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GatesAir Expands Intraplex IP Link Range

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GatesAir has added to its Intraplex portfolio of IP networking solutions, and at NAB 2016, the company will demonstrate its IP link family of audio codecs, including a new model designed specifically to transport analog FM composite multiplex signals over IP networks.

The IP Link MPX is a full duplex product built for studio-to-transmitter link (STL) applications for FM radio broadcasters. It is suitable for broadcasters that do not have the network bandwidth to distribute a full AES192 digital FM composite signal, which usually requires 5MB/s of bandwidth from studio to transmitter; and/or lack AES192 signal receiving capability in their legacy exciters. It is configurable, enabling broadcasters to adjust bit rates for optimal bandwidth usage across a wide area network, using less than half of the bandwidth required for AES192.

The new codec also allows for the installation of all signal generating equipment at a central studio, which benefits broadcasters operating an FM simulcast network as it removes the need to install stereo generators, audio processors and other auxiliary equipment at multiple receive locations. Rather, it enables broadcasters to send audio and data – including RDS information – in a single bandwidth-efficient stream to multiple transmitter and booster locations. The capability is strengthened through IP Link MPX's integration of Intraplex SynchroCast simulcast technology, and built-in GPS capability for reliable timing recovery in multipoint distribution. The IP Link MPX can also be used with the Intraplex HD LinkTM microwave STL system to provide composite signals over a 950MHz link.

The IP Link MPX feature set includes multiple input and output ports for signal redundancy, decoding of audio and RDS content from either the input or output MPX signal, and the option to incorporate external SCA subcarrier signals into the output MPX signal. It also offers stream splicing, forward error correction and a trio of network interfaces for optimal stream reliability.

Also appearing at NAB will be the IP Link 100P which is a single channel, full duplex codec introduced at IBC in September 2015. The IP Link 100P adds advanced signal monitoring capabilities and integration with SynchroCast systems that are absent from base IP Link codecs. All IP Link codecs include new software for audio loudness levelling and metering based on EBU R128 and ITU-R BS 1770-3 standards for legal compliance, providing a reliable method to monitor and control variations in program audio between normal programming and advertisements, as well as changing content in CDN-delivered streams.

Rich Redmond, Chief Product Officer, GatesAir, said: "Broadcasters have been seeking an IP transport solution that simplifies their program distribution by keeping the audio processing at the studio, with the optimal bitrate usage to suit varying network limitations. The introduction of the IP Link MPX codec rounds out our product line, with options for both digital and analog composite FM signal transport to suit every customer's IP architecture."

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