GatesAir is set to unveil IPConnect, a new software application designed to fortify data transport across IP networks, at NAB.
IPConnect is part of GatesAir’s Intraplex brand of intelligent networking solutions. Available as an option in most Intraplex IP Link codecs, IPConnect solves the problem of reliable data transport across complex networks that traditionally suffer data loss through dropped packets. The software data gateway provides extra protection through packet encapsulation, which encloses the external IP data packets in a GatesAir protocol wrapper as it moves across IP networks.
Unlike many similar applications, IPConnect provides this protection for studio-generated data, as well IP data from external sources. While the former might include RDS data or SNMP control signals to trigger a command at the transmitter site, the latter may incorporate program or control data coming from a network operations center, satellite feed or advertising service.
“IPConnect can accept data from any external source, and because it bridges at the IP layer, it is application-agnostic,” said Keyur Parikh, director, GatesAir Intraplex Business Unit. “It gives the broadcaster tremendous peace of mind to reliably tunnel any IP data between one or more sites, without concern of packet loss or outside interference.”
Whether generated in-house or externally, IPConnect expertly manages data transport for IP network architectures of any scale. It is adept at handling complex scenarios such as E2X (exporter-to-exciter) connections, which can include data feeds for multiple HD Radio services.
“The E2X aspect of the HD Radio traffic stream is particularly vulnerable to packet loss given the large amount of data moving from a studio, where the exporter lives, to the exciter at a transmitter site,” said Parikh. “As most of these paths cover very long distances, the large amount of data moving over these pathways make them more susceptible to packet loss—which can result in missing content, or the failure of a critical control command. Its purpose is to provide reliable transport for each application’s IP data, where the applications themselves lack the ability to achieve that goal.”
The IPConnect software applications represent the first product phase of an ongoing development plan that includes a dedicated hardware device.