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Field Report: Inovonics 610
There comes a time when you just have to give up on the cheap products and go for the gusto. We had a good run with our last Internet radio, but we had to reboot it often because of poor design of the power supply. When one radio failed altogether, finding a new radio locally, i.e. not online, became a chore. I did not want to run a dedicated computer for this task, either. Having just returned from the NAB Show, and recently installing an Inovonics INOmini 632, I decided to purchase an Inovonics 610 Internet radio monitor.
What I learned about the device from the 2013 NAB Show: A simple looking device that, hopefully, would be a long-term solution to reliable stream monitoring. Upon receiving the monitor, I was quite pleased with the simple minimalistic design. The front has LED level meters, loss indicators, an OLED display, a back button (to navigate the menu), a jog wheel and a headphone jack. What more do you need? The jog wheel is also a selector button. On the back are balanced analog audio outputs, an AES3 output, alarm outputs, LAN port, and two power jacks. The two power jacks allow devices to be daisy-chained using one wall-wart power supply. The wall-wart power supply comes with a detachable cord so it does not take up multiple outlet spaces.
Physically, two monitors can sit side-by-side in a single rack space, and an optional rack adaptor is available. The rugged metal enclosure is a far cry from the cheap plastic consumer enclosures, and if you are in a high RF environment it will provide some shielding. It is still recommended to take proper precautions in such an environment. Unlike consumer monitors the 610 comes with open-collector outputs for alarm tallies. One can monitor the status for audio loss, stream loss and Internet loss.
Up and running
The 610 is simple to install. All configurations can be completed using the front menus on the device itself or via the Web interface. It supports a number of Internet streaming formats: MP3, AAC and Ogg Vorbis. The AES3 audio output is fixed at 48kHz. In many cases this is not an issue, but there could be a situation where the downstream equipment does not have built-in sample rate converters. The balanced analog outputs are XLR connectors providing +4dBu.
|Performance at a glance|
■ Alarm tallies and email notifications
■ Decodes MP3, Ogg Vorbis, AAC
■ Compact size
■ Web interface capable
■ Balanced analog and AES3 outputs
Initial configuration of the device via the front menus is intuitive using the jog wheel. The separate back button is a nice touch. The default IP setting is DHCP and will acquire network settings from a DHCP server. It is easy enough to switch to a static address. For installations that do not have a DNS server or the device is connected to an outside dynamic IP address, an option to configure Dynamic DNS is available. Once the IP address of the device is known the rest of the configuration is done via the front menus or the Web interface. Entering the URL for the stream is as easy as entering the address and selecting connect.
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