Barix Welcomes Ronni Guggenheim as CEO
icon4 10 2nd, 2013| icon3Comments Off

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; “The voice of simplicity”
icon4 01 23rd, 2013| icon3Comments Off

Barix are audio over IP; it’s what we do.
Over the years, we have worked closely with our customers to develop products that excel. Now we move to extend that synergy, simplifying life for our customers by delivering easy to use, targeted solutions for specific applications.
Join us as we take the first steps in the journey at our new website www.barix.com

.. we think that this is a key feature of Barix. The best IP Audio codec, STL device or automation controller won’t help you much if there is an issue “somewhere” in the system. Although an IP connection, once set up, is typically stable, things may go bad after some time .. being it a temporary issue at the ISP, the local router or an aging ethernet cable, the reasons are numerous.
Barix solutions can report various live statistics to help diagnose and are typically quite resilient to problems. However, at some stage, you, our customer, will probably have the need to talk to someone in person who is quick, competent  and able to help !
We are able to support in at least 5 world languages, and our staff does not ask about forms to be filled out and expensive hotlines to call. They just help.

We deem this an important part of Barix’ culture and it is one of the reasons why Barix is so highly regarded in the market.
Below is a recent customer feedback which speaks for itself.
We always appreciate to hear back from you, in such cases as well as in others where we could have done better !
Johannes

Good Morning!

My name is Shawn with Radio Asia in New Jersey. We have had a great deal of difficulty and frustration this week in getting our station back up and running after some technical issues caused by our ISP, Verizon. Finally after nearly 3 days we are back online with our Barix 500′s working flawlessly on both ends. This would not have been possible without the tireless efforts of both Andy who spent several hours and even large portion of “his own time” off the clock by assisting us, as well as Andrew and his fresh set of eyes approach yesterday. I cannot tell you how refreshing it was to know that at least as far as Barix is concerned, we received the HIGHEST level of Technical Support that we have come to expect and you guys never fail. You truly are the anomaly in that regard!

On behalf of my boss, Paul and myself, we extend our sincerest appreciation and gratitude to both Andy and Andrew for their professionalism and expertise. We are more than satisfied with the performance of the Barix products and your customer/tech support which is second to none!

Thanks very much and have a great weekend!!

Sincerely,

Shawn Newman
Radio Asia – NJ/PA/DC

Barix Exstreamer with internal content memory
icon4 01 27th, 2012| icon3Comments Off

It might not been known well .. so i take this opportunity to explain the concept behind the Barix Exstreamer 105/120/205 “MicroSD” card slot – ideal devices for retail radio applications.

Thousands of the Exstreamer devices are in use in instore audio applications, both for realtime/live IP streaming as well as store and forward applications. Backup content (in case of realtime streaming) and offline content (for the store and forward applications) is typically stored on a USB stick.
Customers have asked for the content storeage to be “secured” by some mechanical means, and this is the main reason we came up with the Exstreamer devices supporting the MicroSD card.

A MicroSD card can be purchased by the system integrator, loaded with content or song libraries, without Barix or Distributor involvement, which is a big plus. The MicroSD flash card then can be inserted into the Exstreamer device.

Intentionally, the card completely hides in the slot, so it can not be easily removed (if you want to remove the content, use the USB version of the product). The system integrator or content provider can then secure the slot with a tamper-proof sticker, or – and this is largely unknown – use a different frontplate, available at a nominal fee, to completely hide the MicroSD card in the device !

So, with the Barix Exstreamer family you can have both – those who want removeable content, please use the “USB” device variant, those who want the content memory to be inside the device, use the MicroSD card versions.

.. and by the way, visit us at ISE in Amsterdam next week (Jan 31-Feb 2, booth E70) to talk to us in person and check out our new products we launch !

