Barix Reflector Service Simplifies Radio Network Distribution over IP for Bell Media Group

Company establishes NCCU Sports Network using Barix Audio over IP Technology to distribute college football and basketball games to eight radio stations

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND, November 30, 2010 — Barix AG announces that syndicated content provider Bell Media Group of Raleigh, North Carolina, has successfully deployed the Barix Reflector Service to distribute live North Carolina Central University football and basketball games to eight regional AM radio stations comprising the NCCU Sports Network.

Bell Media Group is among the earliest Reflector Service customers, establishing a reliable and cost-efficient Audio over IP distribution network for its syndicated college sports programming service.  Barix introduced the Reflector Service last spring to help broadcasters with limited IT resources to establish IP links for single stations and broadcast networks with minimal effort and hassle.

“Satellite communications was very expensive, and ISDN was also out of my range,” said Jay Bell, president and chief engineer for Bell Media Group.  “IP has saved me between $3,000-4,000 on distribution alone.  I became familiar with Barix and beta-tested the Reflector Service for the 2010 college football season.  All the tests went well and we will continue using the Barix Relector service for sports, music and other remote broadcasts, with the goal of adding more radio affiliates.”

The universal Barix hardware used for the service can be installed in minutes and most deployments for STL, remote contribution and studio-to-studio links are established with just a few clicks in a web browser.  Once installed with internet access, the devices configure themselves automatically, and the encoder and decoders are automatically partnered after entering basic device settings into the service platform.

Barix has partnered with streaming media and content delivery provider StreamGuys for the NCCU Sports Network project.  The StreamGuys-hosted service receives the single feed from BMG Studios in Raleigh and simultaneously “reflects” the signal to each affiliate.  This minimizes network bandwidth and technical support requirements for Bell Media Group.

“Barix partners with StreamGuys as they are streaming infrastructure specialists and offer worldwide technical support 24/7,” said David Gostick, product manager for the Reflector Service at Barix.  “Their streaming service complements our technical skills, allowing us to jointly deliver a professionally hosted and operated service to our customers, with confidence it is being monitored around the clock.”

Jay Bell operates the network from BMG Studios.  The live stadium feed comes in over a POTS line, where a Barix Exstreamer 1000 Audio over IP device receives and encodes the signal.   The StreamGuys streaming platform picks up the Reflector Service stream for distribution to the affiliates, where Barix Exstreamer 100 IP audio devices receive and decode the signal for immediate broadcast.

The Reflector Service is a hosted application that acts as the bridge between the studio and the network affiliates, providing a straightforward relay of the audio feed.   The application simplifies Barix installations for broadcasters by eliminating firewall poking, router forwarding configuration and costly static IP addresses.  The significant reduction in complexity means that users have only a few simple decisions to make related to audio quality and general device settings.

“The hardware was plug-and-play and the streaming service was simple to set up,” said Jay Bell.  “I was skeptical early, as were some of the network affiliates, who were most concerned with the audio quality.  We tested the Barix Reflector Service with several radio affiliates; many program directors and general managers were floored upon hearing the audio quality.  It is a very versatile system, and I’ve taken advantage of the network capacity for side projects, particularly remote broadcasts.”

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