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.

.. 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

Reflector – there’s an app for that!
icon4 11 25th, 2011| icon3Comments Off

We’re really excited to announce the first of many Apps to be coming your way, The Barix Reflector iPhone app is now available for download from the App Store!

The app enables Reflector customers to listen in to their station, check the status of all their registered devices, see stats for network performance and monitor the state of the encoder contact closures. Broadcast engineers on the go can stay informed!

Watch this blog for announcements of other Apps!

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

New STL IP software for Barix devices
icon4 09 20th, 2010| icon3Comments Off

Folks,

a new STL firmware is now available here. This software provides a host of new features, yet simplifies the use. It can be downloaded freely and installed on all our standard Barix IP Audio devices (Exstreamer, Instreamer and Annuncicom). Not all features are working on all hardware (for example, on an Exstreamer 100 you can only use the decoding functionalities, obviously). Best performance and full features are available if you use it on Exstreamer 1000 or Exstreamer 500 hardware.

Here’s a screenshot:

STL Firmware screenshot

STL Firmware screenshot

Major improvements and new features:
- New WEB User Interface with profiles (Locations) and single Apply
- Full Duplex PCM (uncompressed), up to 48KHz sample rate
- Analog Audio Output Silence Detection
- Analog Audio Input/Output VU meter bars
- Low Latency Frame Buffering
- Selectable high quality A/D converter (at 32 and 48 KHz)
- USB playback as fail-over or by relay trigger
- Reflector Client included in same load (either/or selection)

The camouflaging algorithm which takes care of dropouts has been further improved as well, brief dropouts due to RTP useage (which is unidirectional) are practically unhearable. It’s probably a quite well hidden secret that our devices do this since many years …

Greetings

Johannes

Company ships latest Exstreamer device, introduces new firmware for IP Audio links

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND, September 1, 2010 — Barix AG, a pioneer in IP-based audio, intercom, control, and monitoring, continues to innovate for the radio broadcast industry.  The company will showcase its latest hardware and device firmware at IBC 2010 (Booth 8.B16, RAI Exhibition Center, Amsterdam, September 10-14), giving broadcasters more options in the way they use Barix for delivery of program audio between studios and transmission points.

Now shipping, Barix will display its Exstreamer 500 IP audio decoder to international audiences for the first time at IBC.  The Exstreamer 500 is a professional Audio over IP hardware device designed specifically for radio broadcasters, offering a one-half, 19-inch rack mount solution with encoding and decoding capability.  It is essentially a lower-cost version of its high-end device, the Exstreamer 1000, while retaining important features like balanced inputs and outputs and contact closure interfaces.  Broadcasters can purchase the Exstreamer 500 through the Barix global network of established broadcast distributors, accessible at www.barix.com.

Barix will also introduce new easy-to-configure device firmware that provides more technical options and functionality for program audio transport.  The new “STL software package,” pre-loaded onto new 500 and 1000 devices, is also available as a free update at the Barix website and can be loaded onto all existing Barix Instreamer encoders and Exstreamer decoders.  This enables new features including full-duplex audio transport (48kHz sample rate PCM, full-duplex devices only) and trap-based alarming, while reducing external hardware requirements previous necessary for such enhancements.

“The new universal, feature-filled Barix software is a fully configurable application that fits well into many different scenarios a broadcaster may have for program audio transport, such as directed or unidirectional microwave-carried IP, remote contribution, and internet-based low-bandwidth applications,” said Johannes G. Rietschel, CEO and Founder of Barix AG.  “Through manual fine-tuning of the software, we offer many of the professional features that broadcasters rely on for high-quality audio transport between locations.  This, along with quick set-up, is especially ideal for Exstreamer 1000 users that want more freedom to configure various options onto their devices.”

Barix has included the Reflector Service client on the same software load.  This previously announced service simplifies connections for broadcasters via a plug-and-play scenario.  The Reflector Service completely removes any need for user configuration:  The hosted application serves as an online center to configure and monitor the audio transport bridge while also providing a straightforward relay of the audio feed, enabling almost immediate audio streaming between two devices.  Users of the STL software package can switch between the new STL software (the default on Exstreamer 1000) and the Reflector client (default on Exstreamer 500) via web browser.

All Barix products are inexpensive, low-power devices that are scalable to the growth of the operation; offer high reliability through a PC-FREE design with no moving parts; and serve as a flexible platform for integration into virtually any operation requiring audio transport and delivery over IP networks.   Barix also offers its programmable BCL standard open to all customers to easily customize applications for specific needs.  Local control, audio relay, and low-latency streaming are a few examples of custom programs using Barix’ BCL software environment.