APT WorldCast Systems WorldCast Astral12 October 2010
What is it?A low-cost audio codec providing an IP STL platform with a full complement of professional audio delivery algorithms. DetailsAstral is a full duplex stereo audio codec with offering audio bandwidths from 10Hz to 22.5kHz and incorporating analogue and AES/EBU I/O (AES3) digital inputs and simultaneous analogue and digital outputs. Standard algorithms include: Linear PCM (16-bit/24-bit), enhanced apt-X algorithm (16-bit/24-bit), MPEG Layer II, MPEG Layer III, G.711 and G.722 though this can be extended to include MPEG 4 AAC LC, AAC LD, AAC ELD and AAC HEv2 with the optional Advanced Algorithm Pack.
The unit offers high-quality audio transport over IP networks using RTP/UDP and SIP/SDP with dual IP Ports for separate streaming and control and embedded auxiliary data for transmission of RBDS / RDS or PAD. Up to eight opto-coupled inputs and eight relay outputs are available plus a USB port for remote control of legacy serial equipment. Astral provides support for Unicast and Multicast applications for flexible IP configuration and is EBU N/ACIP compliant with support for SIP/SDP protocols. The Autosync feature of Enhanced apt-X ensures “robust connection under stressed network conditions” and provides fast, automatic reconnection if a link is dropped. Astral also allows management of network conditions such as packet size, buffers and QoS levels for optimum audio performance.
The system’s modular architecture allows broadcasters to bolt-on additional functionality to meet their needs. Options include the Advanced Algorithm Pack for enhanced compatibility, dual IP ports, redundant power supplies, an embedded webserver, remote control of third-party units at studio and/or transmitter site and an audio back-up suite using an SD card or SHOUTcast streaming. The latter allows a station to continue broadcasting from either static files stored on an SD card within the unit or direct from a SHOUTcast stream, should the main IP link go down. For “easy and extensive” control of WorldCast codec networks, broadcasters can use either APT’s Codec Management System (CMS) software (supplied as standard) or an optional web browser accessible through a separate IP link.