ZURICH, SWITZERLAND, March 29, 2017 — For hundreds of low-power FM (LPFM) community radio stations across the United States, clearly and reliably bringing insightful local programming to their listeners is paramount. When independent broadcaster Las Vegas Public Radio Inc. hit the airwaves last year, it selected Barix Audio over IP devices – distributed in the U.S. by LineQ – for its studio-to-transmitter link (STL) and to connect its main studio with remote production locations.
Founded by President and CEO Greg LaPorta with a vision of serving as “The People’s Voice of Las Vegas”, Las Vegas Public Radio began broadcasting over the air as KIOF-LP 97.9FM in February 2016. Reaching listeners locally from its 100-watt transmitter siteand globally over the Internet, the station aims to promote community-related issues, local culture, tourism and entertainment while creating opportunities for young people to learn about the radio business. KIOF-LP’s programming includes news, public affairs, local sporting events, call-in shows, cultural content, music and more.
When selecting equipment for the new station’s STL, quality and dependability were LaPorta’s primary criteria, with affordability also a key factor. “Staying on the air and delivering a great listening experience are most important, but as a non-profit startup, cost also had to be a consideration for us,” he explained. “We looked at an old-style POTS (telephone system based) STL approach, but it would have been too expensive for our startup budget and wouldn’t have met our quality goals.”
Having read articles in broadcast journals about other stations’ success with Barix equipment, LaPorta decided to test an IP-based STL. “Barix has a great name among radio stations large and small, with lots of positive reviews about the stability of their units,” he said. “Prior to trying the Barix devices, we did have some initial reluctance about using IP-based audio over the Internet, particularly in terms of reliability and quality degradation across the uncontrollable public network. But our testing with Barix put those concerns to rest very early in the process – we were very impressed with the results.”
LaPorta selected the Barix Exstreamer 500 model as providing the best combination of capabilities and cost-effectiveness for the station’s needs. One Exstreamer 500 encodes audio from the main studio and control room for transport to the transmission tower site, where it is decoded by a second such unit. An additional pair of Exstreamer 500s delivers audio to the main studio from a second, remote production studio, with the off-site unit occasionally taken into the field for on-location remote broadcasts.
The remote studio and transmitter site use 25Mbps Internet connections from Cox Business, while the main studio, located on the sixth floor of an office tower, shares T1 and T3 connectivity with other companies in the building. The station’s 192Kbps MP3 streams are delivered to the transmitter location through the cloud-based Barix Reflector stream replication service – offered in partnership with StreamGuys – to maximize uptime in spite of the unpredictable nature of the studio’s communal connection. “The Barix units are very low-maintenance,” said LaPorta. “We generally only need to touch them when the building’s IT department makes significant configuration changes to our shared network.”
The audible benefits of the Barix units also continue to impress LaPorta and the station’s listeners. “The Barix units have exceeded our expectations for the audio quality they deliver,” he praised. “Barix’s digital signal processing and other advanced technologiesdo a fantastic job of maintaining great quality while overcoming the challenges and unpredictability of transport over the public Internet. Barix makes our station sound very rich over the air.”
Building on his satisfaction with Barix in the station’s first year on the air, LaPorta plans to add more Exstreamer 500 units as Las Vegas Public Radio increases its remote productions and expands with more studios, as well as converting its Internet stream encoding to Barix equipment. “We swear by the Barix units,” he summarized. “They’re very well-built products that deliver great value. I would recommend Barix to any radio station looking for a cost-effective STL solution, whether they’re replacing legacytechnology or just getting started.”
Barix: We Move Audio (www.barix.com)
Barix supplies simple and reliable solutions and components to systems integrators and end users worldwide. We move high-quality audio across IP networks, adding value to customer solutions for more than a decade with hundreds of thousands of devices installed worldwide. Background music distribution with dynamic advertising insertion for retail shops, bars and hotels; public address solutions for schools and public spaces; and intercom and entry systems for facility surveillance, protection and security are among the many applications of Barix solutions. Barix also supports OEM projects for a number of Global 500 listed companies serving many industries worldwide.
LineQ is a full-service distributor specializing in complete Audio over IP solutions, with a complete portfolio of premium, networked end point solutions from IP audio specialist Barix, pro AV specialist Ecler and Cornered Audio loudspeakers; and key partnerships with streaming and software companies to ensure rock-solid multipoint content distribution for in-store radio and other IP delivery systems. LineQ’s customized approach ensures tailored systems to meet the needs of systems integrators and end users in the Pro AV, broadcast and security markets. LineQ’s experience in retail, corporate, transit and education further differentiates its position as an expert solutions provider for an array of businesses and organizations. Additionally, LineQ’s unique Digital Product Manager software simplifies ordering, design, installation and maintenance in the field through an intuitive, easy-to-use mobile app. Visit www.lineq.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.