Quality and dependability were Barix primary criteria, with affordability also a key factor
Independent broadcaster Las Vegas Public Radio Inc. has selected Barix Audio over IP devices, distributed in the U.S. by LineQ, for its studio-to-transmitter link (STL) and to connect its main studio with remote production locations.
“Staying on the air and delivering a great listening experience are most important, but as a non-profit startup, cost also had to be a consideration for us,” CEO Greg LaPorta explained. “We looked at an old-style POTS (telephone system based) STL approach, but it would have been too expensive for our startup budget and wouldn’t have met our quality goals.”
Finally, LaPorta decided to test an IP-based STL. “Barix has a great name among radio stations large and small, with lots of positive reviews about the stability of their units,” he said. “Prior to trying the Barix devices, we did have some initial reluctance about using IP-based audio over the Internet, particularly in terms of reliability and quality degradation across the uncontrollable public network. But our testing with Barix put those concerns to rest very early in the process – we were very impressed with the results.”
Barix Exstreamer 500 model
LaPorta has selected the Barix Exstreamer 500 model as providing the best combination of capabilities and cost-effectiveness for the station’s needs. One Exstreamer 500 encodes audio from the main studio and control room for transport to the transmission tower site, where it is decoded by a second such unit. An additional pair of Exstreamer 500s delivers audio to the main studio from a second, remote production studio, with the off-site unit occasionally taken into the field for on-location remote broadcasts.
The remote studio and transmitter site use 25Mbps Internet connections from Cox Business, while the main studio, located on the sixth floor of an office tower, shares T1 and T3 connectivity with other companies in the building. The station’s 192Kbps MP3 streams are delivered to the transmitter location through the cloud-based Barix Reflector stream replication service, offered in partnership with StreamGuys, to maximize uptime in spite of the unpredictable nature of the studio’s communal connection.
“The Barix units are very low-maintenance,” said LaPorta. “We generally only need to touch them when the building’s IT department makes significant configuration changes to our shared network.”
“The Barix units have exceeded our expectations for the audio quality they deliver,” he praised. “Barix’s digital signal processing and other advanced technologies do a fantastic job of maintaining great quality while overcoming the challenges and unpredictability of transport over the public Internet. Barix makes our station sound very rich over the air.”
Also, LaPorta plans to add more Exstreamer 500 units as Las Vegas Public Radio increases its remote productions and expands with more studios, as well as converting its Internet stream encoding to Barix equipment.