It’s new equipment season again! Radio World’s “Summer of Products” feature is all about new gear that has come onto the market in recent months, especially during spring convention season. Here and in the next several issues we feature equipment that caught our eye. Send ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Summer of Products” in the subject line.
25-SEVEN INTRODUCES “MOD MONITOR FOR WATERMARKING”
The Telos Alliance unveiled what it calls a modulation monitor for watermarking.
A followup to its Voltair watermark monitor and processor, the 25-Seven TVC-15 Broadcast Watermark Analyzer and Monitor is a complementary product or can be operated independently.
The TVC-15 — TVC for “tone verification codec” — enables stations to detect, monitor and analyze how well programming elements support audio watermarking every 400 milliseconds. A connected watermark encoder is not required but stations must be in electronically measured markets.
The codec detects and analyzes the code symbols in any audio because its analog inputs allow users to monitor any source. A front-panel graph of watermark density provides a granular display, and users can download reports of different lengths of time so that stations independently verify the presence and relative quality of embedded watermarks.
Stations using Voltair can utilize TVC-15 to adjust enhancement levels automatically and optimize “the tradeoff between robust watermarking and clean audio,” according to the announcement.
It reports minutes and seconds since the last successfully decoded message (based on the encoder ID that accompanied the last valid message, along with an optional display of time stamp), as well as indications of whether the message is reliable. The interval display updates and gives a quick indication of current signal.
To gauge the impact of various acoustic environments, TVC-15 lets users load the signal with selectable levels of simulated noise.
The code symbol strength bar is a white line on the front-panel LCD that changes height to show the strength of potential code signals in watermark channels. Actual code symbols require 400 ms to broadcast, measured and displayed in the main confidence graph. The time display on the bottom of the confidence graph is based on the real-time clock, which helps users correlate confidence readings with changes in programming.
YAMAHA UPGRADES CONSOLES
Yamaha Professional Audio is releasing a software upgrade that will give its CL and QL consoles more Dante features.
Version 4.1’s improved Dante functionality adds AES67 interoperability that allows communication with Ravenna, Q-LAN, Livewire and other audio network systems for significantly improved system expandability.
In addition Dante Device Lock will secure device settings. This would be especially useful for equipment rental companies, providing them with a means to keep settings or provide clients the ability to save settings along with providing settings portability.
The update also provides more support for Shure wireless receivers.
Yamaha also has been touting the latest version of Steinberg’s Nuendo music production and editing suite. Version 8.0 includes new tools such as a sound randomizer, a new synthesizer, a new eight-band parametric EQ along with several housekeeping improvements, such as direct offline processing, a user profile manager, ADR enhancements, a new video engine, reworked plug-ins and improved overall performance.
WORLDCAST OFFERS BROADCAST NETWORK MANAGER
Built from the previous WorldCast Manager Desktop, WorldCast Manager Server is a global application, the company says, to integrate “the control of multiple devices across multiple locations and enables unified control from a single location.”
Improvements include measurement logs, history, alarm notifications via emails and SMS. A built-in management information base library based around date from leading broadcast equipment manufacturers aids in interfacing with equipment in various facilities.
WorldCast adds, “The new software version stays true to the same philosophy of simplicity and presents all information, no matter how complex in a clean, simple and intuitive interface.”
STUDIOCAST OFFERS VIDEO SOLUTION FOR RADIO
StudioCast’s HD8 auto IP video switcher features functions including graphic insertion, titling and logos, graphic composition and display of messages coming from social feeds. It can record the signal in HD and stream to several sources simultaneously, and supports the main camera PTZ control protocols available on the market.
The system is equipped with a specifically designed camera, which features an HD sensor that is remote controllable via IP. According to the company, the camera is able to capture wide angles and requires only the usual lighting of a radio studio, without the need for additional projectors.
In addition, says the firm, StudioCast’s automatic intelligent algorithm manages fader starts as well as mic levels. StudioCast can be interfaced through IP with the AEQ, Axia, DHD and Wheatstone mixers, or via its optional audio bridge to connect to any other analog console.
StudioCast automatically selects the most suitable camera angle and manages tight or wide-angle shots. In order to avoid untimely switching when several people talk simultaneously, the system alternates wide shots or “picture-in-picture” type compositions where several cameras appear at the same time.
The company says it developed this algorithm so that it resembles human operation as closely as possible to guarantee accurate video coverage of each speaker.
