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From ATC Labs, a New Soft Codec

ALCO Professional takes to the ether

ATC Labs is a name that may be new to a radio broadcaster, though maybe not for long. The company offers a hardware 24-band rack-mountable radio broadcast processor, and it now offers an IP software codec for field use, ALCO Professional.

It works with Internet connections and aims at optimizing 2G/3G wireless connections. It operates as an SIP client using an ATC Labs SIP server for flexibility in connecting from the field. Bitrate selection provides 32/64/128 kbps performance including high-fidelity stereo. ALCO uses its own low-delay audio coding and processing algorithms for enhanced sound fidelity, clarity and robustness, according to the company. Standard codecs such as G.711 are supported.

A chat channel allows for text messaging to field users while they are connected. The ALCO Professional also has a mixing function for creating conference calls with multiple users in the field; bitrate selection can be configured independently for each user and the return channel.

On the maintenance and updating front, ALCO Professional allows for centralized updating of field installations from a chief broadcast engineer at the home studio.

ALCO Professional is being used with Windows PCs, netbooks and tablets. An Android version is scheduled for release. A free one-week trial is available. Starting price is $579 for a pair of one base and one field license.