Rock Solid IP Redundancy Options

“Jake’s Take”

Tech Tips from Tieline’s U.S. Codec Expert Jacob Daniluck

Rock Solid IP Redundancy Options

Tieline’s primary focus for several years has been to provide a means to broadcast high-quality audio reliably to the studio but also provide backup options in a single form factor. In this month’s edition of Jake’s Take, I will review each of the different rock solid IP redundancy streaming options and other features that Tieline offers to assist in maintaining a connection. Specifically, the benefits of Fuse-IP, SmartStream PLUS, and Tieline’s transport failover and audio failover functions.

The Fuse-IP Interface

First, let’s discuss Tieline’s Fuse-IP and when to use it in the field. Fuse-IP is Tieline’s IP bonding mechanism that will provide you additional bandwidth by “grouping” all the different Internet Service Providers (ISP) into a single interface. This interface will then divide the audio data over the different ISP paths and then reassemble the audio data at the decoder end. Fuse-IP assists in providing a strong connection when not enough bandwidth is available. For example, in some parts of the world bandwidth throughput may not be fast enough to handle a high-quality audio link. Enter Fuse-IP, which bonds together two independent ISPs to achieve a higher bitrate.

How Fuse-IP works
Fuse-IP bonding of IP interfaces to aggregate data

SmartStream PLUS

Now let’s discuss active redundancy, or Tieline’s SmartStream PLUS dual redundant streamlining protocol and how it can help you to stay connected and provide a more robust audio stream. SmartStream PLUS is a stream diversity mechanism that will reconstruct audio into a single audio output. We can accomplish this over multiple IP paths over two physical IP ethernet connections and/or multiple Virtual LANs (VLAN) (or with USB air cards, Wi-Fi, or an internal cellular module option in the Tieline ViA).

The addition of a single backup ISP network at both the studio and tower site can significantly increase the reliability of the overall audio stream. I like to think of this mechanism as a way to have “always-active audio failover.” SmartStream PLUS is excellent not only for mission-critical applications like STLs or Studio Links but also for remote broadcasts. SmartStream PLUS has the power to make the STLs or remotes much more reliable than a traditional IP codec connection.

SmartStream PLUS with 4 IP interfaces
ViA remote codec using SmartStream PLUS redundant streaming over 4 interfaces

Tieline’s Additional Failover Functions

Failover parameters
Failover Parameters in the ToolBox Web-GUI

SmartStream PLUS is the “Active” IP failover option with seamless packet switching. Attention also needs to be paid to the “Cold” failover options as well. The first failover option is what we call “site-to-site” failover. A “transport” failover is the act of a Tieline unit detecting a loss of connection on a specific interface and then failing over to another transport method. For example, this type of failover would guarantee a remote connection to a studio regardless of the cost.

The next type of failover is what we call “codec-failover,” which allows the codec to reconnect to another studio codec upon a loss of connection with the primary studio. For example, this feature may be used with multiple studio locations for redundancy, meaning if the main studio fails, then the remote unit can dial an alternate studio without human interaction.

Other Tieline Backup Features

Tieline has planned for the worst-case scenarios in the form of audio backups. If your internet or transmission link fails suddenly, and you have no alternative transport link, then the only option is to play an alternative audio source at the tower location.

Audio source failover options
Audio source failover options
  1. The first form of “audio backup” is presented through external media devices. For example, if a disconnect or loss of audio occurs, the Tieline codec can failover the audio outputs to the external media (SDHC or USB Flash Memory). With this audio failover feature, you can store several hours of audio files and playlists that can be updated remotely through our web browser.
  2. The second form of “audio failover” is the ability to decode an HTTP webstream. For example, when the Tieline codec loses the connection to the studio, the unit can then be programmed to dial your HTTP feed as long as it is still streaming audio.
  3. The next “audio backup” feature is the ability to failover from the active connection stream to the audio inputs instead. This may be useful for when the STL link is down for maintenance and you are running a standalone backup audio system at the tower site. Instead of needing a switch, the Genie can be the active failover audio for you.
  4. The last “audio backup” feature that Tieline has worked on specifically with our hardware is the ability for the inputs to loop out the outputs upon a loss of power on the codec. Again, this feature would give you the ability to wire up the backup audio source direct to the codec’s inputs.

At Tieline, it is our goal is to provide you with a rock-solid audio codec link. We also provide you with all the backup options in the field ready to use at a moment’s notice. Whether you are using Fuse-IP to gain additional bandwidth, engaging SmartStream PLUS for redundancy in your network transmission, or employing Tieline’s failover functions for transport or audio, our products are engineered to keep your audio flowing flawlessly from point-to-point.

If you are interested in learning more about these features, or you have a request for a future Jake’s Take, then please reach out to me at Jacob@tieline.com.

For more information about Tieline codecs, or any of the features mentioned in “Rock Solid IP Redundancy Options”, visit http://www.tieline.com

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