GATESAIR EXPANDS INTRAPLEX FAMILY
The GatesAir MPXp is the newest member of the Intraplex codec line. It is an IP codec designed to minimize bandwidth usage for delivering STL signals. By using AES192 technology and bandwidth reduction schemes, the unit can transport signals as low as 1.8 Mbps, which the company describes as “more than 50 percent reduction in bandwidth utilization compared to most codecs on the market.”
Besides a digital composite signal it also handles analog signals. GatesAir says, “Its flexible dual-domain capability allows the broadcaster to install a newer audio processor supporting AES192 and have it interoperate with exciters supporting only analog 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.”
The Intraplex IP Link MPXp shares technology and features from earlier Intraplex IP Links such as dynamic stream splicing technology, along with “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.”
STUDIO TECHNOLOGIES DEBUTS DANTE INTERCOM AUDIO ENGINE
When used with Dante-compatible products, Studio Technologies’ Model 5422 is capable of creating party-line intercom circuits. It uses Dante audio-over-Ethernet technology with AES67 support for use with additional on-air, audio mixing and specialized interfacing applications.
For operation, the Model 5422 requires a power source and Ethernet network connection. The platform can be used in mobile broadcast facilities, post-production studios, commercial and educational environments and entertainment venues. It is compatible with Dante-compliant devices.
Studio Technologies offers the Model 5422 in two versions, one with 32 input and output channels, the other with 64 input and output channels. It features dual Gigabit Ethernet interfaces for switched, redundant and split Dante operation, with web-based configuration and network-enabled software updating.
BARIX DEBUTS REDUNDIX SYSTEM
IP audio specialist Barix’s new Redundix system is an audio-over-IP system that gives radio broadcasters a hardware system for correcting glitches over IP STL connections that affect on-air signal quality. An optional managed service that optimizes audio quality in nonoptimal transport environments is available.
The Redundix system looks to add resilience to IP-based transport by either time-delaying two streams on the same network, or sending a redundant stream over a separate path. The system can also repair lost packets in the stream caused by transport network imperfections using time or path redundant streams.
Broadcasters can continue to use their existing codecs — in most cases — with the Redundix system. It is interoperable with any codec that supports RTP streams, ensuring multiple installation options.
DIGIGRAM ADDS MPX OPTION
Digigram recently had a nice surprise for owners of certain members of the Iqoya IP codec line, the release of an optional direct digital MPX to the transmitter feature.
A software addition for the Iqoya *Link and Iqoya *Link/LE IP codecs make it possible for digital AES192 composite MPX signals to be sent straight to transmitters.
Digigram has also announced the Iqoya *VIP audio over IP software engine for “high-performance” encoding, transcoding and streaming with Windows and Linux applications. The company says, “The easy-to-integrate Iqoya *VIP engine from Digigram features native high-performance MPEG-TS and ACIP AoIP streaming formats; top-of-the-range MPEG, AAC, OPUS and apt-X encoding/decoding; and accurate PTP clock synchronization.”
ENCO DEMOES WEBDAD
Automation system developer ENCO is getting even deeper into the cloud these days. According to the company, WebDAD provides an “an even richer and fully virtualized toolset to remotely access and control their studio-based ENCO DAD radio automation systems.”
It is part of the company’s enCloud suite of cloud-based tools. “The broadcaster can control the complete on-air interface over IP via any standard web browser. This includes the ability to manage and drive on-air presentation, playlist manipulation, voice tracking and other critical production tasks across the end-to-end workflow.”
ENCO sees WebDAD and similar tools as leading to decentralized operations. Ken Frommert, ENCO general manager, said, “While radio conjures up images of DJs talking into mics and operating radio control panels, the reality is that we’re now moving in a direction where everything is OS-agnostic and increasingly virtualized. With WebDAD, the board operator no longer needs to be physically at the radio station or sitting in front of the automation system to control and playout a live radio show. They can now take full control of their radio station as if they were in the studio via a web browser on their iPad, mobile phone or other connected device.”
WebDAD joins the recently released enCloud Weblib2, a remote media library manager and viewer design for remote use including smartphones and tablet.
Frommert said, “We’re rapidly getting to the point where no one needs to go to work at the radio station anymore. … It can all be done remotely, which is a very big deal. WebDAD and the larger enCloud suite are laying the groundwork for stations to become completely virtualized.”
NEW RECEIVER FOR INOVONICS
Inovonics recently started shipping its new rebroadcast receiver, the Aaron 655.
The Aaron 655 handles FM and HD Radio signals along with analog, AES-digital and streaming program inputs.
