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2nd March 2016 - GatesAir Expands Intraplex IP Link Family at 2016 NAB Show

New IP Link MPX codec solves the bandwidth challenges of transporting digital FM composite signals over IP networks.

GatesAir, a global leader in wireless, over-the-air content delivery solutions for radio and TV broadcasters, continues to innovate for its expanding Intraplex portfolio of intelligent IP networking solutions. At the 2016 NAB Show (April 18-21, Las Vegas Convention Center), GatesAir will showcase its IP Link family of audio codecs, including a new model built specifically for transporting analog FM composite multiplex signals over IP networks.

The IP Link MPX is a full duplex product specifically built for studio-to-transmitter link (STL) applications for FM radio broadcasters. It is especially ideal for broadcasters that lack the network bandwidth to distribute a full AES192 digital FM composite signal, which typically requires 5MB/s of bandwidth, from studio to transmitter; and/or lack AES192 signal receiving capability in their legacy exciters. It is also highly configurable, allowing broadcasters to adjust bit rates for optimal bandwidth usage across a wide area network, using less than half of the bandwidth required for AES192.

The new codec also provides an efficiency boost for engineers by enabling installation of all signal generating equipment at a central studio. This is a major benefit for broadcasters operating an FM simulcast network, as it eliminates the need to install stereo generators, audio processors and other auxiliary equipment at multiple receive locations. Instead, broadcasters can send audio and data, including RDS information, in a single bandwidth-efficient stream to multiple transmitter and booster locations. That capability is fortified through IP Link MPX’s integration of Intraplex SynchroCast simulcast technology, and built-in GPS capability for reliable timing recovery in multipoint distribution. The IP Link MPX can also be used with the Intraplex HD LinkTM microwave STL system to provide composite signals over a 950MHz link.

“Broadcasters have been seeking an IP transport solution that simplifies their program distribution by keeping the audio processing at the studio, with the optimal bitrate usage to suit varying network limitations,” said Rich Redmond, chief product officer. “The introduction of the IP Link MPX codec rounds out our product line, with options for both digital and analog composite FM signal transport to suit every customer’s IP architecture.”

The IP Link MPX offers an extensive feature set, including multiple input and output ports for signal redundancy, decoding of audio and RDS content from either the input or output MPX signal, and the option to incorporate external SCA subcarrier signals into the output MPX signal. It also offers features common across all IP Link codecs, including stream splicing, forward error correction and a trio of network interfaces for optimal stream reliability.

Also new to NAB is the IP Link 100P, a single-channel, full-duplex codec introduced at IBC in September. The IP Link 100P adds advanced signal monitoring capabilities and integration with SynchroCast systems that are absent from base IP Link codecs, providing another strong audio contribution and distribution option for simulcasting across transmitter networks. All IP Link codecs also include new software for audio loudness leveling and metering based on EBU R128 and ITU-R BS 1770-3 standards for legal compliance. This provides a reliable method to monitor and control variations in program audio between normal programming and advertisements; as well as dynamically changing content in CDN-delivered streams.