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North American Codec Interoperability Group Forms

Group plans to establish interoperability standards for IP codecs

Broadcast consulting engineer Tom Ray is working to establish the North American Codec Manufacturers Interoperability Group.

The aim is to address limited interoperability between codecs, especially for in-studio use and remotes.

Comrex is onboard and provided seed funding for the group, he tells Radio World. He plans to also talk with Tieline, Telos and other manufacturers with the purpose of making this an industry-wide effort.

We’ve reported that many telephone companies are phasing out ISDN lines and replacing those with IP codecs. At issue: unlike ISDN codecs, the different brands of IP codecs have limited compatibility, and the few compatibility standards that exist haven’t promoted interoperability in a way that North American broadcasters need, according to Ray.

“There is already fear of IP transport amongst some broadcasters,” says Ray. “And there is no reason a broadcast station should have half a dozen codecs from different manufacturers in their studio rack, particularly in smaller markets where stations cannot afford that expense. ISDN codecs are interoperable. IP codecs should be, as well.”

“Making it possible for a station with a Brand X codec to connect to a station with a Brand Y codec is in the best interest of the industry,” says Ray.

The goal is to develop North American interoperability standards for manufacturers of IP codecs by NAB Show of 2016.

Interested manufacturers should contact Ray.