Atlona Updates and Expands Accredited Training Programs

April 1, 2019

AV professionals earn industry credits and certifications while broadening their knowledge of AV over IP technology and transitions

SAN JOSE, Calif., February 20, 2019 – As the demand grows for professional training and certification in the AV over IP industry, Atlona has updated and expanded the quality, relevance, and value of the accredited online courses offered through the Atlona Education Portal.

Business meeting in a modern office

Specifically, Atlona has streamlined and revised its 100 and 200 level online certification courses. These changes provide the most up-to-date instruction and information for rolling out, configuring, and using Atlona’s complete suite of AV over IP products and solutions. Atlona has also added new accredited courses for its Velocity™ IP-based control AV control platform.

“This update aligns with the evolution of Atlona as a company, as we help our customers transition from foundational HDMI and HDBaseT technologies to IP networks,” said Ken Eagle, Director of Field Training and Technical Sales, Atlona. “AV professionals will now gain comprehensive knowledge, tools, and industry best practices on the entire end-to-end process. This spans the design, rollout, and integration of AV over IP systems, as well as set-up, management and control of the underlying AV network.

The Atlona Education Portal is one of many training resources Atlona offers. Atlona’s overarching goals are to teach established and aspiring AV industry professionals how to maximize the company’s industry-leading AV and control solutions, as well as the broader array of AV over IP technologies on the market today. Atlona also offers a video on demand Education Video Library and periodic webinars.

For those seeking more personalized training and hands-on product experience, Atlona will offer eight Atlona AV Factory Training events in 2019, including four to be held at its San Jose, CA headquarters. Internationally, Atlona will offer four multi-lingual events at its Zurich facility in English, French, or German. Eagle expects to also announce up to 18 dates for Atlona’s 2019 Roadshow.

Atlona’s current course offerings has been updated to include 100-Technology Specialist, 200-Atlona Certified Technology, AV over IP-Technical Networking Certification, and Velocity Control Certification. The newly revised course materials, as well as quizzes and tests, have been approved for AVIXA and CEDIA certifications and credits. These credentials, which are awarded upon completion of a course or program, signify the qualifications achieved by AV professionals, and are especially valuable to those seeking to advance within the industry.

“We’re offering free, award-winning training, industry accreditation, and occasionally, an opportunity to win rewards such as select Atlona products,” said Eagle. “Most importantly, AV professionals acquire an invaluable understanding of the key technologies that empower the networked AV user community.”

The Atlona Education Portal is accessible to anyone at http://www.atlona.com/training.

About Atlona

Atlona, a Panduit company, is a leading global manufacturer of AV over IP distribution, connectivity, and control solutions. The company designs and engineers innovative, award-winning products for a diverse range of residential and commercial AV and IT markets. Backed by an award-winning 10-year warranty, Atlona’s products are developed to enable our customers’ ability to connect and collaborate with simplicity. More information about Atlona is available at atlona.com.

About Panduit

Global connectivity leader Panduit Corp. creates innovative electrical and network infrastructure solutions for applications across the enterprise. Headquartered in Tinley Park, Ill. and operating in 112 worldwide locations, Panduit’s technology leadership and robust ecosystem help support, sustain, and empower business growth in a connected world. panduit.com

 

Barix Introduces Silence Monitor with Cloud Service for Broadcast Audio Quality Assurance at NAB 2019

April 1, 2019

New device overcomes network connection issues with backup signaling connectivity to ensure alarm continuity, with pre-alarm audio clip capture for troubleshooting

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND, February 20, 2019 — Audio over IP innovator Barix will unveil the company’s new Silence Monitor solution at the 2019 NAB Show, reaffirming its commitment to assured connectivity with active monitoring of live audio broadcasts. Silence Monitor is a web-accessible, analog-input audio monitoring device that delivers the highest levels of quality assurance, monitoring audio streams 24/7 and sending real-time alerts when an outage or silence is detected.

Barix will showcase the new product in booth C1139 at the event, which takes place April 6-11 in Las Vegas.

Unlike other solutions on the market, Silence Monitor does more than just detect silence—it also captures and sends a 10-second pre-alarm audio clip that users can listen to and analyze to determine what might have happened before the error occurred. In addition, Silence Monitor offers optional LTE 4G/ 3G/ NB-IoT transmission for RF out-of-band connectivity. This backup communication link ensures alarm detection signals are transmitted, even in the event of an IPnetwork outage. Other products with silence detection send alarm notifications over the same network where the audio should be transported—a definite limitation. Silence Monitor allows the use of both local and out-of-band connection technology at the same time for robust reliability.

