(click thumbnail)Darren LevyQ. What should we expect to see from Tieline at the 2008 NAB Show of interest to radio broadcasters?
A. Tieline has focused in recent times on making it even easier to connect over 3G and IP networks. In fact, at NAB this year we are unveiling two new software enhancements that provide improved IP connectivity and connection reliability.
Our new IP ‘QoS Performance Engine Technology’ enhancements provide greater connection stability, with less delay, during live remote broadcasts over IP networks. This is particularly useful over lossy networks like wireless 3G and the Internet.
We have also developed a new suite of 3G software for automatically configuring Tieline codecs for any of 187 EV-DO and UMTS/HSDPA networks supported in 55 countries.
Q. You’ve recently added 3G hardware plug-in modules for your Commander codec and talked a lot in the past year about 3G networks enabling broadcasters to send wireless stereo remotes at favorable bit rates. Update us on how that trend is affecting your customers.
A. A revolution has taken place with the advent of 3G broadcasting. Hundreds of broadcasters are now using Tieline 3G solutions to broadcast every day from virtually anywhere you can get a 3G signal. This technology is providing the ability for radio broadcasters to create much more interesting content. We have had broadcasters tell us about broadcasting from a moving truck, a train at 100mph, the mast of a 20th century sailing ship and dozens of other amazing situations. Read examples of user stories here.
Q. Tieline has joined the Audio-via-IP Experts Group that is working on standardization issues in Europe. Why; and should we expect a U.S. effort like this?
Tieline joined the Audio-via-IP Experts Group because we believe that that codec manufacturers need to collaborate in establishing a global standard for reliable broadcasting over IP networks. Like everyone, we want to see standards that provide the best solutions for our customers. Being part of the Audio-via-IP Experts Group allows us to influence the development process and impart our significant knowledge in this area for the good of the industry.
We have been working on SIP technology for IP broadcasting since 2005 and this is critical to the development of both interoperability and connectivity for remote broadcasting. SIP will be a key driver for making it easier for broadcasters to evolve from existing circuit-switched infrastructure into new audio-over-IP technologies.
The work being done in Europe will benefit broadcasting globally and has implications for all broadcasters, including those in the US. In fact, our vast knowledge of IP broadcasting in the US market is still a significant contributor to our IP technology development. You can read about the latest developments here.
Q. What are the most common concerns you hear from your radio clients these days?
A. Customers are looking for audio solutions over packet switched IP networks that are reliable and that reduce their infrastructure costs. In this environment delay over IP networks has been a key concern and has led us to develop software solutions like our ‘QoS Performance Engine. It specifically addresses these concerns by reacting intuitively to variations in packet-switched network conditions to minimize delay and virtually guarantee a solid connection over IP and 3GIP connections — without having QoS. Our solution can also withstand significant packet loss over 3G connections and deliver continuous high quality audio.
Q. Anything else we should know about your company’s business direction or new products?
A. We are continuing to innovate and lead the charge into the IP broadcasting environment. Tieline has developed a new MusicPlus algorithm, which is loss-tolerant and uses advanced compression techniques to provide up to 20 kHz in audio quality with very low delay — making it ideal for today’s 3G networks. So customers now have an even greater choice of algorithms when broadcasting over IP and 3GIP, as well as POTS, ISDN and X.21.