Telos’ invention of AoIP almost 15 years ago has brought with it some amazing changes to broadcast engineering. In addition to simplified installation and the end of punching down long wiring runs, AoIP has brought a new look at the STL, or Studio-Transmitter Link.
It used to be that engineers would have to allocate tens of thousands of dollars for an RF link between the studio and the transmitter. I recently spoke to Axia integrator and principal of Second Opinion Communications, Greg Dahl, about these changes.
In today’s world, there are several different models of IP radios that don’t require an FCC license, offer many frequencies from which to choose, and cost a fraction of the “traditional” RF link. The prices can be as low as a couple hundred dollars for each end, and this price includes the antennas! There’s no expensive coax or connectors needed, either.
An advantage to the Axia system is that you don’t need a special xNode interface to extend your IP network to the transmitter site. Just pick the flavor you want—Analog, AES, or mixed signal xNode—and you’re ready to go. By not requiring specialized AoIP interfacing equipment, your redundancy is improved. ANY xNode can be pressed into service, should a failure occur.
A Mixed Signal xNode provides a variety of signal inputs and outputs, and is ideal for sending either analog or AES feeds across your wireless bridge.
So why should engineers consider a wireless bridge? Not only does it provide an AoIP audio link for direct connection of your Omnia.9 or 11 processor (so you’ll sound better), but the wireless bridge also lets you extend the business subnet to the transmitter site. This means you can add remote control and even office phones to the transmitter site, plus provide internet access.
Another application is to provide a confidence monitor back to the studio, or an IP security camera feed. In addition to the many applications, consider the cost savings if you provided all these features the “traditional” way. The cost of phone lines, security service, or internet drops all go away.
The engineer has many choices when considering a wireless IP link or bridge. In our next installment, we’ll explore some of those choices. In the meantime, if you have personal experience using Axia’s Livewire+ on a wireless bridge, drop me a line and tell me about it. A Telos Alliance gift pack is our thank you for taking the time to write and share your experience.