Tech Tips from Tieline’s U.S. Codec Expert Jacob Daniluck
Reasons to Upgrade G3 Codecs
In the decade or so that I have been with Tieline I have had the pleasure to speak with station owners and engineers around the world and the most common question I get is: “What benefits would I expect to see if I were to upgrade my older Tieline Commander G3 codecs?” In this month’s Jake’s Take, I want to explore a handful of the benefits of “movin’ on up” from the Commander G3 codec to the latest Tieline hardware.
Network Interface Bonding
One of the biggest things to look forward to is the overall improvement in IP network technology and protocols. With the power of Tieline’s latest hardware, namely the ViA and Merlin PLUS, you can leverage multiple networks together for greater bandwidth throughput.
Another even more powerful mechanism included in the latest hardware, is the ability to leverage multiple networks as redundant paths to deliver multiple redundant streams. (More info on SmartStream PLUS). Both of these mechanisms can greatly increase the audio reliability between your remote and studio. These features were not available in our G3 products.
Loads of Encoding Options
The next thing I typically bring up to “potential upgraders” regarding our newer technology is the wide range in algorithm offerings included in the ViA and Merlin PLUS. Since the G3 units were introduced to the market, there have been a ton of advancements in encoding/decoding audio for IP transmission. The most impactful for radio broadcasting has been the development of the Opus algorithm. Opus can maintain a low bitrate with a low latency encode time. So when you invest in a ViA and/or Merlin Plus (we recommend both) you will have access to Opus as well as the other the top IP Streaming audio algorithms available on the market today. Here is a rundown of the wide range of audio algorithms currently included in Tieline codecs:
- Tieline’s Music (32 KHz) / Music PLUS (48 KHz)
- 711 (8KHz) / G.722 (16 KHz)
- APTx Enhanced (32, 44.1, 48 or 96* KHz)
- MP2 (32, 44.1 or 48 KHz)
- MP3 (32, 44.1 or 48 KHz)
- OPUS (48KHz)
- AAC-LC, AAC-HE, AAC-ELD, AAC-LD (32, 44.1 or 48 KHz)
- PCM (32, 44.1, 48 or 96* KHz)
*Only Available on the Genie Distribution Series
Having this wide range of algorithms allows you the user to fine-tune the station’s sound for any situation whether it be for everyday studio broadcasts, sports play by play, or any remote broadcast including but not limited to voice tracking, remote broadcasting from home, client-oriented remote events, and live music shows.
More Streams = More Options
As the Tieline engineers were developing our latest line of codecs, network reliability, and audio quality improvements were very important. However, we wanted to get even more out of our equipment, like a higher number of audio connections to name one thing. The Merlin or Genie platforms of Tieline’s Studio IP Codecs don’t just have a single stereo codec. Instead Tieline includes the ability to receive two, three or up to six audio streams at a single time with either of those products. Having the ability to offer multiples streams in a single hardware unit not only allows you to have more discrete remote broadcasts at a single time. It can also reduce your engineering time, rack space requirements, and equipment costs in the long run.
ViA – Join the Remote Revolution…
From the remote codec perspective, the Tieline ViA delivers up to 3 mono streams or a stereo and mono stream, which is a significant upgrade on our stereo G3 Commander and i-Mix remote codecs. Other improvements in the ViA include a touchscreen matrix editor to make routing edits on the fly. Whereas with G3 codecs you had to connect an external Toolbox software configuration interface to make changes. Some other new improvements of note in the ViA include:
- 7 IP interface options for streaming over IP: dual Ethernet ports, dual USB for external air cards, built-in WiFi and an optional internal dual active SIM module.
- Ability to stream live audio, record audio files and simultaneously play back audio files. ViA has a complete media management facility with record and playback source controls, playlists, plus FTP file upload options for podcasting.
- Touchscreen XLR and digital input and output controls to adjust inputs and outputs with ease.
- Integration of compression and EQ on all inputs.
- Individual touchscreen headphone source adjustments, with individual source level controls.
- Internal battery and case shipped as standard.
- Ability to be fully remote controlled by the Tieline Cloud Codec Controller.
The typical feedback that we get about our G3 codecs is that they are built to last and that despite some worn off paint they are still working fine. What some don’t realize is that more than 15 years of technological advances have hit the market. Most aren’t aware of how much better their stations can sound with an even easier to use next generation Tieline codec. So, whether you’re a small-town market station, or a large market regional hub, Tieline has a codec with the latest audio technology that fits your specific needs. Looking for today’s technology, a more robust IP connection, or just more flexibility in the number of connections? Tieline has you covered.
Request a Future Topic for Jake’s Take…
For those interested in sharing your story, or if you have an idea for a future “Jake’s Take”, please contact me directly at Jacob@tieline.com
(Jake’s Take on Reasons to upgrade G3 codecs , published 3rd September, 2020)