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!

Audio over IP pioneer’s first new Instreamer encoding device since 2007 delivers big benefits to new and existing customers – at a much lower cost

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND, June 11, 2012 — Barix comes to InfoComm 2012 (June 13-15, Las Vegas Convention Center, Booth C11722) with its first new Instreamer hardware device in five years — delivering big audio improvements at a lower cost in a greener, more energy-efficient package. The device retains its familiar compact, bulletproof design and feature set for long-time customers while bringing reliable, high-quality IP audio encoding to a new generation of users across many markets and verticals.

The previous-generation Barix Instreamer 100 is an industry standard for IP Audio deployments, used today in thousands of installations worldwide for radio broadcast links, confidence monitoring, audio surveillance and real-time audio encoding among other applications. The new Instreamer enhances audio performance through a new digital signage processor that delivers remarkable signal-to-noise ratio improvements.

This is also the first Instreamer release to support constant bit-rate monitoring, which improves MP3 streaming quality and buffering times on Windows Media and other server-based media players. The combined improvements diversify how the new Instreamer can be used, such as real-time IP encoding for video walls and digital signage systems.

Perhaps most notable for end users and systems integrators is the cost, which slashes the Instreamer 100 price by 15 percent. New energy-efficient advances that optimize power consumption and power supply — the new Instreamer uses a ‘mini-USB’ switch-mode power supply — also deliver ongoing value through reduced operational costs.

Barix CEO and Founder Johannes G. Rietschel notes that the low cost, ultimate reliability and ease of use separates the new Instreamer from anything else in the marketplace.

“The Instreamer remains a very versatile, network-enabled generic IP audio encoder that supports open standards and multiple formats, while minimizing latency and bandwidth usage,” said Rietschel. “No one does this as efficiently as Barix; the Instreamer is easy to use with minimal boot times, delivering reliable startup within seconds. The new Instreamer now supports MP3 encoding at constant bit-rate, which works more effectively with web-based media servers. With its much improved audio performance, the device stands apart from solutions that are ten times more expensive, fan-cooled and take forever to start up.”

The new Instreamer is ideal for a wide variety of applications, including:
Low-latency video wall encoding (digital signage, control room monitoring)
Classroom and lecture recording in universities and corporate applications
Scientific and technical audio
Audio injection into IP phone and paging systems for on-hold and background music
Live encoding for internet radio and broadcast signal confidence monitoring

The Instreamer also offers network alarms via SNMP traps to generate notifications for audio loss, ensuring that quality issues are immediately pinpointed and easily addressed.

Bi-directional audio path also supports intercom communications

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND, February 29, 2012 — Barix AG unveils its Annuncicom PS1 Paging Station to the security industry at the ISC West show (March 28-30, Sands Convention Center, Las Vegas, Booth 8134).  The compact, elegant device gives commercial businesses, office buildings, educational institutions, medical facilities and others a simple, fully-integrated hardware solution for paging and intercom over IP.

The PS1 features two backlit push-to-talk buttons, volume control and a built-in speaker and microphone, giving security guards, receptionists and other operators a simple way to make announcements to an entire facility.   The device’s IP addressability enables a simple connection to the network, allowing systems integrators and end users to take advantage of existing infrastructure, reducing costs and equipment requirements.  Power over Ethernet (PoE) capability further simplifies installation, requiring only a single cable to the device.

Bi-directional capability enables intercom for facility-wide, two-way communications — taking the PS1 beyond a basic paging device for ski areas, university campuses and other large areas that require talkback capability.  This feature is especially helpful for security-related applications.

Barix introduced its first master paging station, the Annuncicom PS16, in 2009 to support complex, multi-zone paging and intercom applications.  The PS1 addresses market needs for a simple and reliable, yet elegant and affordable solution.

“Many Barix customers have reported the need for a simple, compact one-to-two button desktop paging station for universal use,” said Johannes G. Rietschel, CEO and Founder of Barix.  “Users can page or make general announcements without a learning curve.  Ease of use and reliability were of paramount importance in its design.”

The compact PS1 design accommodates wall-mount and desktop installations, with minimal real estate requirements.  This makes the PS1 ideal for central offices and control rooms, as well as secondary rooms and remote points.

