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STL-IP Connect for live broadcasts over the Internet using DSL, WiFi hotspots, WiMAX, 3G mobile phone data, Comrex Access Tieline IP codec reporter remote

The STL-IP Connect system is unique - the pairing of a software solution in the field and a rackmount unit in the studio is the perfect combination!

Compared with other connection options

The STL-IP Connect solution is designed to be used in two ways:

Internet: Reporter/News and Remote broadcast (Outside Broadcast) applications using Internet connections - including ADSL/DSL or other high-speed internet, WiFi and other wireless public internet access, mobile applications using Satellite and mobile phone data connectivity.

Other IP Networks: LAN, WAN, Private network connections, VPNs etc.

The availability of one or more of the above Internet or mobile data connection options in so many of the locations from which you'd want to broadcast makes STL-IP Connect a perfect solution - allowing radio professionals to get on air anywhere and immediately with their live broadcast.

Connection options like ISDN have always been more inconvenient - you're tied to a location that actually has an ISDN line. And, nowadays, that's if you can actually find one - Telecomms companies have already started to withdraw support for ISDN in many countries.

Why did we choose a solution that combines software and hardware?

An interesting question. As we've explained on the other pages of this site, STL-IP Connect works in the following way:

  • In the Field, you use the STL-IP Connect IP Codec software on your Laptop or PC.
  • At the Studio you use the STL-IP rackmount unit.

We're asked almost every day why we have not just made a portable version of our STL-IP unit for field use - a hardware unit that ran on batteries or mains. We thought about this for some time - bear in mind that here at AudioTX we've been offering audio over IP solutions to broadcasters for over 6 years... we're not new to this(!) - but the decision was quite an easy one in the end.

Let's provide the answer by using a few simple examples and using the fictional example of a standalone portable IP codec unit called the STL-IP-Away.


Example 1:

  • You plan to do a broadcast from Central Park in New York.
  • You arrive on the day, armed with your portable IP unit.
  • There are quite a few WiFi services that operate in this area and so you'll have no problems getting a connection!
  • So you are sitting comfortably on a park bench with your guests, microphone in hand, ready to start.
  • Oh, but hold on. Disaster has struck. Before you can use these WiFi services, you have to log-in with a username and password. But you can't do that with an STL-IP-Away can you? How irritating that the WiFi provider expects you to log-in using a Laptop when you don't want to use a Laptop... you want to use STL-IP-Away which doesn't have a keyboard, a screen or a web browser to do this with!
  • End of transmission. Before it even started.

Reason 1: Using a Laptop allows you to easily log-in to public internet services and all network configuration is done automatically when you log in. As soon as you can see a webpage on your computer you're ready to start STL-IP Connect and start broadcasting.

Example 2:

  • You have just received a package containing your new 3G high speed mobile data card.
  • Excellent. You plan to celebrate by doing your inaugural broadcast from a bar round the corner.
  • But, hold on a minute - doesn't your shiny new card need to be plugged into your laptop? How will you connect it to your STL-IP-Away?
  • So you call the manufacturer and ask them. They tell you that they have a special card that they have designed for mobile data services. But it's not the one you have and it's not compatible with your mobile network. And it only works in your own country. When you go to Europe next week, you'll need another card... which won't be available until after Christmas. Oh.
  • End of transmission. Before it even started.

Reason 2: A standard mobile data card (and pretty much any other method of wireless data which will ever be invented in future) will most likely be something you can use on a Laptop with no problems and so can immediately use with STL-IP Connect.

Example 3:

  • Your station has just done a promotional deal with Shazam Grocery Stores inc. and your boss at the station tells you to do a live show from the local store.
  • Great, you think, I'll use my new STL-IP-Away for this. You've checked and they have DSL there. Surely there can't be a problem here...? Oh yes there can... and don't call me Shirley.
  • So you show up and plug your STL-IP-Away into the DSL router. You try and connect but nothing happens. It's probably because you need to set up your IP address and gateway settings correctly for the DSL router. But you don't know what settings to use.
  • End of transmission. Before it even started. How much was that sponsorship deal worth again?

Reason 3: With a Laptop, whoever's network it is and however big - from a DSL router in a store, to a big company network, all you have to do is set your Laptop to use DHCP to get the network settings automatically. You can then check that your internet access is working - say by going to a website - and then you can get on-air.

Example 4:

  • You're heading for the local branch of Cash'r'Us Bank for a remote you've organised - your news people are also coming as they want to ask a spokesman few questions about a recent money laundering case.
  • Easy - you just plan to plug your new STL-IP-Away unit into their network and get internet access that way - the bank has a really fast internet connection - they're a big company.
  • With your STL-IP-Away portable hardware unit, you have a very difficult time working out what network settings should be used.
  • Then you also have problems making sure that you have working Internet access through their firewalls and routers.
  • With STL-IP Connect on your Laptop, you simply set your laptop to get network settings via DHCP and then check you have internet access (by visiting a web page).
  • Even if you still have a problem, an IT person at the company can easily explain how you can get internet access from a Laptop - they know how to do that even if they insist that they virus scan it first - but are they interested in working out how you do it on a broadcast codec they have never seen before and do not understand... and will they even allow you to connect such a device to their business network in any case?

Reason 4: Most IT people in any company who's network you'll use can help you get your laptop working on their network and with Internet access in five minutes. They may not be able or willing to do this with a hardware unit they have never seen before. With the current focus on network security they may even refuse to allow you to plug a unit they have never seen before into their network.

I guess you'll be sending that fictional STL-IP-Away back to the manufacturer for your fictional refund.

There were a whole load of other scenarios we looked at with similar conclusions - plus the obvious advantages of using a Laptop...

  • they're highly portable
  • you're probably carrying one anyway
  • it allows us to offer nice extras like the File Playback feature where you can use pre-recorded clips of audio during a live connection

And, most important of all, we wanted to be able to offer a system that had the best quality and reliability, and didn't require you to be an IT genius to use. Even if you are an IT genius, isn't your focus supposed to be on that news report or remote?


Contact us: sales@audiotx.com    Tel. +44 (0)121 256 0200 (GMT)                                                            Back
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