When you want to broadcast audio from a remote location, you need an audio codec. These days, you can opt for either a hardware codec or a software codec. Here are some of the more popular software and hardware audio broadcast codecs used for Outside Broadcasts.

If you want more information on running an outside broadcast of an event, read my article on Radio Outside Broadcasts from Live Music Events for some pointers.

Hardware Outside Broadcast Codecs

Telos Z/IP One

Tieline G5 range

Comrex ACCESS

Barix InStreamer & ExStreamer

Software Outside Broadcast Codecs

AudioTX Communicator

Luci Live

Audio Compass

OpenOB

Fideliphone

Selecting an Outside Broadcast Codec

When selecting a Outside Broadcast Codec, you first need to decide how you want to connect the codecs together. As all of these codecs listed here are IP-based, let’s take a look at some IP connectivity options available to us:

  1. Ask to borrow the venue’s ADSL connection
  2. Install your own short-term ADSL connection at the venue
  3. Use a 3G/4G internet connection
  4. Use a WiMax connection
  5. Use a Satellite internet connection
  6. Use a point-to-point IP link

Different IP connections have a different level of reliability. If you pick a 3G/4G cellular connection, you’ll need to pick a codec with adaptive technology such as the Z/IP One or Tieline G5 range. These codecs can adjust the stream characteristics based on network conditions. If your IP network gets congested, the buffer goes up and the bitrate goes down. It’s all handled on the fly.

However, if you have a stable connection such as ADSL or a point-to-point IP link then the codecs don’t need to be as smart and you can get away with other types of IP codecs.

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I'm Anthony Eden, and I'm a IT Professional, Broadcast Technician, Software Developer, and Solutions Engineer. I've been working in broadcast media since 2008, and developing software and websites for just as long. Right now, I provide freelance services through Media Realm - in particular, to the media and not-for-profit industries.

Follow Anthony on Twitter: @anthony_eden