Vortex at IBC 2019 – latest from Vortex, Comrex, JK Audio and Artel

Vortex exhibited at IBC in its usual spot in Hall 12 and introduced ground-breaking enhancements to its CallMe Cloud Codec service and low-cost CallMe-T IP audio codec. Meanwhile, Comrex, JK Audio and Artel that are distributed by Vortex and were co-exhibiting.

CallMe Click-and-Connect lets stations put guests and reporters On-Air without the need for them to own their own codec or download special software. CallMe-T low-cost hardware back-end for CallMe Click-&-Connect is also on-show now with eight quick-dial destinations making it ideal for field use as an add-on for the large number of ISDN Mixers in use today so that they can work over IP. The latest addition of USB Audio allows direct connection of an external sound card, mixer or headset providing an ideal “Home Studio” solution for Journalists and Web Radio Stations.

Shown for the first time at IBC, the SmartStream™ multi-Destination streaming add-on for CallMe-T provides resilience and allows simultaneous connection to two (or more) destinations, with the possibility also to choose which audio channel or channels is sent where. It is a bit like having a number of codecs in one little box making it extremely flexible and ideal for News and Sports Outside Broadcast where connection to multiple destinations is often required. Each QuickDial location can include destination information plus the audio channel or channels that are to connect to it (Left only, Right only or Both).

Full analytics for each call can be made available to the Broadcaster whilst embedded help provides contextual information for contributors who might encounter setup and operational difficulties.

Also on show was the latest FLX-ClockBox – Vortex’s Virtual Clock system that uses low-cost domestic TVs and monitors to display analogue or digital clocks, stopwatches and timers. The FLX-ClockBox is a simple stand-alone pre-programmed High-Definition Clock Image generator designed to let users produce an accurate display of time information that can be locked to an NTP Time Server – for example the Vortex TimeLord-Net or TimeLord-μNet. They produce a High-Definition Digital Video Output for display on a low-cost monitor or TV screen and can be programmed to display combinations of Vortex’s hardware V-400 series Digital Clocks, V-FLX Analogue Clocks (with hands) and Stopwatch/Timers. Multiple FLX-ClockBoxes can be networked together to provide consistent timings on multiple screens.

Comrex showcased its latest IP Audio codecs – now with AES-67 compatibility including the NX-Rack which is the latest addition to Comrex’s industry-standard ACCESS codec range providing stable audio even over the most difficult internet connection. This is achieved using clever forward error correction and error masking together with CrossLock that provides multi-streaming capability for both its Audio and LiveShot HD Video codecs. Also being shown at IBC for the first time is the NX MultiRack that provides 5x full-blown ACCESS codecs in a 1-U enclosure, again with AES-67 compatibility. It is attractively priced making it the go-to studio back-end for the entire family of ACCESS and BricLink Codecs.

EarShot-IFB was also demonstrated, using VoIP connectivity to provide Talkback, IFB and Programme monitor audio for Outside Broadcast and News. A single EarShot can support up to 30 simultaneous connections without the need for dedicated telephone lines back at the station.

JK Audio has increased its range Bluetooth adapters and improved their capabilities. For example the BlueSet, InterLoop and OuterLoop with including BlueSet can provide wire-free connectivity for a conventional 2-wire or 4-wire intercom system including interface to mobile phones that allow extension across the world using telephone connectivity. The BlueSet Bluetooth microphone interface now provides headphone connectivity for return audio whilst the AutoHybrid-IP2 will soon be released with Opus audio encoding in addition to G.722. It is fully-compatible with CallMe Click-&-Connect and provides additional possibilities for remote audio connectivity.

Artel showed its EMMY-winning IP Video and Audio SMART Media Delivery Platform™ with a focus on new features and capabilities that enhance operational simplicity, flexibility, and scalability. Also on show will be Artel’s FiberLink® media transport products that send useful combinations of video, audio and data over both Single- and Multi-Mode fibres, Quarra IP PTP switches and ARQ Reliable Internet Streaming Transport (RIST) for OTT streaming.