UK: Viprinet (pictured) is said to deliver a dependable, low-latency internect connection for an IP codec. The new multi-channel VPN router can provide Tieline, Comrex and other IP codecs with a reliable connection at locations where only contended internet services such as ADSL and 3G are available.
With the decline in ISDN usage, broadcasters are increasingly employing public internet to transport audio between OB and studio – potentially incurring problems with quality, latency and service outage. According to Wired for Sound, the Viprinet multi-channel router uses diversity routing to ameliorate these problems and can create a robust, low-latency connection by combining several internet connections from different ISPs. Each system comprises a mobile unit which travels to the OB and a paired hub which resides at a data centre or on a reliable connection at the customer’s studios.
The diversity technique works by sending identical audio data from the IP codec over each ISP, or channel, between the mobile unit and hub. The “receive” unit (the system is bi-directional) recovers audio data from whichever channel delivers the fastest packet at any instant, thereby reducing jitter and delay. By the same principle packets lost due to latency or outages on one channel can be recovered from another.
The mobile equipment is available in 3 and 6-channel variants, with hot-plug channel modules for ADSL, Ethernet and 3G UMTS providing flexibility. 3G modules using Vodafone, O2, Orange, T-Mobile or 3 data SIMs can be mixed with ADSL or Ethernet in any combination to suit whatever connectivity is available at the OB site.
Wired For Sound has also developed a hand-carry, battery-powered system for ‘grab and go’ applications. The system employs 3 x 3G connections, is supplied pre-configured and is integrated into a weather-proof shoulder bag.
Additionally, the system provides OB staff with secure, high-speed internet connectivity for their laptops, seamlessly switching from diversity to bonding mode for non-audio traffic. In bonding mode the system sums the bandwidths of the individual connections, providing superior data-rates in both down- and up-link directions for internet browsing, email and FTP access.
Wired For Sound offers the equipment for outright purchase or daily rental. Alternatively, customers can purchase a mobile unit and obtain hub connectivity from WFS on a subscription basis.
Putting the new solution in context, Wired For Sound director Johnnie Dymock tells PSN-e: “Since the early 90s our core business has been broadcasting by ISDN and that’s got to change. We have to work with the public internet and we have to find ways to do so without compromising reliability. However, as an engineering company every technical hurdle presents us with an opportunity to deliver a solution, so being at the forefront of IP Diversity is a good place for us to be right now. We have a viable alternative to ISDN that at the same time delivers bonded internet for show production. What we want to focus on now is evolving the product, taking feedback and delivering it in different form factors to suit different usage scenarios.”