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Comrex BRIC-Link

Nigel Lord 12 October 2010

What is it?A low-cost, full-duplex stereo codec for audio-to-IP conversion. DetailsIncorporating the core technology of Comrex’s remote broadcast ACCESS product line, BRIC-Link is designed for point-to-point, high-quality audio links over a variety of data networks such as ISM band IP radios, T1/E1s, satellite channels, WANs, and LANs. To address the problems of delay and coding artefacts, BRIC-Link offers a robust, compression-free, mono/stereo linear mode, in addition to FLAC lossless compression, reducing network throughput by 30 – 40% with “absolutely transparent coding and no tandem coding concerns”. Where reduced bandwidth is required, BRIC-Link also offers AAC/HE-AAC modes as standard, providing high-quality audio at significantly reduced data rates.
 A jitter buffer manager is included to automatically balance delay and stability according to network performance. For networks where the QoS is known, these parameters may be set so that a consistent level of jitter buffering is maintained. End-to-end coding delay in linear modes is less than 25mS and FLAC modes are less than 30mS. BRIC-Link also acts as a web server, delivering an "intuitive" user interface web page which displays connection status and allows the user to configure profiles for various connections, as well as point-and-click connection commands. Extensive network diagnostics are available via the statistics section and audio level meters are included for remote monitoring of I/O levels.
 Initial IP configuration is managed via a Windows-based setup utility running on the same LAN. This also functions as an upgrade utility, allowing flash upgrades from the Comrex website to be applied to the hardware. BRIC-Link provides for four end-to-end contact closures to be delivered along with the audio stream in each direction. Alternately, the contact closure inputs may be configured to initiate connections. An ancillary data stream is available via RS232 along with the audio stream. In AAC modes, the system is capable of sending up to 3 one-way encode streams to separate decoders (requiring additional bandwidth). In addition, BRIC-Link supports IP Multicast on capable networks.

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