Executive Overview

Frequently Asked Questions about Networked Audio Systems

Q. When my engineer talks about Networked Audio Systems, what does he mean?

Networked Audio systems refer to any studio audio infrastructure (system) where all audio is available to all of the consoles in a facility using a minimal amount of wiring. These provide the most flexible audio management for your operation and require the least amount of wiring, sometimes eliminating miles of expensive copper audio cabling.

Q. How long has Logitek been making Networked Audio Systems?

Logitek was the first American manufacturer to develop a Networked Audio Platform, with our first system released in the late 1990s. At the time, they were called Router based console systems and emulated systems that had been used for some time in the TV/Video industry. Since then Networked Audio systems have become the norm in broadcast facilities.

Q. What is the advantage of Networked Audio over stand alone consoles?

Networked systems allow for efficient use of all audio equipment in a facility. All equipment can be shared by each studio, reducing cost in overall equipment purchases. For example, a codec that is used periodically by one studio can also be used by another studio without having to move the device or set up complicated wiring to the other studio. The interconnections between studios are an integral part of the audio system and do not have to be provided by the end user. Think of them like your computer network (in fact, today’s systems are computer networks), where you can access any printer from any computer without a direct connection. With Networked Audio, you can access any piece of equipment without a direct connection. Think of the money you save in wire alone.

Q. Has Networked Audio System technology changed since it was first introduced?

Yes. The first systems used a technology adapted from phone company infrastructure known as TDM (Time Division Multiplexing). Networked Systems now use a technology adapted from the computer industry called AoIP (Audio over Internet Protocol). AoIP is in many ways easier to implement and install than the older systems and like all things that rely on computers, the costs of peripheral hardware keep coming down.

Q. If most Networked Audio Systems use similar protocols, what makes Logitek’s Networked Audio different than your competitors?

Most current Networked systems use Audio IP nodes as an entry point to get audio onto the network. Most of these systems use small nodes with very limited capacity for this purpose. However, each of these nodes consumes valuable rack space and increases the complexity of the system. Logitek has developed and pioneered Dense Node Technology which has 2 to 8 times the capacity of these small nodes. The benefits of these Dense Nodes are a much simpler IP network, using fewer external parts, to reduce system complexity and lower cost.

Q. Do Logitek’s JetStream nodes have any features that other systems don’t provide and importantly, do these features provide cost savings?

Many. Here are a few:

  • Logitek’s JetStreams allow up to 4 consoles to be used on a single node, thereby reducing the overall cost of hardware.
  • Each JetStream has a profanity delay feature for better integration as well as saving you thousands of dollars on the cost of outboard hardware.
  • JetStreams have 24 mix-minus busses assuring you won’t run out of feeds for your remote devices and phone systems.
  • Some Program Automation Systems can run from inside the JetStream’s embedded microprocessor. This saves money on hardware but more importantly provides a seamless melding of all the components of the broadcast facility. All you need to do is add the microphone.

Q. Are there other cost saving uses for the JetStream?

Many users have found unique ways of utilizing the router functions in these systems. Some run their automation system straight to air. For stations who only run one or two live day parts, this means they can bypass their on-air studio and use it as a production room for 4 to 6 hours per day without the worry of incorrect or inappropriate items ending up on-air.

Q. How can I use the JetStream to serve multiple markets which require different commercial loads?

Through its routing functions, the JetStream has the ability to feed multiple markets from a single studio, using common programming but with the ability to split apart commercial breaks or to fire individual ID’s at the same time.

Q. What if I need to add another radio station later — do I have to scrap everything and start from scratch?

No, just add another JetStream Mini to the Network and start your expansion with an extra studio, or using the JetStream Plus, you can add additional radio stations without adding additional infrastructure. Logitek’s JetStream Plus is the densest AoIP node, allowing for lots of extra I/O in a single 4 RU package. With 240 channels of I/O, radio stations can be added even when you don’t have additional rack space in your existing facility. Just add a few more I/O cards to the JetStream Plus and you’re good to go.

Q. I have heard a lot recently about Virtual consoles. Does Logitek offer one?

Logitek was the first console company to develop the virtual console. Our vMix software was first introduced 12 years ago. There are hundreds in use.

Q. What other “firsts” does Logitek have?

Logitek was the first to introduce a software program (vScreen) that allows the user to develop different screens to aid in program operations. With custom meters, buttons, faders and display screens you can tailor our latest version, now called vMix+, to let you control and monitor your entire facility from anywhere.

Other “firsts” from Logitek:

  • First to incorporate internal programmable audio alarms that can warn the operator if something is wrong
  • First to incorporate profanity delay
  • First to provide 16 character source display names to minimize operator confusion
  • First to provide input meters at each fader for source confidence metering
  • First to incorporate Program Automation for a “one box” studio solution.

Q. Are Logitek Networked Audio Systems compatible with those from other manufacturers?

Yes! Logitek has always maintained that connectivity and interoperability were essential for IP based systems. To that end Logitek has incorporated as many standard protocols as possible in its IP operating platform. To assure compatibility currently, Logitek JetStream’s incorporate Livewire connectivity protocols and provide direct network connectivity to all Livewire partners. We are also compatible with Ravenna equipment and AES-67. We will add more connectivity protocols as they become available. This assures that your Logitek system will never be out of date.

Q. Where can I buy Logitek?

Logitek is only sold direct from the manufacturer.