Existing Barix customers can easily integrate the PS1 with other Barix devices on a network, including Instreamer IP encoders, Exstreamer IP decoders and Annuncicom two-way IP devices — enabling a complete, customized Barix IP audio and control solution that meet the requirements of the facility.  The PS1 can also merge with background music systems — ideal for retailers, restaurants, hotels, clubs and other entertainment venues that wish to break into a stream with announcements.

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

Audio over IP and the SIP Enviroment
icon4 10 14th, 2011| icon3Comments Off

The introduction of a SIP gateway is the most effective way to merge audio over IP distribution with an already established SIP-based phone system. This is most useful when you are directing background music, paging and public address to loud-speaker systems as opposed to simply routing phone calls.

IT Telephony Article

All,

there is a new application firmware out for the Barix IP Audio devices. SIP Client version v01.07 brings a major change intended to make the use of the devices much more easy.
The Web UI, through which the device is configured, now offers “profiles”, to allow easy configuration of different use cases

1) SIP phone
This profile is intended for applications on bidirectional devices, for applications which are similar or identical to a SIP phone. The Barix devices can be used ideally in call stations, help points etc, preconfigured numbers can be called using the contact closure inputs etc.

2) SIP paging endpoint with Background Music support
This profile works on all devices which provide output capability (all Exstreamer and Annuncicom devices) and is typically used for “IP Speaker” application or to drive a paging amplifier.

3) SIP door station
This profile enables typical door station functionality, is able to operate in automatic “half duplex” mode to support simple door intercom panels (Aiphone), and also allows to activate a relay via SIP Info/DTMF to open the door.

4) SIP gateway
An interesting “glueware” application, when this is selected, the device can work as a “SIP to standard Multicast RTP” converter, will serve as an endpoint, and re-broadcast (or multicast) the received audio stream so it can be used with any device which can play audio from a standard RTP stream.

5) SIP based audio monitoring
This mode is typically used for audio surveillance, covert operations, etc. In this mode, the device can establish a call silently to a configured destination if it picks up audio above a certain level.

The SIP application firmware now supports the PS16, the desktop IP paging station from Barix, and on the Annuncicom 155, even the microphone and speaker supervision are supported.

The firmware can be downloaded, as usual, from our website free of charge and devices can be updated via browser.
Johannes

All,

the Barix Exstreamer P5 now starts shipping. This very affordable IP Audio device is actually .. an IP Speaker. And at the same time, it is not .. the loudspeaker is missing.

IP Speaker from Barix

So … why ? What is the reason behind this ?

As we all know, architects want to have the choice of design, form and color if it comes to selecting a speaker. Installers need to pick a speaker with the right environmental specs. And the price, or a specific manufacturer, may be a decision criteria too for the selection of the speaker.

Other manufacturers offer “IP Speakers”. Such an IP Speaker limits the choices for the installer drastically, as the speaker design part is fixed, and eventually already installed speakers, which would be perfectly useable, need to be pulled out and replaced.

The Barix Exstreamer P5 solves this dilemma. It is EVERYTHING an IP Speaker needs to be, with the exception of .. the speaker ! You can use almost any commercially available loudspeaker, being it round, square, outdoor, indoor, brown, white, shiny, expensive or cheap … as long as it has 8 Ohm impedance (the vast majority is of that type) and it can accept min. 5W RMS driving power.

The installation is incredibly simpe – two loudspeaker wires are connected to the Exstreamer P5 (screw terminal block included), and the device is hooked up to the network a Cat5 cable (PoE providing switch, or use an in-line power supply). NO need to wire power and network separately to the device. Also, if space is a constraint, you can separate the speaker from the Exstreamer P5.
A lot of flexibility – and the good news is that the combo “Exstreamer P5 plus reasonsable ceiling speaker” costs less than the typical combined IP Speaker device !

This IP Speaker solution from Barix supports all the standard stuff others do – SIP, priority multicast stream etc, and in addition, our devices can also play MP3 or even AACplus streams, resulting in CD quality background music, if wanted.
And – last not least – the Barix Exstreamer P5 also has a local interface port for an affordable volume/source control. So you can even select a background music channel, set the volume – and of course, even if you turn down the volume and listen to background music, a priority page comes through at a predefined level.

