GatesAir Halves Bandwidth for Uncompressed Digital IP STL Transport

GatesAir  will introduce a new intelligent IP networking solution at the 2017 NAB Show that marks a convergence of traditional Intraplex strengths with new innovations that reduce the costs and bolster the opportunities associated with radio program transport over digital IP studio-to-transmitter links (STL).

The new Intraplex IP Link MPXp codec is the next-generation codec from GatesAir. While this codec leverages many of the IP Link codec strengths – notably GatesAir’s unique dynamic stream splicing technology to mitigate IP packet loss and eliminate off-air time – the Intraplex IP Link MPXp offers several industry firsts.

Foremost, the Intraplex IP Link MPXp is the first FM MPX IP codec to support – separately or together – AES 192 digital and analogue composite signals over a secure and reliable digital IP path. With its built-in bandwidth reduction technology and signal parameter selection, broadcasters can transport uncompressed AES 192 signals as low as 1.8Mb/s. This bandwidth efficiency opens more headroom for increased packet protection, as well as additional audio and data services.

The IP Link MPXp codec offers a future-proof codec to support analogue composite transport today – and AES 192 composite transport when the broadcaster upgrades from an analogue to a digital exciter. However, its flexible dual-domain capability allows the broadcaster to install a newer audio processor supporting AES 192 and have it interoperate with an exciters supporting only analogue composite signal interface today. This not only provides a transitional path for a digital exciter upgrade, but also enhances signal quality by keeping it in the digital domain across the IP path.

Like previous-generation IP Link codecs, 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. Meanwhile, advanced security measures protect the broadcaster’s signal thanks to the codec’s integrated firewall.

“The Intraplex IP Link MPXp offers tremendous value and flexibility for the broadcaster,” said Rich Redmond, Chief Product Officer, GatesAir. “The broadcaster achieves lower-cost links, improved audio quality and enhanced security out of the gate, with the opportunity to simplify processing and distribution architectures and lay a foundation for new services. For those broadcasters expecting to transition to digital exciters in their next upgrade cycles, the MPXp’s inherent hybrid capability preserves their investment for years to come.”

The IP Link MPXp codec additionally offers the same extensive feature set as other IP Link codecs, including multiple input and output ports for signal redundancy, decoding of audio and RDS content from either the input or output signal, and the option to incorporate external SCA subcarrier signals into the output signal. Its integrated RDS decoder further reduces equipment costs for the broadcaster who was previously forced to install expensive outboard boxes to support RDS.

It also provides features common across all IP Link codecs, including, forward error correction, and a trio of network interfaces for optimal stream reliability. When coupled with Intraplex LiveLook software, users enjoy enhanced visibility into network performance through advanced network analytics, monitoring and troubleshooting capabilities.

GatesAir will demonstrate the Intraplex IP Link MPXp at the 2017 NAB Show, exhibiting at booth N2613.