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Modern Telephone Interfaces
Trends in Technology, Aug 2010
Our next step up the ladder leads to models with more inputs and outputs and connect to a greater variety of transmission modes. Such units are capable of transmitting mono, stereo or dual mono audio over POTS, DSL, cable, Wi-Fi, 3G cellular or satellite IP delivery services. For events of longer duration, internal power sources have improved for longevity of use through the implementation of lithium-ion battery technology. Connectivity and setup, even for the nontechnical person, has become increasingly quick and easy. Onboard LCD menu-driven displays make for straightforward selection of multiple transmission algorithm bit rates.
Access ARC and Tieline Report-IT Live
The proliferation of IP-capable codecs has simplified connecting audio from the field. At the 2010 NAB Show, wireless portable connectivity reached a new level of popularity and cost-effectiveness with devices and software for use with smart phones. Comrex showed ARC for Droid, and Tieline displayed Report-IT Live for the iPhone. Both provide a quality connection from the field for simpler remotes.
VoIP has come to the air studio. At the 2010 NAB Show, Telos unveiled the VX VoIP system. Gateway connections can be via T1/E1, ISDN and POTS or to a VoIP-based PBX or SIP-trunking telco service. With this unit, which is scalable for use in a few studios or dozens and capable of managing up to 80 lines, multiple calls can be conferenced and aired simultaneously.
In complete contrast to the high-capacity VoIP system, JK Audio's BluePack belt pack unit provides for "man-on-the street" interviews through a cell phone equipped with Bluetooth wireless technology. The unit includes a microphone preamplifier, headphone amp and a stereo line input jack for connection of an external audio source. The BluePack pairs to a Bluetooth-equipped cell phone in the same manner as that of a Bluetooth earpiece.
Telephone-based communications have become a mainstay in broadcasting with their range of applications becoming increasingly varied. Whether using hard copper phone line, a handheld mobile device or satellite-delivered IP audio, the creative broadcast engineer is sure to find a telephone interface that meets the station's technical requirements.
Bartlebaugh is director of broadcast engineering, WKSU-FM/Kent State University.
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