Check this out now .. the Exstreamer P5 is the better IP Speaker ! Coming from a trusted brand in the IP Audio and VoIP space since 10 years .. Barix ! The same technology used in the Exstreamer P5 also runs evacuation systems in nuclear power plants and oil refineries, it is rock bottom stable, so there is no need to power cycle your ceiling mounted IP speakers or find that reboot button ever …

“The IP Speaker without the speaker”(TM), now from Barix.

Barix IP Audio devices are an excellent solution when it comes to special SIP interfacing applications. Being it an audio monitoring application, where a call should be placed if a microphone picks up sounds above a certain threshold, or a SIP door station – the standard SIP application, which can be loaded on all Annuncicom and Exstreamer devices, serves well.

But do you know that you can also use a Barix device as a SIP gateway to traditional, multizone paging systems ?

How do you then select a zone ?

The SIP firmware can control local relays on the device, if existing (Exstreamer 500, for example, offers 4 relays). These can be commanded in the SIP call by means of standard signalling (SIP Info and RFC2833). Many IP PBX’es also allow you to send specific commands when you initiate a call, this is the perfect time to select a zone automatically.

The Barix wiki contains a nice article describing the exact configuration necessary of an Asterisk instance to offer the luxury of direct zone selection by extension. If done this way, a user of the phone system can just dial one of a selection of extensions, and the Barix SIP Gateway (actually, an Exstreamer 500 or Annuncicom 1000 device) will select the specific zone(s) to page to automatically, based on the actual extension called.
Here is a link to the general overview of how this is done: SIP Paging

And here is the article detailing the bits and pieces on how to configure Asterisk to directly control the relays from SIP

Greetings !

Johannes

Many people use IP Phones at home. A very popular phone is the Siemens Gigaset product range, which provides analog line as well as VoIP/SIP connectivity. Models C470IP, C475IP, S675IP and S685IP are currently in the market.

But .. how do you connect a door intercom or door station to them ?

Fortunately, the latest SIP firmware for the Annuncicom makes a perfect companion for the Siemens Gigaset IP phones, it can talk with the Siemens phone via IP !

  • A visitor, who presses the “ring” button on the phone, places a SIP call to the Siemens base. This can be done “peer-to-peer”, so it won’t consume an account entry, and it does not need a PBX or server to work.
  • The DECT phones will ring, indicating a call from the IP address of the Annuncicom
  • The user can answer the phone talk to the person in front of the door, and also open the door by typing a configurable number sequence on the keypad (for example, “11″).
  • Even multiple Annuncicoms can be used in this fashion, for example, for front door and back door !

The solution works, of course, also with other SIP PBXes like Asterisk, but the beauty with the Siemens IP phones is that there is no servers, no PBX, only little configuration needed.

Contact us if you are interested in more details, or check out our wiki pages.

Johannes

Multicast routing between (remote) networks
icon4 07 15th, 2010| icon3Comments Off

Have you ever faced the situation that you want to use Multicast between subnets, but Routers don’t forward it OR the application/device generating the Multicast traffic is using a TTL of 1, so the blocks don’t get forwarded by the router?

Barix developed a “Multicast routing/tunneling” firmware for the Barionet which turns that device into a flexible, multi site multicast forwarder/router. Effectively, it bridges multiple multicast groups between multiple sites, and can also include single hosts. The functionality is independent on the actual protocols used with the Multicast, being it automation, IP Audio, Video, VoIP, SIP or RTP.

Here is the rough concept:

  • A Barionet is installed in every subnet where multicast traffic needs to be pickeed up or delivered.
  • The device(s) does “UDP” tunnelling to forward the Multicast packets to the other Barionet(s) in the other subnet(s). At the same time, they serve as a tunnel receiver/endpoint to receive encapsulated Multicasts from the other networks.
  • Up to 8 independent multicasts (address/port) can be configured, and up to 8 destinations – either Barionets in other networks as tunnel endpoints, or hosts which then receive the packets unicast.
  • The TTL field of the multicast blocks can be “ignored and set to configured value” or handled as usual (decrementing).
  • Tunnelling can be configured to use “IP over IP” or plain UDP – both have advantages and disadvantages.
  • Monitoring of the application is possible via SNMP.

The first customer uses the application to route VoIP/VHF radio traffic between multiple operations centers in a large company. However, applications can be found wherever multicast needs to be routed between subnets and routers, IT providers or policies prevent that.

Please contact Barix if you are interested in that solution!

Johannes

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