ZURICH, SWITZERLAND, February 22, 2010 — Barix AG, a pioneer in IP-based audio, intercom, control, and monitoring, announces that Kerasotes ShowPlace Theatres is now using Barix Audio over IP equipment at the core of its audio distribution and playback architecture for two of its premium digital cinema locations.
Kerasotes ShowPlace Theatres is the sixth largest motion picture exhibitor in the United States, operating 96 theaters with 973 screens in 10 states. The company has launched an Audio over IP service at its ShowPlace ICON Theatres in Chicago and St. Louis Park, Minnesota. The service distributes ambient music to its theaters and a more upbeat program to its Lobby Lounge areas featuring fresh food service and fully stocked bars.
Barix Exstreamer 100 decoding devices in the various theaters and Lobby Lounge areas receive and decode the streams
“We were seeking a way to entertain our premium-price ticket buyers without tying in a barrage of advertising,” said Andy Gift, Director of Theatre Technology at Kerasotes ShowPlace Theatres. “The Barix equipment allowed us to tie licensed Muzak streams from the Internet to our Dolby processing system via IP. The design of the Barix devices saved us $3,000-to$4,000 on wiring and other component costs, and the installation was a matter of hours as opposed to the two or three days required to run wire for a legacy audio system.”
The Barix Audio over IP equipment provides the audio encoding and decoding elements. Two Barix Instreamer 100 encoders accept the Muzak streams from the web and encode them to mp3 at 192K for premium audio quality. One Instreamer passes Channel A to the Dolby theaters, and the second passes the Channel B stream to the Lobby Lounge. Barix Exstreamer 100 decoding devices in the various theaters and Lobby Lounge areas receive and decode the streams before passing them through to the Dolby processing system for sweetening. The streams eventually pass through QSC amplifiers before playing out over the loudspeakers.
According to Gift, the Audio over IP system integrates seamlessly with his digital projection system to further reduce costs and enhance cinema operations.
“There has always been a need to use separate projectors and systems for movies and advertising, and that separation creates overhead for the theaters due to extra equipment investments,” said Gift. “As we move toward digital cinema, my focus is to play everything through one system and use IP technology to get there. Much of the industry is still in the serial age using open/close technology. We’re trying to get away from that and go all-digital because it allows us to automate 90 percent of our projects and not require as much staff to operate the equipment. That IP connectivity also enables remote access to adjust volume and other settings.”
Gift said that the Barix equipment and the support they received from his Barix sales representative allowed him to achieve his vision that much faster. DataNab, an IP systems programmer and Barix reseller based in Burnsville, Minnesota, served as the sales representative for this project.
“I picked up the devices and we were online in four hours,” he said. “It would have been a lot more complex and expensive had we gone with a satellite delivery system. The expenses for traditional receiver technology, speaker wire and other elements would have been much higher.”
All Barix products are inexpensive, low-power devices that are scalable to the growth of the operation; offer reliability through a PC-FREE design with no moving parts; and serve as a flexible platform for integration into virtually any operation requiring audio transport and delivery. Barix also offers its programmable BCL standard open to all customers to easily tailor applications for specific needs. Local control, audio relay, and low-latency streaming are a few examples of custom programs using Barix’s BCL software environment.
About Barix AG (www.barix.com)
Barix AG, headquartered in Zurich Switzerland, specializes in research and development of state of the art IP based communication and control technology. Barix products are stand-alone and able to remotely connect worldwide over standard networks / Internet offering new and improved solutions to the professional audio distribution, communication and automation industries. Barix products provide solutions in audio over IP (audio distribution and monitoring, communication, security) and automation (remote control, monitoring and maintenance).