GatesAir Strengthens IP Data Protection for Radio
GatesAir will unveil new enhancements to two recently-introduced Intraplex intelligent networking solutions at IBC2017. The two products, Intraplex IPConnect software and the IP Link MPXp codec, will receive their international debuts at the show at stand 8.C30.
Intraplex IPConnect is a new software application designed to fortify data transport across IP networks. Available as an option in most Intraplex IP Link codecs, IPConnect solves the problem of reliable transport across complex networks that traditionally suffer data loss through dropped packets.
New for IBC2017, GatesAir will demonstrate how IPConnect provides an added layer of reliability for DAB/DAB+ and DRM IP streams by employing a combination of packet protection schemes with network/time diversity and packet-level forward error correction. Additionally, IPConnect can now bridge local area network (LAN) segments across wide-area networks with seamless tunnelling to enhance reliability of program and signal transport across very large geographical regions with multiple receiving and transmitting sites.
“Digital radio streams are particularly vulnerable to packet loss, given the large amount of data moving over many paths and across very long distances,” Keyur Parikh, Director, GatesAir Intraplex Business Unit. “IPConnect plays an important role in minimising susceptibility to packet loss, ensuring that valuable on-air content and control-based commands are not lost along the way. Reliability is further improved through the ability to tunnel all IP data between one or more sites, without concern of outside interference.”
IPConnect’s software data gateway provides extra protection through packet encapsulation, which encloses the external IP data packets in a GatesAir protocol wrapper as it moves across IP networks. Unlike many similar applications, IPConnect provides this protection for studio-generated data, as well as IP data from external sources. While the former might include RDS data or SNMP control signals to trigger a command at the transmitter site, the latter may incorporate program or control data coming from a network operations centre, satellite feed or advertising service.
As the next-generation GatesAir Intraplex IP Link codec, the Intraplex IP Link MPXp leverages the strengths of previous IP Link codecs and adds new efficiencies. This includes GatesAir’s unique Dynamic Stream Splicing technology to mitigate IP packet loss and eliminate off-air time, forward error correction, and a trio of network interfaces for stream reliability, while empowering broadcasters with more signal transport options from a single box at low bitrates. While the initial release in April cut the bandwidth consumption for uncompressed AES192 digital composite signal transport in half, the latest release further reduces those bitrates from the already industry-low 1.8Mb/s to an more efficient 1.65Mb/s.
The Intraplex IP Link MPXp is the first FM MPX IP codec to support – separately or together – AES192 digital and analog composite signals over a secure and reliable digital IP path from a single codec. Its flexible dual-domain capability allows the broadcaster to install a newer audio processor supporting AES192 and have it interoperate with an exciter supporting only analog composite signal interface today. This not only provides a transitional path for a future digital exciter upgrade, but also enhances signal quality by keeping it in the digital domain across the IP path.
The Intraplex IP Link MPXp codec also simplifies network architectures and maintenance to reduce capital and operational expense. As wide-area network pipes grow larger, the Intraplex IP Link MPXp codec enables broadcasters to aggregate all FM processing equipment at the headend. Advanced security measures ensure signal protection thanks to the codec’s integrated firewall.