Tieline Technologies

Entercom Uncovers Bridge-IT's Audio over IP Potential...

Tieline’s new Bridge-IT IP audio codec for STLs and audio distribution is now shipping and one of the first people to try it out was Mike Rabey, Chief Engineer for Entercom in Indianapolis.

   --- 2009 Mike Rabey with Bridge-IT
   Mike Rabey, Chief Engineer for Entercom in Indianapolis, USA

“When I first took Bridge-IT out of the box I was really impressed by its robust design and the fact that it has an LCD screen, navigation buttons and a dialing keypad,” said Rabey. “I also really like the fact that it has broadcast standard connectors and professional audio monitoring, which differentiates this codec from other low-cost codecs I have seen.”

“Most other low-cost codecs appear to be a bit flimsy because they use semi-professional connectors and have only a couple of LEDs and switches on them, which also means you have to use a PC interface to program them.”

“I found Bridge-IT quite easy to program using the front panel interfaces and I was keen to connect the codec to our network and see how it performed,” he said. “I attached it to our Comcast cable connection and dialed the remote codec using the low-delay, high quality Tieline MusicPLUS algorithm at a bit rate of 128Kbps.”

“Bridge-IT connected quickly and smoothly and the audio was crystal clear,” he remarked. “I particularly like Tieline’s adaptive jitter buffer software and watched and listened in amazement as the delay fell from 500ms to only 40ms within a couple of minutes – with no audible artifacts!”

“The free web-GUI application can be launched from the codec in a web-browser and it lets you program, dial and monitor connections remotely, view connection statistics and display help documentation,” he said “The web-GUI also supports upgrades to new software releases, which are detected automatically when the web-GUI is launched and can be easily installed.

“I have to admit to being curious about Bridge-IT at first, but I didn’t think I had any immediate applications that would suit the codecs,” said Rabey. “But then Kevin Webb from Tieline explained the business case for getting rid of our ISDN STL backups at our transmitter sites and using Bridge-IT over existing DSL connections that currently only carry low bit rate data at each site. The ISDN connection savings would pay for the codecs within about a year!”

“I started thinking and realized that Bridge-IT would also be ideal for audio distribution applications,” he remarked. “The codec has onboard relays and these can be used to trigger local programming like station IDs and other local audio events tailored for the affiliate stations the network distributes programming to.”

“Bridge-IT also offers an affordable solution for announcers who contribute programming from remote locations,” he noted. “More and more announcers across Entercom’s network are connecting from home and Bridge-IT provides a viable low-delay alternative for sending program audio to the studio.”

“Overall I think that Bridge-IT hits the mark well for a low-cost IP audio codec with regard to its features and functionality. With new features like the Traversal Server, AAC algorithms, multicasting and multiple unicasting being released soon, I am sure that this new codec is destined to be a success.”

Visit www.tieline.com/bridge-it for more information about Bridge-IT.

Visit www.ipaudioexpert.com to learn more about IP audio codecs, audio over IP and get the FREE Audio over IP Instant Expert Guide.