When it comes to studio-to-transmitter links (STLs), reliability is the most important factor.
STLs are the backbone of radio broadcasting. If an STL goes down, there’s no broadcast. Broadcasters need stable STL solutions that they can trust to work in any situation. And ideally, the STL will require very little maintenance.
BRIC-Link II is an IP audio codec that’s perfect for STLs. It’s designed to provide rock-solid point-to-point connections that deliver high-quality audio over a wide range of IP links. Even better, it’s low cost.
What makes it so reliable?
BRIC-Link II features HotSwap, a tool that allows users to back up studio-to-transmitter links (STL) or other dedicated links with a wireless modem. HotSwap lets users select a network that will only be engaged if the primary network fails. The system will warn of this status with a contact closure, and automatically fallback to the primary once it’s restored. Fall-over to backup happens in a matter of seconds, and fallback is seamless.
BRIC-Link II also uses CrossLock, our proprietary suite of reliability tools. CrossLock gives users the ability to use multiple IP networks together simultaneously. When a new network is introduced, Crosslock can combine the two connections to take advantage of all available bandwidth.
More than just combining networks, CrossLock can also monitor and dynamically adjust how much of your stream is being placed on each network in real time. When necessary, CrossLock can apply appropriate error correction, recovery, or concealment techniques. And when a network becomes unusable, CrossLock can isolate it, without any user intervention.
How about audio quality?
BRIC-Link II offers a wide range of encoding algorithms: Stereo and mono linear mode, FLAC modes, AAC/HE-AAC modes, Opus, G.722 and G.711. BRIC-Link II also connects over a wide range of IP networks, including T1/E1, ISM Band IP Radios, Satellite, WANs and LANs, and public Internet connections.
“There are so many things to do in a show, there’s just certain equipment you don’t want to think about. You want to know your microphone works, you want to know your mixer is working, and you want to know your codec is reliable. The BRIC-Link runs so smoothly, I haven’t thought about it in a year until yesterday when I remembered I was supposed to speak to you.”
The Brent & Meg Show
Read on to learn how broadcasters have been using BRIC-Links* for STL applications.
*Please note: Some of these stories are about BRIC-Link Classic, the original model of the BRIC-Link line. While BRIC-Link has since been retired, BRIC-Link II has all the same features (plus a few more) and are comparable. BRIC-Link II is our current model available for purchase.
More Comrex Success Stories featuring BRIC-Links for STL Applications
WQEZ in Northern Michigan was using T1 circuits as an STL, and it was costing $1900 per month. They switched to using BRIC-Link II over a DSL connection, and are now enjoying equivalent audio quality for a fraction of the cost.
“As far as maintenance goes, the BRIC-Link II is kind of “set it and forget it”. Every morning, I listen to the radio station to make sure that everything sounds okay, but that’s all I need to do. It’s been very trouble-free. It keeps working without any input from us, and that’s what we like…It’s very reliable, and I’d recommend it to anyone looking for an STL solution.”
Vermont Public Radio (VPR) has been using BRIC-Link units as STLs for years. Even though they have 30 units handling their STL connections, the units require very little maintenance.
“Talking with my colleagues before writing this story, we were at a loss as to what we should say. It’s kind of boring — our BRIC-Links simply work, and that’s pretty much all there is to it. But as I was thinking about it, I realized that’s the best endorsement I could give. I don’t have to worry about these things — they just plain work all the time.”
Vermont Public Radio
KSUT, a public radio station serving the Four Corners area of the western United States, was using an ISDN connection before switching to BRIC-Link. Even though there’s a 10,000 foot mountain between their studio and their transmitter site, BRIC-Link sustains a 128 kbps connection without much maintenance.
“One of the reasons I chose Comrex equipment is the great support. I always read the manual, but it’s helpful to be able to call and speak with a person who has a wealth of knowledge about our equipment. The Comrex support team has been especially helpful in configuring our BRIC-Link infrastructure.”
American Christian Network (ACN) produces original programming in Spokane, Washington, and syndicates it to 7 affiliate stations. To provide separate programming to each affiliate, they turned to BRIC-Link.
“With Comrex, I know my questions will be answered. It’s Cadillac service. I work with one tech expert in particular who has helped me understand my codecs from the very beginning – I finally met him at NAB this year, and after our conversation he followed up via email about a particular problem I had mentioned to offer suggestions and ask if they worked for me. You don’t find that anywhere else, and that help is so valuable to me as a small broadcaster. The reliability of the equipment is important to me, but the reliability of the company is just as important.”
Owner and CEO
Christian Family Radio (CFR), located in Bowling Green, KY, deals with a notoriously slow internet connection in their region. With their previous STL, they experienced frequent drop-outs and periods of dead air that their listeners began to notice. But since switching to BRIC-Link II, the audio loss decreased significantly.
“But since installing the BRIC-Link II, we haven’t experienced any of the audio loss that plagued us before. I can see the connection falter when I’m monitoring the media statistics, so I know the internet is no more reliable than it was before. However, when the connection stutters, the audio does not drop out. In testing, the unit has been able to handle network dropouts as long as three or four seconds, which our previous solution couldn’t do.”
Christian Family Radio