Jake’s Take on the Importance of Codec Redundancy
At Tieline, we strive to exceed the expectations of our customers all over the world. We have done this by designing the highest quality hardware and software in our audio codecs. For the past few months in my “Jake’s Takes” I have focused on the reliability and quality of the audio links that our audio codecs produce. We have discussed topics like adding SmartStream PLUS streams and incorporating Fuse-IP data aggregation strategies to ensure quality and reliability in delivering that audio link. This month, I am going to look at a few other features often forgotten that relate to real-time redundancy, and failover for mission critical links.
Essential Failover Strategies
While we want to provide the highest audio quality and reliability when it comes to audio codecs, we understand that not everything in this world is 100% perfect. We have seen in the past that internet lines can get cut by construction, or trees can fall on phone and power lines that distribute audio. Things happen, so we want our customers to be as prepared as possible in the event something like this (or worse) takes place. For example, did you know that all current generation studio codecs support audio failover from flash media like a USB or SD card? In the most extreme cases, you can rest assured that if we have power to our codecs, we will continue to play out an audio source. Speaking of power, did you know that most Tieline products offer multiple power supplies for redundancy? Having a spare power supply on hand is one thing, but having two power supplies installed in the same hardware chassis is far superior. The former will cost you more money in the long run due to unforeseen power failures.
While flash media failover and having multiple power supplies is simple and affordable, there is still more that can be done. Our flagship Studio Codec Gateway, and award-winning field unit ViA, offer another kind of failover event… a connection failover. This allows the audio codec to detect a problem on a link and make decision based on threshold parameters the engineer configures. When an engineer configures connection failover, they may configure a Tieline ViA, as an example, to dial the same studio Tieline codec using a different Internet source. Or the codec may dial an alternative studio codec on a different Internet source. This type of failover event provides additional layers of assurance to both management and engineering staff, when dealing with mission critical events like the Olympics.
Audio Failover Strategies
The next failover events that I’d like to discuss actually pertain to audio specifically. As mentioned, at Tieline we provide the ability to fail over to flash based media, like SD cards and flash drives. Another source of audio that Tieline can pull is an online HTTP feed in the event an of an IP disconnection somewhere over the link. As with the connection failover, this type of event is set up and configured very similarly. Instead of the audio codec examining the packet loss, the audio codec will examine the audio amplitude and determine if the audio is silent or not. If the audio is silent based on preconfigured thresholds, then the audio codec will failover the audio source to an Icecast server stream or flash media.
We believe in providing high audio quality and reliable codec links. Tieline offers a wide range of failover support, multiple layers of audio source failovers, like flash media playback, and Icecast decoding. With our more advanced products like the Gateway, we also offer things like connection failover events that allow multiple failovers between different communication links. No matter what your project may entail, Tieline wants to give you the tools to not only get the job done, but also have additional tools and strategies at the ready for those worst case scenarios and unanticipated events.
For those interested in sharing their story, or if you have an idea for a future “Jake’s Take”, please feel free to contact me directly at Jacob@tieline.com.
For information on the Tieline Gateway visit www.tieline.com/gateway
(Importance of Codec Redundancy, first published 13th July, 2021)