We make a lot of products. Like, a lot of products. We’ve got our ACCESS and BRIC-Link lines for audio, LiveShot for video, plus solutions for guest interviews, callers, and IFB.
Considering how many options we have, is it any wonder that most of our customers refer to our products as “the Comrex”?
But if you’ve visited our website because you used a Comrex unit one time or because a colleague of yours recommended trying one out, you may be totally confused when you get here and see a zillion different product names. So we thought we’d explain – what exactly is “a Comrex”?
Comrex as an audio codec
Most commonly, broadcasters are talking about one of our audio codecs when they talk about “the Comrex”. This dates back to the 80s and 90s with our POTS and ISDN codecs.
For the past 15 years, our focus has been IP and our audio codecs are the standard worldwide. Our IP audio codecs include our ACCESS and BRIC-Link lines.
Audio codecs are used anytime you need to send audio from one location to another (or maybe several) in real-time. They’re commonly used in radio for audio contribution from home studios and remote locations, studio-to-studio and studio-to-transmitter links, sports play-by-play, and more.
They’re also used in voiceover for live sessions as well as in television for IFB and audio backup. Outside of traditional media, they can be used for live transit and emergency alert applications.
Anytime you need to move audio reliably and in a timely way, you need a codec.
• READ OUR BLOG POST •
3 Popular Applications For IP Audio Codecs
Handheld, portable, field units
Did you use a Comrex for a remote broadcast in the past 15 years? You probably used one of our ACCESS Portable codecs. Hand-held, lightweight, with an intuitive user interface, ACCESS Portables have been one of our most popular products.
Our original models (Classic and 2USB) are retired now, but you’ll still see them in the field. Some of our customers have been using their ACCESS units for over 15 years, and they’re still going strong!
Our latest portable IP audio codec designed for remote broadcasting is ACCESS NX. Built on over a decade of experience and excellence in IP transmission, ACCESS NX is all the best bits of the original ACCESS plus an additional mic/line input and a 5” capacitive touch screen.
Plus, with CrossLock Technology, it has the ability to leverage multiple networks so that you can have more confidence in your broadcast.
Rackmounts for the studio
Or maybe you were using a rack unit? It was probably ACCESS Rackmount, our revolutionary IP audio codec that hit the market in 2006. While ACCESS Rackmount has since been retired, we introduced ACCESS NX Rack, our next generation studio IP audio codec. It’s AES67 compatible, with a new HTML-5 user interface, and it’s perfect for the modern studio.
We also have ACCESS MultiRack, which is our multi-channel IP audio codec capable of five full-duplex mono or stereo connections. Fully AES67 compatible, it is equipped to fit into any modern AoIP studio. With its sleek 1RU chassis, MultiRack saves you space (and money).
• READ MORE •
Meet the NX Generation of ACCESS
Was your Comrex a little black box? There’s a good chance that it was a BRIC-Link! Our no-nonsense IP audio codec packs a lot of functionality into an unassuming package with a cost-effective price point. It’s commonly used for STLs and other 24/7 applications, but we also see lots of them in stadiums for live sports coverage as well as in home studios.
With over 10,000 units in circulation (between BRIC-Link Classic and BRIC-Link II), what we hear most often from our customers is that “it just works”. The latest model in our popular codec line, BRIC-Link III, is now shipping – with everything that Comrex customers know and love about the BRIC-Link line plus a few extra features.
• LEARN MORE •
Introducing: BRIC-Link III
In addition to point-to-point connections, Comrex IP audio codecs (ACCESS/BRIC-Link) support alternate modes of operation like multi-streaming, IP multicast, HTTP, and EBU 3326/SIP. Learn more in this post.
Comrex as a contribution service
Okay, maybe you wouldn’t call a cloud-based contribution service “the Comrex”, but this is yet another form a Comrex could take!
Gagl allows up to five users to send and receive audio from computers and smartphones. That audio is “Gagl’d” together (if more than one user), and delivered to a Comrex hardware codec (i.e. ACCESS or BRIC-Link). All participants can hear each other (with their own mix-minus) and the codec “send” audio back to them.ᐧ
Gagl is perfect for anything from multi-contributor news segments, to sports talk shows, to single contributor drop-ins from the field. Whatever the needs of your program, Gagl is flexible enough to meet them.
• LEARN ABOUT GAGL •
Quick Links & Helpful Resources
Comrex as a hybrid, IFB solution, or gateway
In August 2019, the FCC announced in order 19-72A1 that the legal provisions that protected TDM voice services (i.e. POTS/ISDN) would be nullified after a three year period, paving the way for IP-based services. Last August, those mandatory protections ran out. Learn more here.
Many of our customers have known us for our POTS couplers like the TCB-1a, the DH series of analog telephone hybrids we acquired from Gentner, as well as our POTS/ISDN audio codecs. In addition to all of our codecs now being IP-based (not to mention having a video codec for the first time in our company’s history – see LiveShot at the end of this post), the rest of our product line is IP-based now as well.
A dual-line hybrid, VH2 connects two VoIP lines to a studio for individual broadcast or flawless conferencing. VH2 prevents echo and distortion, and automatically adjusts caller audio to a uniform level, leaving you with a result that’s clean and clear.
Plus, VH2 uses VoIP technology, saving you money and increasing functionality.
We have a history of making couplers and other tools for IFB. Recently, we noticed that many people in broadcasting are still using multiple analog phone couplers for IFBs. POTS lines aren’t cheap these days (if you can even get them), and a wall full of couplers is cumbersome and expensive.
EarShot IFB is a voice-over-IP based solution for television IFB. It delivers live audio feeds for up to 30 callers, making it possible to replace 30 POTS lines. EarShot IFB is designed to provide telephone-based live studio program and IFB audio to field-based remote broadcasts, like TV ENG reports.
Opal is an IP audio gateway that enables guests to connect to the studio by simply clicking a link. It provides HD quality audio from consumer-grade equipment, like a smartphone or a computer, via a modern web browser.
It’s easy enough to use without a technical background. Plus they don’t have to install a thing! No apps or special hardware on their end.
Most importantly, your guests will sound great.
• WATCH THE CASE STUDY •
Entercom Makes Guest Interviews Simple
Comrex as a video codec
Did you use a Comrex to send a video feed? That would be LiveShot! Our live video solution delivers bidirectional HD video and audio over a range of IP networks at latencies as low as 200mS. Plus, LiveShot has a full-duplex cue channel and return video.
Using sophisticated CrossLock VPN technology, LiveShot is able to make use of even the most challenging 4G, Wi-Fi, and satellite networks to maintain a secure and stable connection. This is perfect for wireless newsgathering and remote broadcasts.
Compact with a versatile interface that can be mounted directly onto the back of a camera with Anton-Bauer or V-Mount plates (or held in a pouch), LiveShot Portable is a bonded cellular IP video codec designed for the most demanding field broadcasts. LiveShot Portable is perfect for the field at only 3 pounds, and it connects back to LiveShot Rackmount.
LiveShot Rackmount is the “stationary” unit for master control. It can be used to connect to a Portable unit in the field, but it can also be used to connect to another LiveShot Rack for studio-to-studio and truck-to-studio applications.
• WATCH OUR VIDEO •
Learn How LiveShot Works in 3 Minutes
Have questions? Contact us!
Want to demo gear? Request a loaner.*
Interested in purchasing? Contact an authorized audio dealer or video dealer!
*Available for US residents ONLY.