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Vortex To Showcase Its Latest Innovative Products At IBC 2017

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Vortex first exhibited at IBC in 1988 and has been at every IBC since then – mainly in the same spot in Hall 12 at the RAI in Amsterdam which means that their customers can easily find them – at the top of the escalators, turn left into Hall 12 and they are in their usual corner on the left.

Vortex is a solutions company, driven by customer requests to solve real-life problems and it is only if we don't find something off-the-shelf that we consider developing something ourselves from scratch, to fill the niche that we know already exists.

This is precisely what happened with our new CallMe-T low-cost hardware audio codecs which we are demonstrating at IBC. CallMe Click-and-Connect is a cloud-based internet audio codec that lets stations put guests On-Air with high-quality audio without them needing their own compatible codec, having them download special software, send round a reporter or have them come to the studio. As part of the CallMe setup, the Station gets its own web portal with its own station branding and the guest just clicks CallMe – and connects.

CallMe was originally developed as an add-on for the industry-standard range of Comrex codecs (it also works with most others on the market) and whilst the original idea was for guest contributors, many stations use it for reporters also as it works with browsers on smartphones including Android and iPhone. For larger installations, CallMe can be setup to hunt for a free codec and we have supplied enterprise versions that allow more than 200 users at the same time.

However, it became obvious that some Community and smaller stations simply cannot afford to have full-featured Comrex and other codecs at their station and we therefore decided to develop CallMe-TS (Studio Version) as a low-cost back-end for CallMe. It has no buttons but a web interface to set it up and for control.

The next step came after requests to use two hardware CallMe-Ts as a low-cost solution for connecting the huge number of Glensound ISDN Sports mixers over IP instead of ISDN but users needed some form of dialling rather than having to use the browser interface. So CallMe-TR (Remote Version) was born – now with four buttons on the front panel for quick preset dialling. Both have balanced stereo audio in and out and provide live two-way Broadcast Audio up to 20kHz using Opus, G.711, G.722 codecs plus PCM.

We are also showing the latest Comrex Video and Audio codecs, STAC-VIP VoIP talk show system and VH2 VoIP Telephone Hybrid. Comrex who are also exhibiting in Hall 8 – produce the industry-standard ACCESS IP Audio codec and the long-awaited ACCESS-NX is the latest re-designed and re-engineered incarnation. Designed from the ground up as the next step in innovative portable broadcasting, it has two mic/line inputs – plus optional bolt-on mixer – and provides multi-streaming, bonding and diversity as part of the CrossLock custom reliability layer.

LiveShot is the "video version" of ACCESS and incorporates many of the clever forward error correction and error masking techniques developed for ACCESS plus CrossLock multi-streaming, bonding and reliability. It too is designed for use on contended connections such as the public internet and unlike most video codecs, LiveShot additionally provides reverse video and audio plus a dedicated comms channel. Weighing less than a kg and the ability to plug-in four or more USB dongles, LiveShot provides a reliable all-in-one package for News, Sport and Outside Broadcast.

We are also showing MCC Multi-Codec Control software that provides remote control and management of IP/ISDN Audio Codecs and HotSwitch that allows connection of a number of remote codecs to a single studio codec for sports and election roundups for example.

Our enhanced range of TimeLord NTP Master Clocks, digital and analogue displays and FLX ClockBox virtual timers and clocks will also be there as well as Unity Intercom that uses smartphones as intercom stations and JK Audio that provides Bluetooth interfaces and telephone connectivity for broadcast.

V4X is again being used to provide our internet connectivity at a location which is extremely congested with poor signal strength. It is an intelligent 4G antenna that finds all cells available to it and carries out a data test before locking onto the one with the best data connectivity as opposed to the best signal strength. It really works and has been used to get many an OB live without the need for a satellite truck.

Vortex Communications Ltd. and Stand 12G11 @ IBC.


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