Exstreamer encoder/decoders and Barionet I/O controller enable reliable IP-based distribution of syndicated live radio programming with advertising triggers
ZURICH, SWITZERLAND, June 26, 2017 — Expanding its reach beyond its Internet streaming roots to terrestrial radio, lifestyle and relationship-themed Living Sexy Radio Network (LSRN, www.livingsexyradio.com) has selected Barix Audio over IP devices to distribute its live programming to a growing array of broadcast affiliates.
LSRN launched in 2014 as a 24/7 online radio station, streaming music alongside original content. The network’s flagship program, the nightly two-hour Connections hosted radio show, discusses relationship topics including sexuality for listeners spanning a variety of demographics and lifestyles.
When LSRN CEO Frank Befera—a 30-year radio engineering veteran—set out to expand the company’s scope in 2016 by syndicating Connections to terrestrial affiliates, he immediately recognized that their original software-based streaming solution would no longer be adequate.
“With Connections’ ‘edgy’ subject matter, there was nothing else like it on conventional radio,” explained Befera. “We knew that in addition to assuring affiliates that the content would be compelling and tasteful, we would also need better technical infrastructure and equipment to meet their standards. The software we were using was limited in functionality, and wasn’t reliable enough for this caliber of distribution.”
Looking for the best IP audio encoding and streaming hardware he could find to cost-efficiently support multipoint distribution, Befera learned of Barix from a trusted colleague and was quickly convinced. “Barix is the industry standard,” he said. “When we tell a potential broadcast affiliate we’re using Barix equipment, they don’t need to ask any more questions. They know what it is and that it’s dependable, and it immediately reinforces to their engineers that you’re a professional operation.”
Befera is complimentary of the support provided by Barix and U.S. distributor LineQ, who worked closely with LSRN to deploy the application-optimized firmware variant best suited to the station’s needs. “Support is always crucial for a professional product that your business depends on,” he said. “Through LineQ, I have access to technical experts, and I love that I can get the support I need, any time I need it. Also, when I met the Barix folks at the NAB Show, it was clear they’re passionate about their product and love what they do. That’s exactly the type of company I want to do business with.”
LSRN went live on its first terrestrial affiliate—WWPR 1490AM in the Tampa Bay, Florida area—in the summer of 2016, using a Barix Exstreamer 500 encoder/decoder at the studio to distribute the stream and an Exstreamer 100 decoder at the affiliate station to receive it. LSRN is now heard by more than 2 million people worldwide each month online, and is syndicated on both AM and FM terrestrial radio in the U.S., with iHeartMedia-owned Real Radio 104.1 in Orlando as LSRN’s largest affiliate. Barix Exstreamer 100s receive and decode the broadcast content at each affiliate endpoint.
To help monetize the program network-wide, ad insertion triggers are sent through the Barix devices alongside the 192Kb/s MP3 audio stream, enabling affiliates to replace network commercials with local ad spots. Ad timing from the studio’s Mac-based RadioLogik automation system is adjusted via AppleScript to accommodate LSRN’s seven-second profanity delay, with cues output from the Mac via USB. The architecture even incorporates Barix’s IP control intelligence, using a Barionet 50 programmable I/O control device to receive the Mac signal and close a contact on the Exstreamer to send the ad trigger.
Befera’s favorite attribute of LSRN’s Barix deployment has been its consistent reliability. “The Barix units just work,” he said. “Plug them in, turn them on, configure them, and I don’t ever have to think about them again – I know they’re just going to work”.
LSRN also highlights the Exstreamer 100’s cost-effectiveness and ease of deployment as ideal for building out an affiliate network. “The units are perfect for budget-conscious distribution,” he explained. “We can set up a new affiliate inexpensively with no additional studio equipment cost, and the affiliate engineers already know how to set up and configure the decoder units. If they do need help, I can access their Barix unit’s web interface remotely to assist them.”
While LSRN plans to deploy more Barix units to support on-location broadcasts and link remote studios, their existing usage has already delivered tangible business benefits. “The reliable stream delivery of the Barix devices has been essential in enabling us to partner with terrestrial affiliates, which in turn has driven our rapid growth,” Befera concluded.
Barix: We Move Audio (www.barix.com)
Barix supplies simple and reliable solutions and components to systems integrators and end users worldwide. We move high-quality audio across IP networks, adding value to customer solutions for more than a decade with hundreds of thousands of devices installed worldwide. Background music distribution with dynamic advertising insertion for retail shops, bars and hotels; public address solutions for schools and public spaces; and intercom and entry systems for facility surveillance, protection and security are among the many applications of Barix solutions. Barix also supports OEM projects for a number of Global 500 listed companies serving many industries worldwide.
LineQ is a full-service distributor specializing in complete Audio over IP solutions, with a complete portfolio of premium, networked end point solutions from IP audio specialist Barix, pro AV specialist Ecler and Cornered Audio loudspeakers; and key partnerships with streaming and software companies to ensure rock-solid multipoint content distribution for in-store radio and other IP delivery systems. LineQ’s customized approach ensures tailored systems to meet the needs of systems integrators and end users in the Pro AV, broadcast and security markets. LineQ’s experience in retail, corporate, transit and education further differentiates its position as an expert solutions provider for an array of businesses and organizations. Additionally, LineQ’s unique Digital Product Manager software simplifies ordering, design, installation and maintenance in the field through an intuitive, easy-to-use mobile app. Visit www.lineq.com or e-mail [email protected] for more information.
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