumes less than 4W of electricity, customers with multiple devices experience a return on investment in less than one year.”

Muzika InStore’s MIT AddSite application assists the creative process, allowing customers to freely and easily add, schedule and delete music, announcements and local advertisements through a central admin section. It also retains all customer information for simple ongoing management, including hours of operation as well as databases, playlists and musical preferences down to specific genres. Users can also generate reports to show proof of play for advertisers.

Once live at a business, the overall system refreshes itself at the same time each day, creates a playlist for the next week and then disconnects from the Internet to save network resources, ensuring that credit card authorization, point of sale systems and other primary retail systems are unaffected.

Malekovic adds that the ease of setup and installation further reduces his cost of investment. Muzika InStore configures the Barix devices for each client, preloading Exstreamers with Barix FTPMP3 firmware and shipping the plug-and-play devices direct to clients. Muzika InStore also preloads USB sticks, which are attached direct to the Exstreamer 100 to provide secondary, local audio source. This is especially helpful upfront to reduce the initial download needs and minimize network congestion. Meanwhile, newly installed devices automatically connect to Muzika InStore’s network.

“We find the new Barix devices on our servers so that the client can immediately start with creation of music programs and management of ads and promos,” said Malekovic. “The devices start and stop playing based on information the client has input within the AddSite application, so there are no manual interactions required by employees of the shop.”

Barix Delivers First SIP-Compatible Hardware Device for Crestron Rava™-enabled Touch Screens
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Solution enables peer-to-peer device communication between Rava-enabled touch screens and analog door stations while minimizing costs and infrastructure

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND, July 1, 2013 — IP audio and control specialist Barix, which in January announced its intent to support Crestron Rava™ SIP intercom and phone technology, today announces the availability of the Annuncicom 200-Rava — a unique, bidirectional IP audio interface for door stations that allows PTT (push-to-talk) intercom with Crestron Rava-enabled touch screens. The Annuncicom joins an elite list of Crestron Connected™ devices embedded with Crestron control intelligence to enable native communication and seamless operation with Crestron control technologies.

Combine Crestron Rava-enabled touch screens with an analog door station and the Annuncicom 200-Rava for a complete residential, office and small business IP intercom solution. The Barix Annuncicom 200-Rava device is built specifically for these environments, and includes specialized SIP firmware to simplify integration of Rava-enabled touch screens with analog devices, such as intercom panels. The device also includes built-in amplification, reducing infrastructure at installation points and minimizing equipment costs.

Crestron Rava touch screens leverage SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) to permit voice intercom, telephone and paging (point-to-point and group) among other applications. The Barix device uniquely establishes compatibility between Rava-enabled touch screens and door stations without a central server. This allows customers to continue to use existing devices when upgrading to Rava touch screens, providing seamless IP to analog integration.

Systems integrators, meanwhile, eliminate the time and labor associated with configuring servers to enable SIP compatibility between Rava touch screens and connected devices. Barix firmware allows these devices to discover each other on the network, making the Annuncicom 200-Rava the first Crestron-approved solution to offer such seamless peer-to-peer device connectivity. The result is a reliable, SIP-compatible solution that effectively bridges analog and digital components within Rava environments.

The bidirectional, push-to-talk functionality offers an additional benefit in residential and commercial neighborhoods where street noise adversely affects door station communication. This eliminates exterior noise when a homeowner or business employee is talking to an outside target, effectively enabling clearer communication between the two parties.

To learn more about the Annuncicom-200-Rava visit: http://www.gobarix.com/.

Barix Addresses Multicast Routing Between Remote Networks
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Unique solution enables customers to bypass ISP policies and preserve network bandwidth for non-critical communications

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND, June 10, 2013 — IP audio and control specialist Barix introduces a unique solution helping media companies, businesses and other multi-site network users to route multicast traffic over remote network links, enabling bandwidth-efficient, multicast delivery over the public internet.

Multicast uses special destination addresses to target groups of subscribed devices, and deliver data and streams such as voice (general paging) and audio (background music). In contrast to standard connections where each device needs its own stream, multicast data distribution requires only a single stream to send the same content to any number of receivers on the same network segment, minimizing bandwidth and network usage. Multicast delivery is traditionally limited to private, in-house networks as Internet Service Providers block multicast traffic on normal Internet connections.

Barix has developed a unique multicast routing and tunneling firmware that turns its Barionet IP control devices into flexible, multisite multicast routers — effectively enabling delivery of multicast traffic over the public internet to remote locations. The solution forwards multicast IP blocks to remote receiving devices, re-packed as unicast streams. The receiving devices then re-issue the packets as multicast on the destination network.

“This solution addresses challenging situations for systems integrators and network operators that want to use multicast transport between subnets but have previously been blocked from doing so,” said Johannes G. Rietschel, CEO and Founder of Barix AG. “We are effectively bridging multiple multicast groups between multiple sites for general data and our specialty, Audio over IP, preserving network bandwidth and increasing the efficiency of remote communication.”

