For most radio organizations, outside broadcasts are an important part of programming.
July 29, 2021 - Remote audio segments are entertaining ways to add excitement to drive-time shows, as well as valuable sources of advertising revenue. News programs rely on remote broadcasts to cover important events live from the field, and break news as soon as possible. And live sports coverage requires hours of continuous remote audio from the sidelines – often from very different locations!
But outside audio broadcasting comes with a lot of challenges. Electricity may not be available, meaning that there’s nowhere to plug in your gear. In many cases, there’s no dedicated internet, and you might only have access to shared WiFi or cellular networks. Remote audio broadcasts require creativity and quick thinking from engineers, who have to make sure that everything stays connected without a hitch.
Outside audio broadcasts are hard enough – you shouldn’t have to worry about your equipment getting in the way! Comrex has spent the last several decades engineering remote audio broadcasting solutions that are intuitive, efficient, and reliable. For the last 15 years, we’ve been refining our IP audio codecs to become the industry standard for reliable audio transmission.
All of that has resulted in ACCESS NX, our premiere IP audio codec designed especially for remotes. Here’s what makes it so great.
Outstanding IP audio over marginal networks
ACCESS NX was designed around CrossLock technology. The “secret sauce” that makes Comrex IP audio codecs tick, CrossLock is our special suite of reliability tools. It offers an expanded array of techniques including improved congestion detection, redundant transmission, forward error correction, and deadline-sensitive retransmission.
CrossLock allows you to use several multiple network devices simultaneously to increase available network bandwidth and improve reliability. In Bonding Mode, ACCESS NX allows you to combine multiple WiFi, cellular, or hardline IP connections, so you can make the most of any available bandwidth.
What happens if a network starts to fail, or if bandwidth changes? CrossLock includes an adaptive management engine that monitors the performance of each network link and applies the most appropriate tools for the current network conditions. It calculates the highest quality and lowest delay combination of available networks to achieve the desired target rate, and will adjust settings to ensure that your connection remains stable. And it does all this automatically, so you don’t have to worry about it.
Designed to go anywhere
ACCESS NX features a small chassis that you can hold in your hand, which makes it perfect for man-on-the-street outside broadcasts or any other segment that requires your talent to move about freely. With a built-in battery that can support up to 6.5 hours of talk time (5 hours when connected to the optional mixer), ACCESS NX can carry you on remotes even if you don’t have power available.
Need to hook up multiple mics? ACCESS NX comes with 2 I/Os built in, but can be expanded to 6 I/Os when plugged into our optional mixer. No need to bring along a separate mixer – you can do it all from one unit.
Plus, there’s no need to bring along a PC to configure settings or manage connections in the field. The control interface is located in the unit itself – with its 5 inch capacitive touch screen and intuitive user interface, it’s easy to manage and configure on the fly.
Connect without hassle
When doing a remote audio broadcast, it’s common to encounter networks that are configured with firewalls and other obstacles that make connecting a challenge. ACCESS NX comes with Switchboard is a feature that allows users to bypass common IP networking snags (like private LANs and firewalls) by routing data through a private server maintained by Comrex. Switchboard makes it easier to log on to unfamiliar Wi-Fi networks, like those you might encounter in hotels, schools, and wherever else you might do a remote. Reduce the strain on your IT department and worry less on broadcast day.
Worried that the studio you’re connecting to doesn’t have the compatible equipment? ACCESS NX can connect to any Comrex IP audio codec, current or retired, as well as our FieldTap smartphone app. ACCESS NX can also be configured to connect to other manufacturers’ codecs, as long as they’re SIP compatible.
Support you can trust
Providing excellent customer support is one of our key company values. Our tech support, available in both English and Spanish, is free and always will be. Our tech team is knowledgeable and engaged, and you’ll work directly with someone who really understands remote broadcasting. Plus, we support all our gear, even after we no longer make it – we’re still answering questions and repairing equipment that’s been in the field for decades.