Johannes

Instreamer v3.17

http://www.barix.com/downloads/Instreamer_Standard_Firmware/1981/
- Mic audio input allows the FW to run on HW with Microphone input (e.g. Annuncicom)
- Use of DNS name in Streaming destination table (previously only numeric IP address)
- Support for Cisco Call Manager for Music on Hold applications

Streaming Client v2.24

http://www.barix.com/downloads/Streaming_Client_Firmware/1381/
- Triggered playback via metadata for Advert insertion controlled by the Broadcaster
- ASCII discovery for integration with ICgraph PC application
- Line-in support for the new Exstreamer 205, for local playback

SIP Client v1.12

http://www.barix.com/downloads/SIP_Client_Application/2331/
- Multicast socket for priority audio notification messaging, used for emergency and evacuation systems.

STL v2.12

http://www.barix.com/downloads/Studio_Transmitter_Link_STL_Application/2321/
- Mic audio input support for Annuncicom family devices
- SPDIF support for Instreamer HW
- Contact Input and Relay Output extension for Annuncicm1000

All,

as you  might have heard in the past, Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremen (awi) has been using Barix products (namely, Barionet and Instreamer) in a science mission (PALAOA) in antarctica since quite some years now. The Barionets are used for general control and power management, while the Instreamer is used to realtime encode audio from Hydrophones and stream to Neumeyerstation located in Antarctica as well.

There is a very nice, detailed paper available from the PALAOA website (link: here), explaining details and difficulties of the whole setup.

Here is another link to the story, this time in german, with more the scientific view, sound samples etc: PALAOA.

And here is a direct link to the live stream from Antarctica, encoded by a Barix Instreamer: http://icecast.awi.de:8000/PALAOA.MP3

One thing to notice .. Barionet and Instreamer, both standard “consumer temp range” Barix products, work flawlessly since years in the setup in Antarctica, being operated sometimes at -50′C, constantly (24/7) delivering control and monitoring of the station and an IP Audio feed of the hydrophone(s).

What works that reliably in this remote location under extreme conditions should do well for you too, ain’t it ?

Johannes

Have you ever lost food due to a broken fridge or freezer, or did you ever find a door not shut on your kitchen fridge – after one day ?

Worst, of course, if these things happen in a place you do not regulary stay, such as a weekend cottage or vacation home !

I did this even better …. unplugged the freezer because i needed the power outlet to recharge the car battery .. then forgot to plug back in the freezer …. result, after 5 days …. quite a loss of food ! And a mess to clean up …

Barix Barionet devices can come to the rescue here ! If done right, you can monitor the fridge or freezer for both breakdown as well as open doors etc, without doing any modification or adding sensors to the fridge.

Here’s the secret: get a current sensor such as the RIBXKTF from Functional Devices (costs around $15 if you search online). you will need to install it, best in the electrical cabinet, so the source power for the fridge runs through it. The output of this specific type resembles a “contact closure” (it’s probably a transistor), so you can connect, depending on the type of Barionet you use, up to 4 or even up to 8 of these sensors.

The sensor will not detect the usual “standby” current of a fridge (while the compressor not being active), but it will definitely transmit “on” when the compressor runs.

A fridge/freezer should not be active all the time, there should be alternating periods when the compressor is active and inactive.

A typical graph is here:

Freezer Activity example

Freezer Activity Example

By monitoring the sensor for activity, you can now derive quite some information about your fridge !

- constant “off” tells you the fridge is probably plugged out, switched off or fuse blown, compressor dead etc
- constant “on” tells you the fridge is using a lot of energy, probably because the door is not shut correctly or ice buildup

By calculating the duty cycle (percentage of the fridge being on in a certain period) over time, you can even detect growing inefficiency, when a de-icing makes sense etc – of course, the “nominal” values vary by fridge and average load and need to be determined.

Calculation and alarming can be programmed right into the Barionet or done in a higher level home automation system (such as XTension for the mac – i’m using that myself).

One time rotten food/loss of content can easily cost more than the “Barionet freezer monitor”, if you already use Barionets in your house, just add the sensor …. and of course, this functionality can also be applied to heaters, fans, pumps – about anything which is meant to be on “some times” but not always …

If you want a programming example for the Barionet, contact me – happy to provide that to you as source code.