Silence Monitor checks transmission and monitors broadcast streams continuously, sending immediate alerts to the user’s email or mobile device via SMS/text message. Once users receive a notification, they can click on the link provided in the message to automatically stream the last audio transmission.

Users can monitor the status of the network and transmission online through a cloud-based management portal. Silence Monitor devices and alarms can be easily managed through the portal, and a full overview history of logs and audio clips is available for all connected sites. Users can also listen live to the audio at each monitoring site through the web-based interface, with specific location designations identifying points quickly and easily.

“Silence Monitor is designed to offer a cost-effective, quality assurance monitoring tool for broadcast transmissions,” said Reto Brader, CEO, Barix. “Broadcasters need affordable monitoring and prefer a decoded audio signal so they can receive alarms at an affordable cost. They need to be sure their audio signals arrive as intended, and it’s not just silence being delivered. Combining an independent network for backup alerting with a pre-alarm audio clip and the power of the cloud bolsters reliability while making troubleshooting easier.”

Barix: We Move Audio (www.barix.com)

Barix supplies simple and reliable solutions and components to systems integrators and end users worldwide.  We move high-quality audio across IP networks, adding value to customer solutions for more than a decade with hundreds of thousands of devices installed worldwide.  Background music distribution with dynamic advertising insertion for retail shops, bars and hotels; public address solutions for schools and public spaces; and intercom and entry systems for facility surveillance, protection and security are among the many applications of Barix solutions.  Barix also supports OEM projects for a number of Global 500 listed companies serving many industries worldwide.

 

GeoBroadcast Solutions Adds Another Major Market MaxxCasting Licensee in Boston

April 1, 2019

WXLO(FM) has a ratings presence in the downtown Boston county of Suffolk for the first time, and an improved signal inMiddlesex County; specialized IP technology drives best-sounding MaxxCasting system to date

CHICAGO, February 21, 2019 — WXLO(FM), a Hot Adult Contemporary radio station serving the Boston and Worcester, Massachusetts markets, has become the latest MaxxCasting™ licensee to increase coverage-to-contour ratio immediately after going on air with the system. WXLO’s newly robust FM signal is now reaching Nielsen Portable People Meters (PPM) and audiences throughout both markets, with approximately one-million new listeners at home, in businesses and in automobiles receiving clear signals.

Importantly, the MaxxCasting system makes WXLO a competitive ratings force in Boston, the nation’s tenth largest market, by delivering a listenable signal through the city of Boston in Suffolk County. The system also establishes a ratings presence for WXLO across a broader strategic travel corridor section of adjacent Middlesex County, the largest county in New England by population, covering a large section of eastern Massachusetts north of Boston all the way to the New Hampshire border.

The WXLO MaxxCasting system, which went live in early January, has solved the station’s greatest coverage problemsassociated with signal density, building penetration and challenging commuter routes. The single-frequency network (SFN) includes three low-power transmission sites, or “nodes,” to maximize coverage for two markets, including a transmission node located on top of the John Hancock building in downtown Boston. All nodes are located in areas prone to weak signal coverage, leveraging GBS’ unique predictive modeling software to eliminate interference in areas where signals overlap. This provides a clean transition between transmitters as listeners commute throughout the region.

The WXLO system represents an important first in MaxxCasting that noticeably improves audio quality. The architecture integrates specialized IP networking technology from GatesAir to support composite digital FM multiplex (MPX) signal transport. GatesAir’s Intraplex IP Link MPX codecs keep FM signals in the digital domain while maximizing network bandwidth, making this the best-sounding MaxxCasting system to date. As usual, the codecs integrate Intraplex SynchroCast technology to tightly synchronize program audio across all transmission nodes.

MaxxCasting systems continue to pay dividends for broadcasters that have long struggled to deliver clear and listenable signals across 100 percent of their legal broadcast contours. As with MaxxCasting’s other Boston licensee, WXRV, as well as licensees live today in Chicago, Milwaukee, Seattle and other medium-to-major markets, WXLO’s broader signal will increase revenue potential by reaching more PPMs and attracting new advertisers.

