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The New Mobile Broadcast via AoIP
Before ISDN, remote broadcasts involved quite a bit of work. With ISDN, they were considerably easier. Now with access to the public Internet just about everywhere, carrying out a remote is easier than ever. Last month we talked about STL over IP (nailed-up connections). This month we're shifting gears and focusing on temporary connections. We're going to cover hand-held devices, then small portables, and finally we'll look at devices you'd put in a road case or remote truck.
Using a mobile phone app
The first "device" we'll look at is simply an app from Comrex that works on specific Android phones. It's called ARC (Access Reporter Codec). Yes, the phone you may already have is the hardware you need for a remote. Like other Android apps, this one works via the touchscreen; it allows you to use 3G, 4G or Wi-Fi to connect to an Access or Comrex Bric-link (running firmware 2.7.1 or higher). The codec is G.722, which according to Comrex provides 7kHz of full-duplex, low-delay audio. ARC has two modes of operation: registered, which uses a SIP account on each end, and unregistered, which can simply use an IP address to connect to an Access or Bric-Link. Comrex has a list of Android phones that work, but recommends the Google Nexus 1. In any case, the phone has to be running Android version 2.1 and must contain a processor running at least 1GHz.
Now if you are totally committed to the iPhone you can still use Comrex for remotes at the far end. Comrex recommends using a SIP softphone client for iPhone called Media5 Fone. (This is a third-party app not written by Comrex.) With this app, you'll need two SIP accounts because Media5 Fone only works in registered mode. Again, you'll need to be running version 2.7.1 or better on your Access or Bric-link on the far end.
Tieline has a neat application for iPhone called Report-IT, and it can be used in one of two ways. You can record an interview with the microphone in the iPhone itself, and then trim heads and tails via its touchscreen display, or you can edit using a compatible app. You can then upload the file to an FTP server, using WAV or AAC-LD formats (20kHz of bandwidth). Your studio then retrieves the file from the fileserver for playback. Alternatively, live remotes using the mic in the iPhone, can be delivered via 3G or Wi-Fi. Another option is to use the Tieline Mic Adapter for iPhone4. This connects an outboard microphone and headphones to the iPhone. According to Tieline, live remotes will have 15kHz of audio bandwidth, and of course you'll need a compatible Tieline codec at the far end.
For Android devotees, there is some good news: There will be an Android version of Report-IT coming out soon, with the same features already discussed. Tieline expects to have the app available for download in time for the 2012 NAB Show.
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