Using Multicast, system integrators can configure Barix IP Audio systems with more flexibility and less labor as streams are concurrently distributed to many nodes using IP multicast delivery. This minimizes streaming bandwidth requirements and simplifies configuration; it is not necessary to know the IP address of each individual receiver on the network. Instead, subscription protocols are employed so that relevant receivers – such as a Barix Exstreamer IP audio decoder – receive relevant streams, even if they use dynamic, unknown IP addresses.

The Barix multicast routing and tunneling solution can be deployed across a large number of scenarios as functionality is independent of actual protocols. This enables the firmware to be used alongside automation, IP audio, video, VoIP, SIP or RTP streams, for example. Furthermore, the entire operation can be monitored over SNMP to enable a complete bird’s eye view of system efficiency.

Barix and DMD2 Develop In-Store Audio Solution for Remodeled Victorinox Retail Stores
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ZURICH, SWITZERLAND, June 5, 2013 — Leading corporate music provider DMD2 of Switzerland is bringing fresh energy to newly remodeled Victorinox retail stores on two continents using IP-based in-store media solutions from Barix. The Barix devices reliably play out a unique and exciting DMD2-programmed music mix that meets the retail giant’s new branding requirements.

DMD2, which also handles Barix device configuration, service monitoring and music licensing, chose Barix Exstreamer IP audio decoders for playout due to their high audio quality and reliability. DMD2 delivers the program as a single stream across seven stores in Europe and five in Hong Kong.

Habegger AG, a Swiss event and corporate architecture supplier, engaged with DMD2 to develop an in-store music concept that matched the new Victorinox store designs. The channel development phase gave birth to the “Victorinox music mix,” constantly updated with new releases as part of an eclectic music mix from the 70s to the early 2000s.

This was a new concept to the Victorinox stores as many used CD players, FM tuners or iPods to play music. DMD2 considered Barix an ideal partner to transition the stores to IP audio delivery, as many of the tools to support the new stream were well suited for Barix hardware. The music originates from datacenters in Bern, Switzerland and is delivered to Barix Exstreamer devices in each store as 64kb/s mp3 streams, with expectations to add AAC+ streams moving forward.

“We’ll eventually switch to AAC+ 48kbps encoding to increase stream stability for retail stores in the more remote areas,” said Alexander dal Farra, owner and president of DMD2. “The flexibility of Barix devices is a big benefit in this regard, as the Exstreamer offers both MP3 and AAC+ decoding functionality. This makes migration to AAC+ an easy task.”

With stores in such cities as Zurich, Dusseldorf, Hong Kong and Geneva, Victorinox now has a corporate audio solution that gives exceptional control to the brand management department.

“It’s no longer an ‘everybody is a DJ’ approach within the different store locations,” said dal Farra. “This streamlined process has also brought a fair amount of convenience to the store staff as there is no more music editorial work, licensing or normalizing of tracks.”

Dal Farra added that the new solution also provides Victorinox headquarters with the option to introduce real-time advertisements using ad injection software — a potential revenue generator that would quickly monetize the new in-store audio network.

Barix Speaks Simplicity at 2013 NAB Show
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New enhancements to radio broadcast, partyline intercom solutions enhance quality and streamline configuration

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND, April 2, 2013 — Barix comes to the 2013 show with new enhancements to its professional two-way IP audio solutions for broadcast radio and intercom, improving quality in sound and communications. Barix also continues to simplify system setup for customers, eliminating traditional IP configuration processes to have customers streaming audio within minutes.

The company will show its Partyline Intercom solution at the 2013 NAB Show, highlighting open-channel communications across multiple parties without audio interference — especially ideal in fast-paced video production environments. New enhancements eliminate the need to configure IP addresses and servers, stripping away the complexity often associated with multipoint IP audio system setup.

Barix will demonstrate how camera operators and other production personnel can use the compact Annuncicom PS1 on the move, utilizing a push-to-talk button with selectable audio channels to facilitate communications amongst directors and production personnel.

Radio Broadcast Solutions
Barix enhances its Exstreamer 500 bi-directional audio device at the 2013 NAB Show to improve audio quality and streaming flexibility. The device now supports both constant and variable bitrate, with the former added to simplify streaming to Shoutcast and Icecast servers – pertinent for extending how broadcasters incorporate Barix IP audio solutions for live streaming and syndicated program distribution. A new chip improves quality of the analog-to-digital conversion path to enhance professional broadcast sound.

The Exstreamer 500 is a multiprotocol encoder and decoder with balanced audio and professional I/O options for signal relay and control. In broadcast, it is ideal for STL and remote contribution applications. Broadcasters can simplify configuration using the Exstreamer 500 with the Barix Reflector Service, creating a complete streaming audio solution that replicates a received stream to an unlimited number of destinations through the public internet. The Reflector Service is based on a simple server-client architecture that removes IP address, server and other configuration hassles.

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