“We’re excited about how good the station sounds and to reach more potential audience in downtown Boston and beyond with this new technology,” Bob Goodell, Regional Vice President, Cumulus Media.

Bill Hieatt, CTO for MaxxCasting architects GeoBroadcast Solutions, notes that the MaxxCasting system is now delivering a very robust, high-quality audio signal across the Boston area’s most challenging commuter routes. In addition to the sound-quality benefits of digital composite FM MPX transport, the GBS team customized directional antenna patterns at each node to optimize signal propagation across all transmission nodes.

“Downtown Boston is an enormous challenge due to the density of buildings, tunnels and other environmental considerations that make signal penetration difficult,” said Hieatt. “While our transmitter site within city limits solves these problems, our nodes outside of the city deliver listenable signals to drivers commuting to and from Boston Metro West and Worcester for the first time. Around the region, WXLO is now reaching audiences traveling along all major corridors,including I-95 and I-93 heading north and south. WXLO is the latest MaxxCasting system to prove the technical validity and business benefits that our solution offers to radio broadcasters across any terrain.”

About GeoBroadcast Solutions

GeoBroadcast Solutions, LLC (GBS) offers proprietary products and solutions to enhance radio station coverage areas to maximize both coverage and revenue as well as the ability to zone audio (pending FCC approval) and RBDS/RDS. The company hold two patents for new Single Frequency Network techniques (MaxxCasting and ZoneCasting) that have been developed to improve coverage. GeoBroadcast Solutions’ charter is to innovate and bring to market technologies that help radio broadcasters maximize their signal and grow revenues. MaxxCasting expands the coverage area of FM signals. ZoneCasting, pending FCC approval, will provide technology to geographically target radio advertisements, news, weather and other important local information. These competitive innovations give broadcasters tools to compete in the face of innovations internet and cellular message distribution. GBS partners with GatesAir for transmission and IP distribution equipment.

Visix Wins Bronze Stevie Award for Sales & Customer Service

April 1, 2019

ATLANTA, GA – February 28, 2019 – Visix, Inc. has been awarded the Bronze Stevie® Award in the category of Customer Service Department of the Year – Computer Software – Up to 100 Employees in the 13th annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. The company has maintained a 96% or higher customer satisfaction rating for more than five years.

“We’re very honored to be recognized for our superior customer service,” says Sean Matthews, president and CEO of Visix. “Our motto is ‘we’re here to help’, and every one of our employees take that seriously. We pride ourselves on going beyond technology sales to make sure our clients get the best consulting, training and support possible; and to ensure they get the most from our products and have a positive experience throughout the process. I’m extremely proud of everyone at Visix for contributing to this success.”

The Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service are the world’s top honors for customer service, contact center, business development, and sales professionals. More than 2,700 nominations from organizations in 45 nations of all sizes and in virtually every industry were evaluated in this year’s competition. Winners were determined by the average scores of more than 150 professionals worldwide in seven specialized judging committees.

“All of the Stevie Award winners should be very proud of their achievements. Independent professionals around the world have agreed that their accomplishments are worthy of public recognition,” said Stevie Awards President and founder, Michael Gallagher.

Details about the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service and the list of Stevie winners in all categories are available at www.StevieAwards.com/sales.

About the Stevie Awards
Stevie Awards are conferred in seven programs: the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, the German Stevie Awards, The American Business Awards®, The International Business Awards®, the Stevie Awards for Great Employers, the Stevie Awards for Women in Business and the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. Stevie Awards competitions receive more than 12,000 entries each year from organizations in more than 70 nations. Honoring organizations of all types and sizes and the people behind them, the Stevies recognize outstanding performances in the workplace worldwide. Learn more about the Stevie Awards at www.StevieAwards.com.
About Visix

Visix, Inc. offers a robust suite of digital signage software, content designs and meeting room signs for any organization wanting to engage, excite, and inform their audiences. Our products work separately or together, are competitively priced and scalable, and have powerful interactivity and data integration features for a unified, enterprise signage solution. Our award-winning service and support teams consistently rank the highest in customer satisfaction for fast, professional responses and solutions. Learn more about Visix digital signage products and services at www.visix.com.

