International Media Action deploys Barix solutions for non-profit radio stations

BARIX, Extreamer 100, Broadcast Magazine, magazine broadcast

IMA deploys Barix Audio over IP solutions at more than 30 stations around the world

IMA turned to Barix Audio over IP solutions and has deployed them at more than 30 stations around the world. Non-profit radio engineering and policy training group International Media Action (IMA) provides consulting and implementation services to help build FM stations for organizations with educational or activist missions.


Founded by SBE-certified broadcast radio engineer and community radio policy advocate Pete Tridish, Philadelphia-based IMA assists non-profit groups with planning, construction, equipment procurement and training for start-up radio stations. IMA also provides a complete set of engineering services for antenna and transmitter installations, studio-transmitter links, studios and more. IMA has worked on community radio projects spanning the globe, from the U.S. and Nicaragua to Tanzania and Tunisia.


Tridish first turned to Audio over IP as the foundation for studio-transmitter links for cost-driven reasons. “I needed an affordable STL solution that fit the limited budgets of our non-profit station clients, who don’t have the benefit of commercial funding,” he explained.


Tridish originally used custom Linux-based software running on general-purpose computers, but soon encountered significant reliability problems. “No matter how much effort the programmers put into the robustness of their software code, we’d have systems running fine for a few weeks and then failing,” Tridish recalled. “Often, the problem would have nothing to do with the STL streaming software, but would be caused by an operating system update that required action by the user. When you’re using an all-purpose computer that’s not dedicated to the task, something totally unrelated can cause major issues for your audio.”


Looking to replace the software approach with a dedicated product, Tridish found the Barix Exstreamer family to be suitable for his clients’ needs. “The Barix units are dedicated to just audio delivery, and won’t stop doing it just because something else happens,” he said. “The Exstreamers’ ability to reconnect themselves without user intervention if something goes wrong with the connectivity between them is also a big plus, and makes it a lot easier for me.”


“Cost is a key factor given the non-profit nature of my clients, who couldn’t afford to get their stations on the air if the price was two to three times higher like alternative approaches,” said Tridish. “Linking studios and transmitters used to be a big challenge, as the cost of the STL with traditional methods could be almost as much as everything else in the station combined. It’s also not so easy to get microwave frequencies coordinated any more, and some places have no frequencies available. Using IP audio with the Barix units eliminates that problem while making STL affordable.”

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