Home automation that makes sense – with the Barionet, the real-world I/O interface from Barix !

All the best,

Johannes

When Barix announced the Reflector Service, our customers wondered what this would be useful for …
Barix is well known for its Audio over IP streaming products such as the Exstreamer. So far so good – the devices are perfectly useful and reliable for a host of IP Audio applications, from STL (Studio Transmitter Link) to Paging, Intercom and Surveillance applications.
The AoIP (Audio over IP) devices from Barix are easy to configure and use, but setting up Audio Distribution over the Internet is not very easy for non- IT techies.
In addition, “static IP” addresses are needed for a reliable link – something often not easily available from the ISP, if at all, or at a cost.
Barix realized there is something to do .. and invented the Reflector Service. Because we are not hosting providers – this is not our core know how – we teamed up with the leading, high quality partner Streamguys to provide a reliable service to Broadcasters and other customers who easily want to set up a point-to point or point-to-multipoint audio distribution solution over the internet.
StreamGuys are a professional hosting organisation with all the necessary infrastructure in place to operate and support the service 24/7. Customers who are interested in the Reflector Service just need to purchase a Barix encoder and a Barix decoder device (for example, 2x the Exstreamer 500, which can serve both purposes). Depending on the device type, firmware might need to be loaded to support the Reflector service (Exstreamer 500 comes preloaded !).
From there, things are very simple – at least for 90% of the customers:
- Install the encoder and the decoder at the locations between which you want to establish the audio feed
- Go to the reflector website, set up your project, add the two MAC addresses of the device, specify encoder and decoder
- you can do some tweaks in regards to the encoding quality, attenuation, output level and buffering, if you dislike the defaults
.. and that’s it ! The devices will, within seconds, start establishing the tunnel for audio and contact closure forwarding and streaming will commence.
The “zero config” capability of the devices, of course, only works if your local network where these are installed supports DHCP and a “free view” of the internet. This is the case in most places where a DSL or cable router is used. If you need to manually configure an IP address, net mask, router, you can of course do so using a standard web browser.
To find out more about the Barix Reflector Service, visit http://www.barix.com/Reflector_STL_made_simple/1551/
To sign up for a trial, customers can simply request an account using the following links:
StreamGuys will then contact the customer and arrange all the necessary details.

So, do not limit your imagination about where to use the Reflector Service to Broadcast, Studio Transmitter Links ! The service can universally be used where Audio needs to be reliably transported from “a” to “b” over the Internet, being it for contribution, commentary or STL in the Broadcast area, being it for remote surveillance, or being it to deliver Audio to a remote bus or train station … wherever you want to distribute Audio over the Internet, the Barix Reflector solves the mystery of IP and lets you focus on the important things of your business !

Johannes

Barix Instructional Videos
icon4 09 21st, 2011| icon3Comments Off

All,

Barix is proud to announce the launch of the BarixAG YouTube channel.

We are currently producing a series of instructional and marketing videos for our IP Audio devices and also the Barionet product family. The first video, a basic introduction to the Exstreamer, has been released and posted !

Here is the link to our YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/BarixAG

.. and here is the direct link to the Video: Barix Audio over IP Video

More videos will follow soon and we will inform you via this blog.

If you have any suggestions, comments etc, please let us know via our contact form on the website or send us an email to “info” at barix.com – we are happy to learn from you what we do good and what we can do even better !

Johannes

Dear customers,

Barix has identified a rare issue with the Exstreamer 100 devices shipped over the course of the last couple of months. Under specific conditions, a device may show marginal ESD rejection, get affected by an ESD discharge, and, as a consequence, use more power than normal. In extreme cases, this could trigger the power supply’s internal fuse to be blown. Due to overload.
Fortunately, the problem can be easily solved by ensuring a good grounding of the case, or making a good connection between case and logic board of the device. This can be ensured, without opening the device, by adding a small piece of metal (Copper or brass) to the DB9 connector cut-out. Specific instructions are available on request from Barix.

Domenico Gambino
Head of technical Sales & Support

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