Cablecast Community Media Platform Simplifies Workflows and Frees Staff from Mundane Tasks at MVCC

April 1, 2019

Efficient, all-in-one solution enables station employees to reallocate their time to higher-value and more creative activities

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, February 28, 2019 – Miami Valley Communications Council (MVCC) in Centerville, Ohio is a municipal communications and technology organization that represents eight member cities in the area, and holds affiliate agreements with 23 other Miami Valley cities. Upgrading its master control and playout infrastructure to high definition while replacing decade-old legacy equipment, the council selected the Cablecast Community Media Platform from Tightrope Media Systems as the foundation of its enhanced operations.

MVCC was formed in 1975 to oversee cable television franchise agreements, manage the operation of the council’s cable access television channels, and lead intergovernmental projects designed to strengthen communications between member cities and their citizens. The council operates four PEG channels – two government channels, one educational access channel and one public access channel – while offering state-of-the-art production facilities, equipment and training to residents of its member cities.

While limited to broadcasting in SD for cable distribution, MVCC had higher ambitions for its online presence. “We wanted to upgrade to HD for our online VOD and eventually our live streams,” explained Nick Evert, MVCC’s chief engineer. “We also wanted a system that would simplify our file-based workflows and integrate better with our website offering.”

MVCC purchased the Cablecast Broadcast Automation software and two quad-channel Cablecast Flex 4 playout servers, configured to provide one recording input and one playout pathway for each of the council’s four cable channels. A Cablecast Pro VOD server automatically creates on-demand clips of the station’s programs, which are then delivered to viewers through the cloud-based Cablecast Reflect service. Four Tightrope Carousel systems drive independent bulletin boards on each channel. Supplied by systems integrator iVideo Technologies (known at the time as Industrial Video), the new installation went live at MVCC in September 2018.

In choosing the Cablecast platform, Tightrope’s expertise was as important to MVCC as the solution itself. “The number one thing for myself and our recently-retired programmer was the background of the company,” said Evert. “Tightrope staff all seem to have a good knowledge of the PEG channel world, with many of them coming from a PEG background. Their receptiveness to the particular challenges of a government-run media center was really appealing.”

Cablecast’s browser-based architecture was similarly attractive. “Unlike our previous system, people can now be working simultaneously on various machines over the network at the same or different times, without being tied to a specific workstation,” Evert explained. “Plus, I don’t need to keep updating software versions on multiple machines to stay current.”

Beyond its browser-based flexibility, the operational ease of Cablecast’s user interface itself has earned Evert’s praise. “With our previous system, a lot of functions were counter-intuitive and confusing,” he said. “The Cablecast interface is much more intuitive and modern, and you get a lot better feedback from the software when you’re working.”

Cablecast’s elegant media handling capabilities save MVCC staff valuable time that they can put to better use. “With our old system, we had to FTP files around a lot, moving them to and from a NAS,” recalled Evert. “With Cablecast, we have all of our media live on the server. Instead of spending time queuing things up and on routine operational tasks, employees are freed up to do things like developing better bulletin board graphics and polishing things up a little bit more.”

Cablecast’s tight bulletin board integration has brought similar gains. “The schedule integration benefits are huge,” said Evert. “With our old system, staff would get an email or printout of the schedule, and need to retype it into our bulletin board software. Now as soon as we’ve scheduled the show, it’s handled automatically, completely eliminating that work.”

In addition to the Cablecast platform itself, Evert has also been impressed with Tightrope personnel. “I can’t say enough about the receptiveness that they have to new ideas and features,” he praised. “You work with any system day in and day out, inevitably you’ll have ideas of something new you wish it could do. Not every manufacturer will truly listen to your requests and discuss them with their development team. I think that’s huge.”

MVCC’s future plans include adding Cablecast Live systems for HD live streaming, and updating the video content area of their website using Cablecast’s dynamic, turnkey “public site” web publishing tools. But in the meantime, the platform continues to deliver the benefits the council sought. “Cablecast has simplified our master control workflow, and allows our staff to allocate more of their time to refinement of our channels,” summarized Evert. “It is a solid, all-in-one kind of solution, which is exactly what is needed for a PEG facility like ours.”

About Cablecast

For over 20 years, the Cablecast Community Media platform from Tightrope Media Systems has enabled exceptional workflow efficiency, usability and versatility to help local cable channels, campus television and other community media providers engage their viewers in the evolving media landscape. The comprehensive Cablecast product line provides complete, tightly-integrated broadcast solutions including station automation, playout servers, Internet video on demand and live streaming. For more information, visit www.cablecast.tv or call (866) 866-4118.

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