Tieline Technologies



Tieline was one of the first broadcast codec manufacturers to integrate I3P EBU Tech 3347 specifications for IP intercoms into its Merlin and Merlin PLUS audio codecs. The EBU standard was created by the EBU Future Networked Systems (FNS) working group and covers IP intercom matrix software and peripheral devices, audio codecs, software applications and other external devices.

Tieline Delivers a World First


--------- Merlin PLUS front panel

  Merlin PLUS Codec

Tieline's Merlin PLUS audio codec is the first to support transmission of up to six separate EBU compliant AoIP intercom streams. Merlin PLUS supports sending multiple full-duplex intercom streams to a single device, or to six separate devices at different remote sites.

The Importance of I3P Compliance

Being fully compliant with EBU specifications is important to ensure compatibility between vendors of communications equipment. This concept is similar to how compliance with EBU N/ACIP Tech 3326 facilitates connections between dissimilar devices over IP using SIP.

In a practical sense, using compliant equipment is very important when integrating communication circuits from various broadcast networks. For example, equipment from different vendors is widely used at large sporting events (e.g. throughout International Broadcast Centres), to deliver full and half-duplex communications circuits:

  • Between studios
  • Between a studio and remote OB van
  • With a 3rd party broadcaster or service provider
  • With a VoIP phone inside your organisation
  • With a  reporter in the field via a phone or softphone

Whereas intercom manufacturers are very good at designing IP communications network infrastructure, it is codec manufacturers who create the hardware capable of transporting rock solid, low latency IP streams over the internet and other lossy and potentially unreliable wireless networks. Merlin and Merlin PLUS codecs include SmartStream PLUS dual redundant IP streaming. This ensures high reliability and low latency when transporting IP audio over the public internet and wireless networks like 3G and 4G-LTE.

Tieline Integrates ACIP Compliant IP Audio with FNS-I3P Compliant Intercoms


------ Merlin PLUS 2 x Program plus 2 x IFB


Merlin PLUS transmitting 2 program audio streams

and 2 EBU compliant intercom streams

Merlin and Merlin PLUS codecs support sending mono or stereo program audio over IP using Tieline session data protocols, or ACIP compliant SIP signalling, with a separate I3P compliant audio stream for bidirectional communications. Merlin PLUS can transmit two simultaneous mono or stereo program audio streams and two simultaneous I3P compliant audio streams for communications.

In summary, customers can be confident that Merlin and Merlin PLUS codecs deliver highly reliable, low delay, IP audio between studios and remote outside broadcast sites for intercoms as well as commentary and mix-minus feeds.