In addition it has a processing chain that includes “gated and ‘windowed’ AGC, a unique ‘syllabic’ leveler, three bands of compression, and both wideband and independent HF limiting.” And “four sections of parametric EQ, a ‘Bass Punch’ utility, independent Density and Loud/Smooth adjustments and variable composite processing round-out the processing function.”
There’s also an onboard RDS encoder that can also regenerate incoming RDS and/or reformat HD Radio PAD for RDS retransmission. Naturally, the Aaron 655 is web-enabled for remote operation of all of its features. Notifications and alarms are available via email or SNMP.
KINTRONIC SAYS “HOW DRY I AM!”
If your transmission line is having a water problem, where do you turn? Maybe to Kintronic. The company recently debuted a pair of automatic dehydrators.
The Model LAB4.50 and Model LAB9.50 (shown) both offer dual pumps and automatically regenerating drying chambers that run alternately. Kintronic rates them to greater than 165,000 MTBF.
The LAB4.50 is specced at handling 79 gallons per hour, while the LAB9.50 tops out at 264 gallons per hour. Kintronic says that the units are low-power and quiet. There is an optional digital flowmeter available and optional SNMP and HTTP Ethernet remote alarms and control.
COMREX POLISHES THE OPAL
Codec maker Comrex has a shiny new IP audio portal, the Opus-based Opal.
Comrex explains, “Once installed, Opal serves a web page to anyone who accesses it through a computer or Android device (with a microphone, earpiece and browser). This web page will allow a user to click a button and broadcast from their computer or phone in high fidelity. High quality return audio is also provided to the guest.”
According to the company, Opal offers studio-quality sound. It is aimed at “users who need to coordinate call-ins with non-technical remote guests — guests can simply click a link, and connect instantly. Opal establishes the link using the Opus encoder, for excellent fidelity and low delay.”
The half-rack Opal can support two connections at once.
PLATINUM TOOLS OFFERS NEW CABLE TESTERS
Can you ever have too many testers around? Platinum Tools hopes your answer is no.
The latest in its collection of handheld testers are the T130 VDV MapMaster 3.0 and the TP500c LanSeeker.
The MapMaster 3.0 is an upgrade to MapMaster 2.0. It tests Cat-7, Cat-6A, Cat-6, Cat-5e, Cat-5, Cat-4 and Cat-3 shielded and unshielded cables, voice and coax cables for continuity, shorts, etc. along with offering mapping of up to 20 locations. Platinum Tools’ Jason Chesla said, “It is the ideal instrument for installation, troubleshooting and maintenance on telco, network or coax cable in any situation.”
The LanSeeker is a cable tester with an onboard tone generator. It will test for shorts, opens, miswires, reversals, and split pairs and can display connection and fault information on a pair-by-pair basis. It also generates audio tones for use with tone tracers on all pairs.
Platinum Tools Product Manager George Jang said the LanSeeker is suitable for installation and troubleshooting of twisted pair security and datacom cables, supporting both unshielded or shielded twisted pair.
RAPCO HORIZON’S NEW KID ON THE BLOX
Widget maker RapcoHorizon has a new Blox problem solver, the BTIBlox, a Bluetooth interface in an XLR plug-on package.
The BTIBlox has a male XLR plug on one with a translucent other end covering status LEDs. It can plug into a mixer input to provide a streaming input from a Bluetooth transmitting smart device such as a smartphone or tablet.
It operates under phantom power or an internal rechargeable battery. It follows Bluetooth 4.2 spec and has a line of sight range of 75 feet.
Rapco’s Darius Seabaugh said the spring NAB Show presented the company “a unique opportunity for us to display our BTIBlox to a crowd that might not otherwise consider this product … This new self-contained device allows users to simplify their audio streaming workflow by eliminating the need for multiple wires to connect to an audio device.”
HENRY’S TALLY HO FOR M!KA
Henry Engineering, well-known for its blue problem-solving boxes, has a new one, Mike Alert.
Mike Alert is a control interface designed for use with microphone arms that use integrated two-color tally lights. An example is Yellowtec’s m!ka system.
Mike Alert provides the power and control circuitry necessary to interface the mic arm to the tally outputs of a console, router or other equipment. Each Mike Alert can control two mic arms.
Both the microphone audio and tally circuits are interfaced, with automatic polarity control to correctly operate the white and red tally indicators. It is compatible with any console or piece of equipment that provides a GPI contact closure, open collector, logic or DC voltage for tally light control.